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Friday, January 27, 2012

Trees Along Hawley Road

road lined with trees

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?

black willow

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.

Scotch pine

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.

Scotch pine

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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betchai said...

Gorgeous trees, I find the twisted and gnarled branches adding depth and character to the tree too.

PS.....we usually just stay in SD for weekend hikes, maybe if we go out of SD the farthest we would go is 1-2 hr drive. The manzanita lake was from 2 summers ago, it was not a recent trip.

Duxbury Ramblers said...

I love all trees - they hold so many Stories don't you wish they could tell them.

Ann said...

love all the trees.

Rick (Ratty) said...

One of the main things I miss about Michigan is the amount of trees. There aren't many trees here in most places, but a few places are full of them.

Reena said...

Love the trees in their twisted ways.

Sharkbytes said...

betchai- I think there must be a lot of incredible places near you.

Carole- they are so old- it would be awesome to hear

Ann- it was just that kind of day

Ratty- Iowa doesn't have many trees? North Dakota doesn't, but I didn't know that about Iowa.

Reena- there is a line of Scotch pines in the UP that I call the dancing trees. Some day, I'll be there again at the right time of day, on a day with the right light, and a camera... meanwhile, I have to just hold the dance in my head.