I was out doing errands this afternoon and we had some lovely sunshine, which always adds magic to any landscape. I drove home via Hawley Road, and just liked some of the trees along the way.
The line of bare gray-brown trees on the left are Lombardy Poplar, Populus nigra. It's a European tree, but is often planted here for windbreaks. If you see a row of tall narrow trees, it might be these. Next, see the yellowish tree just beyond the poplars?
Have you ever noticed that weeping willows seem to look yellow all winter? That can be a clue about this tree. Yes, it's a willow, the black willow, Salix nigra. It's a common native willow, often growing on the edges of wetlands.
Finally, just a couple of miles farther was a lovely example of a Scotch pine, Pinus sylvestris.
Generally, Scotch pine are not on my list of favorite trees. I think they are coarse and scraggly looking when they are young. However, if they manage to survive to this size, they can be interesting. Especially on sunny afternoons. One way to help identify this species is to notice that the outer bark on the upper half of the tree peels off, revealing the reddish underbark. See how the trunk is gray at the bottom and coppery near the top? Here's the upper tree.
They also tend to have twisted branches, making the shapes interesting. The gnarly youngsters grow into real characters. This tree is unusually handsome.
I've featured Scotch pine before in Choirs of Trees
Even driving and looking at shapes of trees can give me a quality day!
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