Red, White, and Blue (and Green)

The city of Berkeley has planted new street trees around our neighborhood. We’ve seen a variety in the past, from scrubby, less-than-robust-looking Chinese pistaches, liquidambars, and this-one-with-rough-bark-that’s-quite-beautiful-in-the-autumn. There’s a stout-looking eastern oak across the street from us, right next door to a lot where the former residents planted a couple maples in the curb strip. The maples are OK, but since they’re growing into the power lines, they’ve had great big aggressive V’s pruned into their crowns.

The newer trees are maples, too. A dying camphor tree was removed from the curb strip next-door about six or seven years ago, I’m guessing, and a maple took its place. Our former neighbor took great care of the young tree (meaning it got plenty of water during our six-month annual drought), and it’s taken off–it’s already getting close to 15 or 18 feet high. It’s already pushing out its leaves (and a healthy crop of seeds, too, it looks like–not sure it’s done that before).

2 Replies to “Red, White, and Blue (and Green)”

  1. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I remember my grandma telling me that maples have an extra big crop of seeds every seven years. Not sure if that’s true or not. Probably not.
    People around here have planted trees in the parkways with very little thought. I have two trees in my parkway – a sweetgum and a sycamore, both over 50 years old, and both of which are too big to be that close together. The city will remove them if there’s a good reason to. Unfortunately, the city hasn’t deemed it necessary to get rid of them. So far, they’ve just been “hat racked.” Or, I can remove them at my own expense. Ha! I’d love to cut them down and get a single not-too-tall flowering tree.
    Here’s Springfield’s current list of recommended trees if you’re interested:

  2. What your grandma said is exactly what I was wondering about — whether there’s some sort of “seed cycle.”
    One of the best features of older Midwestern towns and cities are neighorhoods whose streets are lined with stately old trees. At least until the next tornado.

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