A few days ago, we hard-pruned a rubber tree. While taking snapshots of the aftermath, I saw something unexpected:
Tree rings, like the one above, were visible (and nearly identical) on each of the 7 woody stems we removed at trunk level. Although dendrochronology is far more complicated than counting one year for each ring observed, note there are two circles in the picture!!! Interestingly, the last time we seriously attacked this tree was exactly two years ago. What we removed the other day had grown-in during that time, so…you be the judge!!! 😉
We have two other trees growing in the backyard at small house: Let me introduce you:
On the left is Solanum Diphyllum, aka Two Leaved Nightshade; originally from Central America and Mexico, it is considered an invasive species. Although technically a shrub, it forms an upright woody stem that tops out in a graceful 6 foot canopy. Ours is positioned in the corner of the Ranchero and throws just enough shade to protect the flowering annuals planted beneath it. I love the delicate flowers that appear randomly throughout the year, and the yellow berries that follow. Thankfully, its invasive potential has not yet been a problem.
The tree on the right is a Florida Groundsel Bush, with the scientific name “Baccharis Halimifolia.” It started growing last summer at the edge of our back patio in a newly prepped and seeded cutting garden. Currently it stands about 6 feet tall, or half of its mature height. I expect it will bloom in Fall, 2012 for the first time.
All of this talk about trees brings me to Arbor Day!
As you probably know, Arbor Day is all about starting new trees and helping older ones thrive. Over a million trees were planted on the first national Arbor Day, in April, 1872, with millions more added since!! Although the national holiday occurs on the last Friday in April, each state has its own special observance day. In Florida we celebrate it in January–this year on the 20th–when the climate is best for planting. Residents who join the Arbor Day Foundation anytime this month will receive five free crape myrtle trees. In addition many cities and counties are sponsoring tree-related festivals and events through collaborations with Garden Clubs and Agricultural Extension Offices.
Remember…One generation plants a tree…another gets the shade.
Until next time…..