What’s in a name?

Is it important to be able to recognize and pin a name on at least a few of our tree companions in the space we share? I believe it is. Some persons do have the opinion that labels, such as tree species names, are not only not important, but that naming them removes some of the mystery, that it fragments “nature” into individual parts and interferes with holistic thinking when you put a tree species into a box, labeled “sugar maple” or “hemlock.”

Sad tree losses in Town of Charlotte 

Late June and early July have proven to be humdingers in decline or total loss of some prominent members of our (tree) community. The unusual springtime drought has proven difficult for newly planted trees, and in response we shut down our roadside tree planting program early to await autumn’s soil moisture recharge. Fortunately, the nine trees planted for shade at the Town Beach playground have received tender loving watering thanks to Greg Smith (Recreation Commission) and the beach attendant Emma Slater with assist from the tree warden team.

Does size matter?

The slippery or red elm standing in front of the home of Christie and Dave Garrett on Thompson’s Point Road has always impressed me mightily, and indeed, with a girth of 232 inches, it is the biggest of its kind in Charlotte.

Tree migrants

Trees and other plants lack this kind of mobility and so must remain fixed in the place where they were born, facing all the stresses that nature and humans trigger. Their offspring are able to migrate away from adverse conditions through the dispersal of their seed or their root suckering alone, and that movement is a slow one.

Henrietta and the dreaded DED

An American or white elm tree on Dorset Street in Charlotte is currently achieving a remarkable measure of fame in the media. It has been given the name Henrietta (even though elms are both male and female) by the family on whose land she grows and thrives.

Natures prescription: Tree Rx

You may need prescription strength NATURE—a walk in the forest, a hug with a tree. This is a non-harmful, yet addictive medication shown to relieve the crippling symptoms of modern life—and not just for Vermonters.

Unter der/den Linden

This tree warden essay is motivated both by the amazingly large production of seeds this fall—dropped under the linden or basswood here in Charlotte—and by a September sojourn in Europe.

Notes from the Tree Warden

Well, do you have acorns this year? We certainly do here on Bittersweet Lane in East Charlotte—mostly on red oaks. Acorns galore means lots of squirrel and chipmunk activity, and their cutting down of these tree seeds, often with a fragment of twig. This makes it almost mandatory to wear a hard hat if you venture onto our back deck.

A lament for the Old Lantern elms

On June 19 in The Charlotte News I wrote about the Dutch elm disease’s (DED) lethal assault on our nation’s wonderful American elms. I also mentioned the new disease-resistant elms now being propagated and planted in a restoration movement. In our Roadside Shade Tree Restoration Project in Charlotte, we have included some of these new promising trees, mainly the “Princeton” elm, since we have so many sites characterized by poor drainage, and elms are adapted to that. One of our prize plantings was 13 elms planted in 2007 along the west side of Greenbush Road in front of the Old Lantern.