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Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Shapes of Trees
How often do we think about the shapes of trees? Whole trees? Big trees? Many trees can be identified just by their shapes. One of the really interesting things about the place I hiked yesterday (Orchard Beach State Park), is that 80 to 100 years ago it was very open. The reason I know this is that scattered throughout the current forest are trees like this particular one.
Trees that grow up in the open look very different from those that are crowded in a woods. Their branches have room to spread out, and they do just that. The one pictured above is a sugar maple. The one below is a red oak.
There are still some nice open areas toward the back of this set of trail loops. I've seen a fox there. It's a nice place because it's just some open grassy hills sort of hidden by a surrounding ring of trees. It's not totally absent of man-made noises, but it's not bad.
This is another large maple near the edge of one of the open spaces. I didn't go over to see what kind it is, but my guess is sugar maple or Norway maple. I just liked the symmetrical shape of its silhouette.
Finally, this is one of the reasons I love to go to this trail. This tree, with a distinctive shape is a tulip tree, Liriodendron tulipifera. However, you seldom see one growing out in the open like this so that you can see its silhouette.
I have more to show you about this tree, but we are having thunderstorms, and I have to get off the computer, so it will have to wait till tomorrow!