Category Archives: Personal stories

In which Ash meets… Ash!

In the second encounter of his birthday tour, Ash meet a particularly stout example of his namesake tree:

You can clearly see that our ash was once a much taller tree. Its ‘pollarding’ was severe, but the Ash today is flourishing and it has already established a fine new crown. I hope the wood-rotting fungi take it easy on the bole and roots so the tree can live out the FC’s optimistic prediction of another century or two, but there are dark clouds on the horizon in the form of Chalara fraxinea - the dreaded ash dieback that has run rampant across Europe.

The American elm which symbolises survival

The recent devastating tornado which tore through central Oklahoma prompted a meditation on the symbolism of Oklahoma’s Survivor Tree, written by Melinda Householder on the Loose Leaf Blog:

As the search continues for those who are missing, I’ve found myself reflecting on the city, the loss and the challenges that are being endured. And, I am reminded of The Survivor Tree.

This 80-year-old American elm witnessed one of the worst terrorist attacks in our country. Prior to the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995, this lone elm stood in the middle of a parking lot, surrounded by concrete and cars, outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. While some folks enjoyed parking under the limited shade of its limbs, others thought it was an eyesore. Not much went into caring for this tree — until it was the only thing left standing.

A perfect day among urban trees

Philly Trees:

Have you ever seen a photo of a newborn mammal? The way the light shines through the pink flesh, through the transparent eyelids and through the doughy snouts, a field of stars shining through every new finger and toe?

It shines through the new leaves in the same way.

I couldn’t take my eyes off the leaves…

On the thorns of a dilemma

The question is – are they long? or long enough? or longer than the other ones? And are the leaves first? or the blossom? Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy explains how it’s not always easy to tell the haw- from the black- when it comes to thorns.

February shelf fungi

For those of us in northern climes, winter can be a good time to look at moss, lichen, and the woodier shelf fungi. British blogger Lucy Corrander finds and photographs February fungi on old, felled and fallen wood of yew and sycamore. (If you know your U.K. polypores, stop by and help her out with the i.d.s.)

How do you unfollow a tree?

Just because she’s started following a new tree this year, Lucy at Loose and Leafy has found that she can’t abandon last year’s sycamore. She shares some new photos of the tree and its forb companions, and concludes the post with a list of links to other tree-followers. (Add your blog to the list by finding a tree of your own to follow this year.)

How to study trees right

Without necessarily casting any aspersions on forestry schools and the way they inculcate knowledge of trees and forests, I’d like to suggest that the way Rebecca has been doing it, as shared at her blog A Year With the Trees for the past two years, might be the best way to really understand our arborescent neighbors.

The 93 trees of “A Year With the Trees” have become a big part of my life. For the past two years, I sought each one of these trees, found them and sat with them. I have looked into their branches, looked closely at the veins in the leaves, at the branching, at the bark, at the land each of these trees lives in, and at the birds that live in the branches. I watched the bared branches of winter sprout new green growth in the spring. I watched the fullness of summer life that lives in the trees, and watched how summer turned into fall with the changing color. I watched as the gold, brown, red and yellow leaves fell to the ground. I have seen the branches laid bare once again awaiting new growth in the spring.

What’s next in 2012 for Rebecca’s apparently unending “year”? Click through to find out.

Giant banyan roots

An Indian-American journalist searching for her roots on the banks of the Ganges had little to go on but a couple of clues: the family name, and someone’s recollection of a giant tree in the courtyard of the correct temple. Stop by Sacred Cows for a fascinating story.

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