Neighborhood Tree Walk

Looking at an Eastern Red Cedar

Sometimes by sidewalk, sometimes in the street

Lovely River Birch on Robin

Saturday afternoon (9/15/2018), fourteen people gathered for an hour to enjoy trees and learn more about the kinds we have in Sligo Woods.  We walked about a mile through the neighborhood, sharing questions and insights:

  • learning the look of the many Silver Maples planted when houses in our area were first built–quickly grown in their first 50 years but often succumbing to breakage in storms, now dying or already removed
  • admiring a graceful River Birch in a Robin Road front yard,
  • noting the abundance of Red Maples, planted or volunteers, and the occasional planted Sugar Maple
  • seeing the Porcelainberry vine, with the multi-colored clusters of pearlescent berries that has made it so popular with nursery sellers, readily overtaking trees both young and mature
  • walking past a surprising number of streetside Basswood trees on Kerwin, east of Proctor
  • experiencing the high, narrow-leaved, light-pierced branches of four huge Willow Oaks in a line along Gilmoure, just south of Kerwin, noting the un-oakish look of their narrow, linear leaves
  • searching for “regular” oaks and finding on Justin Way’s single block–surprise!–three kinds of now-large oaks–Pin Oak, Red Oak, and Southern Red Oak (and, thanks to Dom Quattrocchi, learned that oaks’ distinctive feature of clustered buds at the ends of twigs is shared with cherries, and that we saw in some of our oaks the likely signs of Bacterial Leaf Scorch); Pin Oaks appear to be the most common of the oaks in our neighborhood, from what we saw
  • observing the older Flowering Dogwoods remaining in various front yards, but way outnumbered by the more recently popular Crape Myrtles–a multi-stemmed shrub that’s colorfully in flower right now, and so often with remarkable bark
  • wondering about why there aren’t any Sycamores anywhere in the neighborhood
  • talking a bit about the great disparity in how many insect/animal species are supported by various kinds of trees, with Oaks the hands-down winner.

Thanks to Robin Road’s Dave Ottalini for photos.

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