Central Park Entire

central_park_fold_mapI was given a copy of Ken Chaya and Edward S. Barnard’s Central Park Entire: The Definitive Illustrated Folding May for my birthday, and part of the gift included a card for a tour with Chaya. I finally cashed in this past weekend. But first, the map. Sheer madness! But of a glorious kind. There are 19,933 trees mapped on this sheet, the result of a two-year survey by Chaya. (Superstorm Sandy demands a revision, having blasted hundreds of trees in the park.) The map is available in two versions, check out the link above.chaya1On the tour. Chaya with the only Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra) he is aware of in the park. This had some serious gall action. (It was, indeed, a day for galls of all sorts; spring’s arboreal growth spurt is utilized by the gall-forcing agents with a vengeance.)chaya2A third of the way up a big American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) or Buttonwood (to you capitalists), is some honeycomb. This was made last year when a honeybee swarm tried to colonize this not-deep-enough hole in the tree.chaya3A rare instance of exterior comb; a colony is unlikely to survive a winter like this, and this one did not.chaya4The ruins of a massive Pin Oak in the Loch that was at least 150 years old. A lot of destruction was visible in the North Woods, but that’s nature, allowing saplings to rise up into the voids made in the canopy. Of course, in a heavily used and often abused park, things like fences, paths, and some natural common sense (an unleashed dog was swimming in The Pool was chasing ducks and freaking out a Great Egret) go a long way to helping, too.chaya5This caused some puzzlement. Similar stuff was underneath the bark of a decapitated, dead Tulip Tree in the North Woods. Chaya thought it might be the vascular cambium of the tree, which is the (live) tree’s circulation system (water up, nutrients down).UPDATE: On second thought, after further research, he now thinks this is a fungus.chaya7In the Loch, this maple toppled, but retained enough of a roothold at its base to carry on. And the top, which landed on the ground, rooted there. Branches shoot straight up from the now horizontal bole as if they were separate trees, seeking solar power. Takes a lot to kill a tree….

Chaya’s tours don’t seem to be noted on his website. They cost $10 and are well-worth it. Email him at info@centralparknature.com.

6 Responses to “Central Park Entire”

  1. 1 Lyn May 31, 2013 at 2:48 am

    Absolutely wondiferous!

    Must connect with Chaya.

    Chia tea afterwords…

    Happy Spring to all!


  2. 3 Paul Lamb May 31, 2013 at 6:18 am

    I have all of the pignut hickories you need in my Ozark forest. Just lemme know if you want some. And I have to say, the honeycomb looks naughty.

  3. 5 Dr. Booky June 12, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    wonderful! Central Park: one of my very favourite places.

  1. 1 Solvitur Ambulando | Backyard and Beyond Trackback on November 27, 2013 at 8:06 am

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