Posts Tagged 'trees'

Longleaf Again

Pinus palustrisI’ve written about the Longleaf Pine several times, including in this essay for Humans and Nature, but I’ve never seen a living example of the tree until recently. Alas, it’s just a stripling of 25 years or so of age at NYBG, perhaps 25 feet high.Pinus palustrisBut look at those needles!

Bigleaf Maple

Acer macrophyllumAcer macrophyllum is one big-leafed maple. Also known as Oregon Maple, these trees of the moist, shady canyons of the Coast Range can have leaves 9″ or more long. The leafstalk can be up to a foot long. Acer macrophyllumJust wow!

And, speaking of wow, check out this intersection of the great naturalist David George Haskell with his state’s loathsome plutocratic toady of a Senator in the woods.








There’s your beautiful world, NW edition. Here’s Masha Gessen, an old hand at autocracy, on surviving Trumpism, very necessary reading now.

Bronx River Dreams


Knowing the new regime is Republican is enough to know that the environment will be under assault. The air we breath, the water we drink, the soil that feeds us ~ it’s all real estate to these folks. Trump made many scattershot promises and threats, and his M.O. is blustery bullshit ~ his scriptwriter calls it a negotiation tactic ~ so it’s hard to say what he’ll do exactly. His hopeful fans will be betrayed as a matter of course, of course, on the economic side. But the scum-sucking profiteers around him are known entities.

Three-fourths of the American people didn’t vote for them, so there should be some hope in that fact. (Hmm, if only there was an organization, say, a party, that could harness the American majority for national parks, climate change preparation, and….)


Sequoiadendron giganteum Seeds of the Giant Sequoia, Sequoiadendron giganteum. Mighty oaks from little acorns grow, and the largest trees in the world from these itty-bitty little seeds.

Speaking of interesting facts, did you know that 3/4s of all  Americans DID NOT VOTE for Donald Trump? In fact, fewer of them voted for him than for the Democratic candidate.  But, you may say, he’s the President of us all. Oh, really? Like Obama was the President of the Republicans. Sorry, but a precedent is a hard thing to break. #NotMyPresident


Nyssa sylvaticaBlack Tupelo, Nyssa sylvatica, in all its autumnal glory.

The Riddle of the Trees

So the NYC Street Tree Map is now available on-line and it looks amazing. Excitedly, I went to my corner of Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Uh-oh. The trees right outside my window are Hackberries (Celtis), but they’re both mapped as Hawthorns (Crataegus). CeltisLeaves. CeltisThe really distinctive bark.

It so happened that I passed a pair of Hawthorns on the way to the subway after noting these errors. So, for comparison:CrataegusStreet-tree Crataegus. CrataegusAnd the haws of its neighbor, another of the rather varied Hawthorn genus.

But guess what? These Hawthorns were mapped as Mulberries (Morus). (Reeling.) Oy!

You know, when I saw the NYC official tree census vehicle in the neighborhood, I was struck by the fact that it had New Jersey plates. What the hell? And the corresponding pictures on the map are of winter trees, leafless — which makes for a real ID challenge in many cases.

Citizen science projects are much touted, but they generally boil down to somebody doing the grunt work of data-collecting. Having amateurs, however well-meaning, do this kind of work has its hazards. This amateur, however, has gone in and submitted corrections for these errors, but how many others are there? I found two more on the next block: two oaks are mapped as Redbuds! (Need to study further before figuring out what kind of oaks). The Ents would not be amused. I wonder how many other misidentifications there are amid the 685,781 mapped trees?


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