Posts Tagged 'trees'


Baby, or perhaps teenage, black walnuts. Juglans nigra.And a windfall.

Diospyros virginiana

American Persimmon sex parts brought down during Saturday’s downpour. (I didn’t notice that bumblebee until looking over the photo.)These are the male flowers, rather fleshy bell-shaped things with recurved lobes. And a fruit that’ll never be.


A hackberry drupe. Can we call it a “hack”? It is surprisingly smooth at this stage of unripeness, and extremely difficult to photograph. This is through a 10x loupe.

Other names for the tree include nettletree, sugarberry, and beaverwood, but why hackberry? One source says the Scottish “hagberry,” for a Eurasian bird cherry (Prunus padus), is the source of this name; hackberry is also a name for the cherry.

The genus name Celtis was Pliny’s lotus tree, so that’s no help.

You can rest easy, since my corrections to the Street Tree map have been accepted. You may remember that when I first saw the map I naturally looked up the two trees right below my apartment. They were mapped as Hawthorns. They are now rightfully recorded as Hackberries.


This color! Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) cones start out red. As they mature through the spring, they turn this surprising and delightful purplish.Then they green as the chlorophyll comes into its own. In the fall, they will dry out and turn tan-brown, opening to release up to 50 tiny seeds per cone. A tree has to be about 20 years old before it starts producing cones, and the more mature trees produce more. This UC site has a lot more information about this species.

The three-pointed bracts sticking out from the scales of the pendulous cones are distinctive.

These photos are from way out of the native range of this wonderful tree, in the New York Botanical Garden. Here’s a little something I wrote about them on their native slopes.

And in a throwback to Thoreau Thursdays, here’s a fine thought-provoking review of Walls’s new biography of Thoreau.

Charismatic Megaflora

Fagus sylvatica.Quercus alba.I came across this play on “charismatic megafauna” here, which explores the fact that bigger is not necessarily oldest.


The neo-confederate Jeff Sessions is the knife at the throat of our basic liberties, and the point man for the Republican dream of a Potemkin democracy overlaying a practical autocracy.


Oh, spring, spring, you are so fast! Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans).One of the lindens (Tilia). Some galls are already planted on these. As with the leaves immediately below, these were windfalls. Pin oak (Quercus palustris).Beech (Fagus) about to blow.Mockernut hickory (Carya tomentosa) already blown.

Share the pre-existing condition of being human? Then the GOP WealthCare abomination that passed the House yesterday isn’t for you.



In Ye Olde Colonial Williamsburg, we found some curious trees.These are pollarded Sycamores. They’ve been pruned back in the canopy to promote denser branching and foliage, and to control height and reach (good for urban areas). The practice is at least two millennia old. The English brought it with them to the Virginia colony.Rather Entish in silhouette, eh?
Somewhere in here I also wrote about coppicing, another tree-management strategy. Ah, here it is!


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