Published May 20, 2016
Tags: Prospect Park, trees
One of the American Chestnuts (Castanea dentata) planted in Prospect Park a dozen years ago has succumbed to the pathogenic fungus Cryphonectria parasitica, the dreaded Chestnut Blight. This is in stark contrast to the tree right next to it, which is long with leaf now. But the death was inevitable: these were non-resistant trees. There are, however, some newly planted resistant hybrids nearby.
More about these trees.
More pictures of the spiny husks and fruits.
It’s been a month since I’ve last updated you with a picture of the local American Elm.
Published May 12, 2016
Tags: Brooklyn, trees
A return to this young, and therefore low, Tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera). Remember how tiny these were back in March?Looking very weedy, several Pawpaws (Asimina triloba) sprout in the Brooklyn Wedding Venue’s Native Flora Garden. The tree turns out to be clonal, explains the sprouts. This is a new tree for me, just barely in range here in NY and more generally found in the south and mid-west. The flowers, which start out green, turn purple! They are evidently pollinated by flies and beetles attracted to the faint odor of rotting meat (I didn’t catch anything on the nose). I wonder if these will produce the globular fruit, said to be rather tasty?These are the young leaves of a Yellow Oak, which is also known as Chestnut and Chinkapin Oak (Quercus muehlenbergii). I’m more familiar with the Chestnut Oak moniker, but it just goes to show you how common names can be confusing. There’s a big one of these off in a corner of the Garden, though the leaves still small. We’re within the range of this species, but it’s more common to the south and west.
Galls are some of the most fascinating things found on the planet. At least in my opinion. And this is one of the most spectacular. This is created by a tiny gall wasp, Callirhytis seminator, the Wool Sower Gall (-maker). But of course that is a mis-leading statement. The gall is actually created by the plant, in this case an oak, in response to irritation/agitation/chemistry of the wasp. The wasp is warping the plant’s defenses for its own uses, protecting its eggs and feeding its larvae.
These were discovered at Fort Nonsense Park, site of a Confederate earthworks to defend slavery, in Mathews Co., Virginia. But we also have them up here in Brooklyn.