Posts Tagged 'trees'


Beech and Sassafras running the gamut.A nice-sized Sassafras albidum. They run smaller in the city, where they’re often much newer plantings.And somewhere in the middle zone, Prunus avium, bird or sweet cherry.

Beeching Out

All the same Fagus.Galls, burls, one and the same?

Did they dig out or dig in?


A Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica)A line of sapsucker holes. About 3/4″ deep, through the bark.These holes are chiseled out by, in our parts, the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius), who drinks the sugary sap and snaps up any insects also attracted to the sweet stuff.

A Tree for Tuesday

I was circling around St. Michael’s tower in search of the Kestrels that have been frequenting the raptor anvil, as I like to call it, atop the cross up there. These local falcons will be a subject of a future week’s worth of posts. Yes, they have been active!

This excursion gave me an opportunity to revisit an old friend: a gigantic American Elm growing in a Sunset Park front yard. Actually, it pretty much is the front yard of the small row house it dominates. In the picture above, I’m standing next to the fence that pretends to contain this magnificent specimen, and aiming the camera up along the trunks, which look they’re engaged in conversation.

Which, of course, they are.

Ominously, next door is a construction site, and they’re excavating, which means this giant’s roots have probably been compromised.

Sap Fall

A great frozen waterfall of beech sap stalactiting from a massive specimen. The hang here is two plus feet!Gorgeous, but a sign of distress for the tree.


Sap wells drilled by… a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, presumably. The birds will lap up the sap and any insects attracted to the slightly sweet liquid. Other birds may gather at such wells to eat the insects that are also attracted to the sap.

This insect gathering is, of course, mostly a non-winter habit.

This winter, there are damn few other birds in Green-Wood. I haven’t seen/heard a Chickadee or Nuthatch (the latter has been reported by others). On Saturday, when I was in there for four hours, I didn’t even come across any Juncos, although I have seen them this season. It’s Blue Jays, Blue Jays, Blue Jays, with the occasional woodpecker and raptor. Even Cardinals are in short supply.

The Fields of Sweetgum

Just a part of one of the large spreads of fallen Sweetgum balls I’ve ever come across recently.
Not pictured here are the Dark-eyed Juncos that were taking advantage of the windfall. The tiny Liquidambar styraciflua seeds are a big source of winter food for birds.


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