Decoded message, which now needs to be solved)
Here is the riddle from decoding the message from the tree
We cannot hear them, don't see them come,
Beneath the moon, and with their drum.
Gnashing, slashing, munch and crunch,
They've come again for midnight lunch.
Friends and Family here we stand,
Until their hollowed homes be damned.
Amongst the trees one stands alone, Through the ages he's aged and grown, Here to tell all that see, Of their desperate, despairing plea. So look at all he's come to be, And heed the words of the riddle tree.
The poem about the tree is basically fluff. all necessary info is in the spoilered riddle above. Or in the tree image below if you want to solve the cipher.
What is the tree telling you about?, and what was the reasoning behind the cipher
The strings are given below for ease of use.
<Loxok$r3 0erh!mxlxb <!*-($y)$7 x(+8'$1$v <#'0&-**-9 l%mzpRmyk ;t9&yn&uv!7 e#qnj!#qnv1 .2jut-zykka m,zw%u'%w> Hn"zx++,s <-!x&(('?? fpmqzlz#u6 I]*w/$%*D -j/pxqfkd. 2ukjy"ujo3 ?_sp*2'p1 'lmyqzshm3 :w)'yu!u#(; FW)zv%uq k+s'(o"r: 8Wpvknvj& 0,tsw$"t(> ?rutq#$ut>
To add some information to the riddle I've added another picture with the same message encoded using the same method.
Eternal Sun You've helped me grow, Now Come on out and help me show, The message that I seek to spread, Of which I fear will see me dead
And the strings found in the image
Io#!y,,-t :Jmvmi"p1 >Ryl$sty9 Kk%"6>3"= K\.%!*zv 9Xqwlowk' n,zws*,zw%: 2#qnvxxw55 0i.uncujkp, 5r$"tpvpx#6 fygtjLgse .os"ryvvy+ <@x)(;.-yyo 0erh!mxlxb /l1rzshmf0 5t#&!wr"w0 oy"/xu(um 40xw!(&x,B h'urzp"zr9 w'$(1#14,G 7zpo$'zot8 3xy+#,%ty? d$lz!huk3 Dwzyv()zyC
A branch with spaces is just a broken limb.
(There are no spaces in the encoded or decoded message)
The circle of life goes around and around.
But youngest and oldest in the puzzle are found.
(The cipher wraps and both the highest "value" character and the lowest can be found in the puzzle)
Hint 3 (riddle)
Through ice and snow they wont be stopped
I fear we will be dropped and lopped.