Archive for February 2010

Zanthoxylum simulans

Zanthoxylum simulans photo credit: S. Keitch

When all of the deciduous trees drop their leaves in the fall we get the opportunity to admire the bareness of a landscape.  There is something very pure about observing the structure of a tree, the sprawling nature of its branches, with the overall stature contrasting against the gray sky.   In the winter, however, after a beautiful snow, we also look downwards. Silhouettes of smaller trees and shrubs become apparent against a pristine white backdrop.  Today, I was walking past the fraternity houses, admiring the spectacular Hamamelis display, when I saw the outline of Zanthoxylum simulans.  The lateral spines …

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Bald Eagle at Scott Arboretum

Bald Eagle at Scott Arboretum. photo credit: S. KeitchOn February 4th at approximately 1:30 pm a group of people huddled under the grove of trees between Kohlberg Hall and Trotter Hall with their eyes pointed skywards.  Perched atop the tallest tulip tree was an apparently mature Bald Eagle.  The Bald Eagle, our national bird, is making a comeback in several spots in the U. S.; however, seeing one in many parts of the country is uncommon.  Personally, I have seen the Bald Eagle soaring over Swarthmore or perched on the side of the road along the Blue Route near the Swarthmore exit.

Today, the Bald Eagle population is …

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Snow Load on Plants

This Pinus bungeana lost this branch because of snow load during the 28.2" snow storm on Saturday. photo credit: R. Robert

After the large snow fall we had on February 5th and 6th you have probably looked outside and have observed many of your prized plants are engulfed in snow.  In most cases the snow will fall off the plants and they will spring back to their natural and original shape.  However, there are some plants which are especially vulnerable to heavy snows.  Several pines including the lacebark pine (Pinus bungeana) and especially the Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) can have large branches snapping off at the trunk from the weight of the snow.

Most evergreen conifers, however, …

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