- BASIC PREMISE + Research Links about Dying Trees
- Five Radio Interviews, Video of Fall Foliage + Contact Information
- More Links to Recent Research
- Visit the Apocalypsi Library at the End of the World
- Pillage, Plunder & Pollute, LLC - free download AND watch the movie - The Silent War on Trees
- Whispers From the Ghosting Trees - Guest Post at Greg Laden's Science Blog
Saturday, July 11, 2009
The Definitive Proof
I have been a regular visitor to this arboretum for (I'm sorry to date myself by saying), about 30 years. This land and the neighboring property were owned by two landscape architects around the turn of the (last) century, and when they died, they bequeathed these estates, Willowwood and the adjacent Bamboo Brook, to the county as parks. While they lived there, the formal gardens were installed with stone walls, walks, delightful bridges and stepped ponds, statuary and gates and trellises. Many, many exotic and indigenous trees and shrubs were planted throughout the surrounding acres. I have spent countless happy hours wandering the trails, alone, or with children and friends, often picnicking, and always taking home inspiration for my own gardens. There is such variety that from week to week from late winter to fall it was possible to continuously see new blossoms, hitherto never encountered elsewhere. I have been truly fortunate to live so close to this horticultural treasure.
When I first discovered these retreats they had been practically forgotten, and neglected. Hardly any visitors were to be seen there, and it was generally deserted. More recently, various individuals and groups have undertaken refurbishment and there are more people although, still, it is very peaceful. Americans seem to prefer amusement parks, boardwalks and movies to communing with nature. Or even worse, motorcycles and powerboats.
Here are some of the flowers from the ever-changing panoply, and remember a click on a photo will miraculously enlarge the detail:
These asclepias are wild in the surrounding meadows, and they attract butterflies.
Once, youngest daughter found several monarch chrysalides and brought them home to hatch. When they emerge they can't fly right away, so they clung to her dress.
Here are some views of this little corner of paradise.
One of the most appealing aspects of the house was its boxwood hedges, which are now severely distressed.
This beautiful stone barn is covered in ivy that was hard hit this past winter.
It is frequently frustrating to me that the vast majority of people are oblivious to the climate change occurring around them, never mind the awful consequences that will result. Significant Other, who must regularly listen to me bemoan this state of affairs, is of the opinion that very few will make the connection between climate change and tree demise as long as there is one shriveled, yellowed, pockmarked, pathetic leaf dangling limply on a branch.
In stubborn defiance of this prediction that dooms us to at least another year or perhaps two before people wake up to their unimaginable waste, over-consumption, pollution, and outrageously profligate baby-making, I decided to go to my nearest local arboretum, for irrefutable evidence.
Of course it was readily obtainable, but will anybody look, or care? Don't answer that!
What follows for the most part, are pictures of a tree from a distance, which may to the uninitiated look fine because there are still leaves attached to branches, immediately preceding a view of what those leaves actually look like, close up. But first here are two willows, the park's namesake.
One of the earliest pleasures in the season are the witchhazels, which don't have a showy bloom but do possess a wonderful light scent.
The leaves are blighted.
The bark is covered with fungus.
Another species of renown at this park are the many varieties of lilac. Every spring the Board of Trustees hosts a "Lilac Party" to raise funds. The lilacs are especially susceptible to the extremes of climate change. This lilac of the olive family is labled as a New Jersey Champion tree.
The leaves of this Persian Ironwood are completely yellowed.
This is a Wild Service Tree
Flowering Dogwood, like the lilacs, are in peril.
Another NJ Champion tree, this magnificent dawn redwood has a thinning crown. My children used to love climbing over the enormous rounded "knuckles" of its roots.
This is a Hedge Maple.
Here is a giant hickory losing its leaves.
A yellow lily, for relief!
A crepe myrtle.
A common lilac.
This is a China Fir - deciduous and coniferous trees alike are both victims of climate change.
A Chinese Elm.
A variety of crabapple.
This tree is called a Bird Cherry.
An Allegheny Plum.
These flowers are blooming next to a Scotch Laburnum bush whose leaves are yellow.
For the most part I have pictures of the Latin name if anyone is interested.
The label on this conifer was illegible, but it is an excellent example of a formerly beautifully proportioned specimen, that is now shrinking.
This is the view from the inside looking out, where the number of bare branches is clearly visible.
This is an example of oozing sap, which I have observed in deciduous trees this past year as well. I can't say for sure but it wouldn't surprise me if it isn't because it isn't cold enough for trees to go dormant in winter, and so the occasional dip into the teens freezes the running sap, which then bursts through the park and oozes out in copious amounts.
This bunny thought I was crazy.
So is this variety of species and age enough to convince any doubters that the trees are uniformly in decline with very little time left before they simply add fuel to wildfires?
Here is a story which should inspire everyone to stop using plastic unless absolutely necessary:
copy this link for a video on the topic:
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