2019 is now upon us. Winter is here and looking forward, one can expect plenty of snow, ice, and bone-rattling wind chill over the next few months. Even so, getting outside every now and again is necessary. The peaceful silence relaxes and lets the mind wander, and low sun gives the earth a calming glow. The deciduous trees are now bare and displaying their true shape. I lose myself admiring their complex and powerful forms against the blue sky. When you get to know your trees, form screams identity, but every individual has its own personality. With the seemingly endless number of species on the property, there is no shortage in tree architecture.
The Little-Leaf Linden (Tillia cordata) grove on the west side of the house is just magnificent. It’s also a sight to behold when in leaf, but winter’s transparency gives us a look into the mind of the individual plant within the unit. The trees at the center reach the highest to soak up adequate sunlight, which is blocked by the trees at the edge, who put out a wall of branches to absorb as much energy as possible. The arching branches, with the newest growth reaching upward, is typical of lindens.
As I walk across the lawn, one of the first trees to catch my gaze is the Amur Cork (Phellodendron amurense). One solid trunk for the first five feet off the ground, the plant suddenly bursts into dozens of strong branches traveling in all directions. Each branch seems to slither the like a snake towards its destination, making you wonder what the journey might have been like.
The massive Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea) on the lawn off Lovers Lane humbles all. Towering into the sky, this specimen has seen people, houses, and other trees come and go. While its maturity and size are impressive, its intricate form is equally extraordinary.
If trees could talk, who knows what knowledge this Oak could share?!