Posts Tagged 'trees'

Good Bones

A couple of red oaks.
Gates of tuliptree, or… Ents, yes, there are definitely Ent possibilities in these two.
An uncharacteristic tuliptree. Usually they are quite straight and single-boled.

Bracket Fungus

Cracked Cap Polyphore is so intimately associated with black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) that the fungus’s binomial memorializes it: Phellinus robiniae. Hard to find the tree without the fungus. Right next to this black locust is another, and it also sprouts some of these shelf-like fungal growths.

N.B.: both of these locusts are still alive.


Whoa! Make sure the five foot long branches of poison ivy coming off the vine twirled up this old pine don’t get ya!
This is one of the best examples of the vine form of Toxicodendron radicans I’ve ever seen. It’s wild and wooly and has a hell of a wingspan. It would be easy to assume that these are just sprouts from the tree, but no sir, they ain’t.

Trees in Winter

Look at this diabolical face!
The downy upper portion of the leaf scar points to Butternut (Juglans cinerea).
This one, on the other hand, baffled me. I couldn’t find it in Core and Ammons’ Woody Plants in Winter. (It is in there, though.) iNaturalist people provided the identification: this is the incredibly common Ailanthus (Ailanthus altissima) or Tree of Heaven.
These were side by side saplings, spontaneously sprouted.
A tiny spider on the Ailanthus.

Holly Month

These two tads, both at the base of the same massive beech, seem to have survived the demonic weed-whackers.
They are located about 200 feet in a straight line from this very spectacular American holly (Ilex opaca).
This damage may come from the larvae of a fly in the Phytomyza genus.
The big boy pictured above had no berries. Here’s another tree that was so loaded with them I thought it might be a European holly, but Green-Wood’s tree finder marks this one also as the native I. opaca. Which would make the leaf damage here the work of the Native Holly Leafminer P. illiciola?

All this month, the NYC EcoFlora project is documenting hollies in NYC. All the Ilex species are included. As always, they’d prefer wild or spontaneous grown specimens instead of cultivated ones, but you can add any that you see to iNaturalist. Here’s a guide to the species.

End of An Era

I’ve been blessed with a few years of red and swamp white oaks as street tree neighbors on my way to the subway. A plethora of life forms sucking, chewing, reproducing, and dying on these trees has been visible at eye-level.

Argh, but the contractors recently came through to limb all these up. Now the branches and leaves are well out of reach.

Limbing trees can make their boles stronger, but I’ll wager the impetus for this is parking. Street trees, after all, must make way for cars. Pedestrians on the sidewalks are quite capable of avoiding branches, and now they’ve lost an excellent outdoor schoolroom. One of these blocks isn’t at all residential, and the other has…a parking lot next to the row of young oaks.

Reddening Maple


And some others from a row of red maples:

Beech Nuts

The root of the word book is the same as that of the word beech.

The late poet C. D. Wright’s posthumously published Casting Deep Shade is an “amble inscribed to beeches and co.”

Appropriately, this book itself is a lovely thing. The unusual trifold cover makes it highly inappropriate for subway reading, but there are plenty of other places to read. (This reminds me that I see many less e-readers on the trains now than I did when they were first being touted. Another e-gimmick gone to dust and toxicity.) The text block within is thus bare naked, showing all the parts of the binder’s craft. The pages here become heartwood, a creamy heartwood. Only after reading the book for a while did I notice that the boards were covered on the inside with wood grain-textured paper.

Pictured: a weeping variety of Fagus sylvantica, the European beech, highly favored as an ornamental on these shores. Next to this weeper is a stand-up tall one, and the nuts and husks it has piled on the path. The foot of another below. All in Green-Wood, local kingdom of the the threatened beech.

Old Hickory

This was actually yellower to my eyes than this orange-ish reproduction via the camera, but either way it sure jumped out at me — from outside the cemetery, actually.
Carya species native here include mockernut, bitternut, pignut, and shagbark, but of course Green-Wood is an arboretum originally planted with specimen trees. I think this might be the mockernut…



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