Dendrology Archives

September 27, 2005

Attack of the Clones

An article over on Pruned summarizes the points made on Thomas Ogren's site about how the urban (and presumably sub-urban) landscape is increasingly a forest of cloned male trees as those planting trees are drawn to the lack of fruit and seed litter they produce, but as a side effect we are treated to clouds of allergy and asthma inducing pollen.

At one point I started to photograph flowers of suspect trees and shrubs. Rather suddenly I discovered that although it was easy to find plenty of males to shoot, female landscape plants were surprisingly rare. I found this same situation in city after city. What, I asked myself, was going on? It seemed almost as though the cities had been landscaped to cause allergies, but I knew this didn’t make sense.
Eventually I came to realize that in the name of tidiness, for the cause of low maintenance, male trees and shrubs were being planted by the millions. Since the males produced no seeds, fruits, messy flowers or old seedpods, they were considered far superior to female plants.
That these same male plants would bombard urban areas with huge amounts of pollen never seems to have been considered. But this is exactly what has happened.

Certainly it is worth thinking about if you are planting trees in your own garden. Personally I'm more attracted to the females of the species with the possible exception of ginkgo biloba. I'd only consider that if I had a large enough garden located downwind.

ginko ginkgo biloba leaves

December 10, 2005

Ginkgo Biloba in Fall

Usually around now the leaves should be on the ground, but it has been a dry Autumn so nothing has knocked them loose yet. When they do fall they form a yellow carpet on the ground. Yes, the leaves really are that yellow.

ginkgo-biloba.jpg ginko biloba tree

Ginkgo's are the sole living link between ancient plants like ferns and more modern trees like conifers. The simple leaves and the conifer-like buds are an indication of this. Leaves from modern trees match those of fossils millions of years old. The gingko tree itself has a long life too, with reports of trees up to a few thousand years old.

You can read more about ginkgo's at Cor Kwant's "Ginkgo Pages"

March 5, 2006

The rain has pretty much done away with...

the plum blossoms.

Prunus cerasifera spring plum blossom.jpg

Prunus cerasifera is one of the earliest to bloom around here usually in early or mid february. Right now though, the rains are knocking most of the flower petals off. In a sense, they are even more transitory than the well known cherry blossom.

March 8, 2006

Japanese Maple just getting started

Japanese Maples (Acer Palmatum) are well known for brilliant colored foliage. The Japanese name "momiji" is believed to be a derivation of the archaic word "momizu" which means to change color. Usually we associate the changing of color to be something which occurs in the fall, but even when the trees are just starting to leaf out we can see some intense colors - unfaded by sun or dust.

For a closer look you can click

March 15, 2006

More Japanese Maples - Acer Palmatum "Sango Kaku"

This red-barked Japanese maple has very bright colors in the spring, even before the light green leaves start to show.
This picture was taken under a full moon in a break between the rain. Those white dots are stars.
momiji red bark Japanese maple

March 20, 2006

Spring has sprung a leak

Rain is dashing all thoughts of a lunchtime walk. This is compared to the fine weather this weekend which found the local Japanese Maples in full bloom...
What? They bloom? Yes, but the flowers are small and inconspicuous compared to most flowering trees. Here is a closer look.
Acer Palmatum in bloom
The flowers are only a few millimeters across. You can click on the picture for a larger size view.

April 8, 2006

What better sign of Spring?

Sakura Prunus Yedoensis
Prunus yedoensis "Akebono"

April 13, 2006

Cherry Blossoms by the light of the Moon

It seems to be raining almost everyday. So the only time you can go outside is at night. This was taken late last night by the light of the moon and a streetlight. The cherry blossoms seem to have a deeper color in this sort of light.

December 2, 2006

It does it every December - Ginkgo Biloba Tree

Click to see larger sizes

The Ginkgo tree dates back about 270 Million years, before the age of the dinosaurs. So for 270 million Decembers the trees have been turning a buttery yellow (yes, long long before there even was butter, or December for that matter...). In a couple of weeks the leaves will all fall and make a yellow carpet on the ground, most likely in a single rainstorm.

January 21, 2007

Coral Bark Maple - Sango Kaku

Sango-kaku, coral bark maple
This is the time of year the bark on this tree is the reddest and with no leaves it shows very brightly against the sky. Of course it also has a quieter side.
Sango kaku shadow

March 16, 2010

Plum Blossoms in Winter

About Dendrology

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Project in the Dendrology category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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