Holm Oak (Quercus Ilex)

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

Monday, August 25, 2014

Franklinia (Franklinia alatamaha) a southern American native that's hard to find


 The Franklin tree blooms in the Philadelphia area at the end of July into August.  The yellow mass in the center of the flower consists of numerous stamens (male parts).

 Fertilized flowers, but undeveloped fruit, appear in the top of the photo.
The pistil, female portion, is the stick-like portion protruding from the developing fruit.
 Fully developed, but immature, fruit appear in the center of the photo.

The Franklin tree remains small and open or scraggly in stature.  Its mature height is 10-to 20 feet. 

Franklinia (Franklinia alatamaha), the Franklin tree named for Benjamin Franklin, is a native of the southeastern U.S.  Originally found near the Altamaha River valley in Georgia, by John Bartram and his son William, it is now considered extinct in the wild and only known from cultivated trees.  This small tree is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 8.  This photographed tree is a youngster and grows in a slightly shaded spot near a college campus in suburban Philadelphia.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Short List of Tree Huggers Favorite Books

Here are some of my favorite #books about trees. Some are very sophisticated; some simple. Some contain a lot of great pictures (almost like a picture book for adults); others feature line drawings. Some are very expensive; some not so much.
I do guarantee that I either own a book on this list or that I’ve borrowed it from my local library or inter-library loan because it’s beyond my budget. I’d like to hear back from you after you’d had a chance to look over this list. Tell me what you liked about the list or how I can make it better. Let me if you feel inspired to examine any of these books.
I’ll be doing one for children at a later date.

  • Maples for Gardens: A Color Encyclopedia. Hardcover – August 1, 1999. C.J. van Gelderen (Author), D.M. van Gelderen (Author). Timber Press, Incorporated. ISBN-10: 0881924725; ISBN-13: 978-0881924725.
  • Trees of New Zealand: Stories of Beauty and Character. Hardcover – January 1, 2011. Peter Janssen  (Author).  Hodder Moa. ISBN-10: 1869712196; ISBN-13: 978-1869712198.
  • Pirone's Tree Maintenance. Hardcover – April 6, 2000. John R. Hartman (Author), Thomas P. Pirone (Author), Mary Ann Sall (Author). ISBN-13: 978-0195119916; ISBN-10: 0195119916. Edition: 7th
  • Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast. Paperback – April 12, 2011. Michael Wojtech  (Author), Tom Wessels (Contributor).  UPNE. ISBN-10: 1584658525; ISBN-13: 978-1584658528.
  • Drawing and Painting Trees (Dover Art Instruction) Paperback – September 25, 2008.  Adrian Hill (Author).  Dover Publications. ISBN-10: 0486468453; ISBN-13: 978-0486468457.
  • Dirr's Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs Hardcover – October 18, 2011. Michael A. Dirr (Author). Timber Press. ISBN-10: 0881929018; ISBN-13: 978-0881929010.
  • The Plant Hunters: True Stories of Their Daring Adventures to the Far Corners of the Earth. Hardcover – April 10, 2012. Anita Silvey  (Author).  Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). ISBN-10: 0374309086; ISBN-13: 978-0374309084.  (for adults as well as middle-school students)

  • Hydrangeas for American Gardens. Hardcover – Illustrated, June 15, 2004. Michael A. Dirr  (Author).  Timber Press. ISBN-10: 0881926418; ISBN-13: 978-0881926415. Edition: 1st.
  • A Reunion of Trees: Exotic Plants and Their Introduction into North American and European Landscapes.  Hardcover – December 1, 1990.  Stephen Spongberg (Author), Sam Bass Warner Jr. (Contributor).Harvard University Press. ISBN-10: 0674766938;  ISBN-13: 978-0674766938. Edition: 1st. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Slow Death of a Fine Tree

Tree Tuesday

You are in so much of a hurry with so many things to do that you unknowingly sacrifice the life of a fine ornamental tree by leaving fairy lights in place in-between seasons. 

The result of leaving any kind of band around a tree in-perpetuity is slow death by strangling.  Tree people term this "girdling" and the villain slowly works its way through bark - composed of cork cambium, phloem (food conduction tubes), cambium (cells for lateral growth) and sometimes going into the xylem  (water conduction tubes).  Eventually the part of the tree above the girdle dies.  Eventually the whole tree dies.