Tuesday, June 1, 2010

T IS FOR...

A TREATISE ON TREES

I love Trees.  As I drive around Town I know where my favorite Trees are and watch for them.  Truth to Tell, I learned to love Trees and actually all nature, from Enid Blyton's Nature Lover's Book which I received for my Tenth birthday, when we were still living in England.  All you British folk who visit my blog will know Enid Blyton I'm sure.  

I could write a Thousand posts on TREES, so I had a hard time deciding which direction to take.  I understand that most people spend 40 seconds reading a blog.  Because of that it took me a long Time to decide what to include.

For the black and white drawings on Today's post, I must give credit to the book mentioned above, by Enid Blyton.  I was fortunate enough to find the 1947 edition on eBay and purchased it last year.

This is the first TREE I learned to recognize., which all British children learn about, early in life -- the CONKER TREE or Horse Chestnut TREE





To the uninitiated I must explain what 'conkers' are.  Inside that round, green, spiked fruit is a hard, shiny, and richly brown nut.  The nut is strung on a piece of string  with a knot at one end.  Then the game of trying to shatter your opponent's conker begins.
The Game

The Mighty Oak Tree was the back-bone of England.
Remember the saying, "From little acorns mighty oak trees grow."?
An excellent piece of wisdom!


    You may recognize the oak leaf in family and royal crests and emblazoned on badges.  The oak Tree was once part of the reason for Britain's power.  "Hearts of Oak" is the center of the wood of the Trunk and was used for making Britain's once renowned navy.

The Elm Tree
The Elm Tree once grew profusely all over England and then came the Dutch Elm disease and it was sad to drive Britain's roads and see the many Elm Trees dying.  I honestly don't know if they have recovered yet, but I'm sure someone reading this can tell me.

Since moving to Southern California I have had to learn many new trees, the most prolific of these being the Eucalyptus Tree.
They grow in thick groves and some grow to enormous heights with massive trunks.  Compare these trees to the cars on the street.  They were imported apparently in the hopes that they would grow tall and straight and could be used for railroad ties.  Didn't happen.  They crack too easily.  Two things I don't like about eucalyptus trees are:  one, they are messy and two, they are so full of oil that in our fire season, I have seen them literally explode and shoot flames over 100 feet high.

Two other Trees around here that you simply cannot miss are:



What I call the Tulip Tree.  It may have another name.
Please let me know. This one is outside the High School

These two trees bloom in the spring and both are originally from Brazil -- or perhaps South Africa.  I've spent so long on this blog I don't have the TIME to look them up.  Consider this your homework!!  After all I am a TEACHER.


Finally, this is a photo taken off my calendar for the month of May.  It is copyright by Darrell Gulin.


One lonely tree and a splendid view.  I love this photograph.


Well I think you've got more than your 40 seconds' worth but I haven't even begun to TELL about the TREES I TREASURE.



18 comments:

Wanda said...

What a "T"reasure of information on TREES.... Love what you do with a simple letter of the alphabet. But, like you said.... You are a "T"eacher!!

That last photo is fantastic.

Amy said...

Beautiful depiction of trees. I like that last shot too! It looks like California for sure!

Rosy said...

What a beautiful and wonderful post you did on trees here! Simply love it!

I love trees myself and by the way the one you called the tulip tree is the Red Coral Tree which is native to China and so very hard to find in garden centers plus expinsive on top of that as well, I learn they are really easy to grow by seed, their seeds are red in color just like the flowers. Takes roughly about a month before they start pushing up through the soil. The Red Coral tree is one of my most favorites trees here in San Diego, as well as the Loqut tree and the Orchid Tree, but then I have many other favorites besides just those three.

Never heard of the conker game, I bet many fingers were smash in that game.

Sometime way back in the 40's if I remember correctly from what I had read about the Dutch Elm disease that had killed off many Elms here in the midwestern states someplace, can't remember the name of the states and many were also being cut out to try to prevent it happening again...it was a very interesting story to read about this effecting our trees in the states here...Oh now look what you gone and done to me...I better hush it or I will turned my comment into a book cause I love to tree talk perhaps too much!! ha ha ha

Paula Scott said...

I only know those as tulips trees also (African tulip trees). I love their seed pods as they remind me of miniature canoes.
And Jacaranda-plenty of those in San Diego where I used to live and they made me miserable when they bloomed. But, they sure are pretty.

Paula Scott said...

P.S. I love that photograph too with the lone tree in the field of mustard.

claude said...

Wonderful post Chris !
We have a chesnut tree with pink flowers.
The ble tree is very beaituful.
My husband makes some furniture with oaktrees.
We have 6 birchtrees and a cherrytree and 2 palmtrees.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Very clever post! I love conker trees - at present they are full of blossom here - some cream flowers and some with pink. Sadly all our elms died of Dutch elm disease - but I agree all trees are lovely.

Abe Lincoln's Cousin said...

I have had a love affair with trees all of my life.

Jingle said...

brilliant t post...
your talents in words shine!
Cheers!

snafu said...

Brilliant post as ever. The Elm trees have not recovered sadly. An interesting aside is that all the Elm trees in the UK are believed to have all been spread by cuttings and shoots and none grown from seed, so they were all the same tree. This is why they all died, no genetic differences so no immunity.
As an afterthought, an old saying from England for predicting the weather may be appropriate.
If the Ash before the Oak, then we’ll surely get a soak, If the Oak before the Ash then we’ll only get a splash. Meaning if the Oak comes into leaf first, it will be a wet summer.

AutumnLeaves said...

Chris I loved this post, being a tree lover and hugger myself. I was quite interested to learn that the eucalyptus trees can explode when touched by high heats! Amazing. I don't think I've seen a jacaranda tree here, but I do see some purple flowering tree that I love (and want to grow myself). Oaks are my all time favorite and are the state tree here. I find them quite dirty trees too (the sap droplets and the nuts dropping onto the cars in the driveway! LOL), but nevertheless would have them no other way. I was quite tickled to read about "conkers!"

kaybee said...

Terrific tales about trees, Chris (once a teacher always a teacher - true?)!

Manang Kim said...

I love trees too. I hug them and talk to them too. I don't know but nature feels me good. For me it's the best therapy. Happy Wednesday!

ABC Wednesday~T

dragonfly said...

I love conkers as a child!! OH.. now I remember the bruised knuckles that went with the game!!

Roger Owen Green said...

Terrific Ts. BTW, my wife is a teacher, so I approve of your great eruditeness.

Joy said...

Wow exploding trees,how scary is that, and fascinating.
No the elms never recovered although there are some experiments on growing hybrid elms that would be resistant to the disease. I saw a programme about Brighton where, through continued vigilance and their geographic position, they saved all their old trees, they looked wonderful.

Ann said...

I really enjoyed your post, and I love tree.

What are the plants that is keeping your lonely tree company?

photowannabe said...

I just returned from Lake Tahoe and so enjoyed the peace of the great stands of Pines. Beautiful trees.
The Horse Chestnut is so pretty in the fall but I really dislike the "conkers" that fall and get into my neighbors pool drains. thank heavens she was able to remove them. I don't want to be paying for her pool system...