Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

Saucer Magnolia

These buds have been getting bigger over the past couple of weeks, shedding layers in the process.

Last week I saw a handful of buds like this on each tree.

Now there are too many to count. Some buds even have little hairy leaves peeking out.

Foliage doesn't usually emerge until after full bloom, but the occasional renegade adds a refreshing bit of green to all the fuschia.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

first to bloom

The autumn cherries are in bloom. I had seen one a couple weeks ago in premature bloom, but freezing temperatures put a halt to that. Now all of the autumn cherries are blooming (safely, I hope).

The silver and red maples beat them to it, though. Both of these species have been in bloom for at least ten days.

Red maples have different male and female trees while silver maples are monoecious. These silver maple flowers have long stamens topped with pollen-releasing anthers that bees are already busy exploring.

An early bloom that particularly caught my eye was the snowdrop. I had never seen these before (maybe because I'm from Virginia). I always thought of daffodils and crocuses when it came to spring flowers, but the snowdrop is such a little delight.

There are patches of these all over Green-Wood.

Friday, March 19, 2010

March storm

On Wednesday, crews were cleaning up some of the major damage from last weekend's storm. Here, a member of the grounds crew had just cut up a Norway maple that fell.

It had toppled the marble column of a family monument.

Damage can be seen all over.

With the losses from the snow storms earlier this year, Green-Wood has taken quite a hit in 2010.

The saddest for me was seeing this willow. I turned the corner and saw the roots up in the air.

What a big loss for this little pond! Green-Wood Cemetery is accepting donations for replanting and restoring the cemetery.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

more storm damage

this time, not snow, but wind:
-a pear snapped in half-

-uprooted Norway maple-

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tulip Tree (and a sign of spring)

Today I stopped to take a look at what was left of the tulip tree fruit.

The fruit, green in the summer and brown in the fall, is a cone-like aggregate of winged seeds (samaras). The samaras fall off (from top to bottom) throughout the winter.

I noticed the buds and was looking at their curious duck-bill shape when I saw that one had popped open on the side.

I helped it along and inside I saw a perfectly shaped miniature leaf folded in half neatly along the midrib. Other buds had started to open as well.

Here's a photo of a mature leaf from last summer (this leaf is two-lobed but leaves can also have four lobes),

and a tulip tree leafed out.

The bark is deeply furrowed on mature trees.

The tulip tree is one of the tallest species in the cemetery, known to reach a height of 190 feet.

Liriodendron tulipifera is sometimes called yellow poplar although it's not related to poplars. It's actually in the Magnolia family.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sango kaku

This Japanese maple pops out of the landscape when there's snow on the ground.

Acer palmatum 'Sango kaku' is sought after for its red bark. It's also known as coralbark maple.

The leaves are green in the summer with a touch of red,

and turn yellow in the fall.