Holm Oak (Quercus Ilex)

Holm Oak (Quercus Ilex)
Holm Oak (Quercus Ilex)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Magnolia grandiflora (Southern Magnolia)

Magnolia grandiflora (Southern Magnolia)

This a gigantic evergreen in mature form, starts to bloom around May in Roanoke. The tree then blooms on and off almost all summer. It is one of the most beautiful, but messiest trees because of large falling leaves, dropped decaying petals, and the cone-like fruit.  

There are many smaller cultivars of this species.  The dwarf "Little Gem" is one; growing moderately  to 20 to 25 ft. tall, and 10 to 15 ft. wide.

Emerging Bug; Leaf to left shows winter damage

Opening flower; petals emerge in groups of three
Closeup of  emerging anthers; pistils below

Flowers emerge at tips of branches in random order

Magnificent specimen; compare to size of car and garage; not an optical illusion

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Pomegranates in the built landscape

Pomegranate (Punica granatum) along border wall in the garden at Hotel Casa Tra Noi, Roma  - Summer, 2015.  They are trimmed to retain open framework and short stature.  Lovely against the evergreen vine.  Pomegranates are ancient symbols of death and rebirth (the Tale of Persephone, death and resurrection, and fertility.)

File:Persephone and the Pomegranate 2009.jpgModern Persephone (By Charles Moffat (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Holm Oak Trees: Bosco Sacro Di Monteluco nr. Spoleto, Italy

A grove of Holm oaks (Quercus Ilex) revered as sacred from Roman times.  Francis of Assisi and his companions often sought solitude, meditated and prayed here.  The area below this grove of trees is part of a city park with room for sunbathers, ball fields and a snack bar.

These photos are manipulated because the contrast between the dark evergreen leaves of the oaks contrasted so greatly with the mid-day sun streaming through the forest canopy upon the forest floor.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Poor Guardianship: Forgetting to take down strands of decorative lights

Forgetting to take down or deliberately leaving strands of decorative lights in place leads to slow lingering death by girdling of ornamental trees.  Tree is Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) in the parking lot of upscale mini-mall, Roanoke, VA

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Busy November

Veterans Day parades and programs, hosting my literary group, moderating a book club...leaves me posting a link from another #Tree Tuesday participant...I hope that my readers enjoy it as much as I did.

"Into the Color" by fine art landscape photographer, Jeff Mitchum

On the road to Hana, Maui, Hawaii, there is an amazing stand of Rainbow Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Deglupta), entertaining with dazzling displays of color. Also known as Rainbow Gum, these amazing trees give a distinctive design separate from the natural world landscapes. As the underlying darker green bark sheds, reds and yellows reveal themselves.

My decision was to focus primarily on the macro parts of the tree. My desire was to bring alive through some macro work the delicate textures of these trees and flood the view finder with potent colors -- giving the viewer a sensory experience of liquid color.
The fresh falling rain deepened the already vibrant colors, and I began my journey. A series of images that I would later decide could be both individual images and/or a format of eight 10 x 10’s bringing to life a panoramic piece. 

An easy piece to name, hope you enjoy "Into The Color."   Also found at Into the Color on G+

Into the Color
A series of photos of rainbow eucalyptus / rainbow gum bark (Eucalyptus Degluptaby  Jeff Mitchum

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Weekend in Charlottesville, VA

Autumn Hike in Charlottesville - 2014

Courtesy:  Catherine Bramlage Zimmerman

I just returned from a weekend in Charlottesville, VA.  Just slightly further north than Roanoke, VA, but the leaf colors are ahead of Roanoke and much more spectacular.  I had a camera malfunction so didn't get a chance at photos, but here is a link to all kinds of places and drives to view Autumn foliage in Virginia as well as a foliage map. Here is also a link to Dept. of Tourism video showing trees off the Blueridge Parkway as well as central Virginia cities.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Another Magnificent Ginkgo Tree (Ginkgo biloba) in Aston, PA

#Tree Tuesday

One of my favorite successful and beautiful urban trees is the ancient ginkgo tree. This particular ginkgo is located on the grounds of the Franciscan Sisters of Philadelphia in Aston, PA and is located near the entrance to the old convent that fronts on Convent Road. This tree can be seen by the road.  It is also a great example of proper planting and maintenance practices.

 Notice that the depth at which this tree is planted is correct and most importantly part of the root flare is correctly left uncovered by soil. Mulch is thinly applied and kept off the root flare and lower portions of the tree. Also, adequate space on either side of the tree is left unplanted and is lightly mulched to provide a "root run."

The canopy of this ginkgo is kept free of dead branches and twigs, and small secondary limbs removed to create a healthy canopy open to light and air movement.

Proper depth of the root flare is important because it is the transition point between roots and trunk.  When it is buried underground it stays moist from the soil and too much mulch and doesn't absorb enough oxygen and throw off carbon dioxide as bark is designed to do.  Soil covering the flare and piled too high on the trunk often hides circling and girdling roots that choke a growing tree - water and nutrients move back and forth throughout a tree in the outer trunk cells that are protected by the bark - and dramatically slow growth.