April 8, 2014

steepravine:

Late Night Special: Old Douglas Fir Woodpeckers Covered With Acorns

Acorn woodpeckers spend their time collecting acorns, drilling holes in firs, and then popping the acorns in the holes for safe keeping. This is the most extreme example I’ve seen to date, with hundreds of holes on every surface, including the underside of the limbs!

(Mount Tamalpais, California - 4/2014)

I suspect these little miscreants would be a nightmare for our arborists and groundskeepers. Aside from trees, they’ve been known to create acorn “granaries” in just about anything they can punch holes in—buildings, fenceposts, etc. Lucky for us they’re westerners through and through. —MN

(via thebarkblog)

April 2, 2014

steepravine:

California Coastal Forest Perfection

(Salt Point, California - 3/2014)

Explore more. It’s as much fun now as it was when you were a kid, but sometimes you need a refresher course. —MN

(via mycology)

March 27, 2014
pbsthisdayinhistory:

March 27, 1912: The First Japanese Cherry Blossom Trees Are Planted in the U.S.On this day in 1912, the first two Japanese cherry blossom trees were successfully planted by First Lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Chinda on the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. Japanese Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gave the U.S. over 3,000 trees to demonstrate the growing relationship between the U.S. and Japan.Every spring, Washington D.C. commemorates the initial planting through the National Cherry Blossom Festival. This year, the peak bloom is forecast for April 8-12.
As you wait for this year’s blooming period, treat yourself to this delicious spring recipe, a Raspberry, Pistachio, and Vanilla Semifreddo from PBS Food.Image: Cherry blossoms in Washington D.C. 2013

So close and yet so far. The longer I stare at this mesmerizing GIF, the harder it is to swallow that the cherry bloom is at least a couple of weeks away in our area—and more if winter doesn’t relinquish its hold on the weather. But, all good things come to those etc., etc. —MN

pbsthisdayinhistory:

March 27, 1912: The First Japanese Cherry Blossom Trees Are Planted in the U.S.

On this day in 1912, the first two Japanese cherry blossom trees were successfully planted by First Lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Chinda on the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. Japanese Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gave the U.S. over 3,000 trees to demonstrate the growing relationship between the U.S. and Japan.

Every spring, Washington D.C. commemorates the initial planting through the National Cherry Blossom Festival. This year, the peak bloom is forecast for April 8-12.

As you wait for this year’s blooming period, treat yourself to this delicious spring recipe, a Raspberry, Pistachio, and Vanilla Semifreddo from PBS Food.

Image: Cherry blossoms in Washington D.C. 2013

So close and yet so far. The longer I stare at this mesmerizing GIF, the harder it is to swallow that the cherry bloom is at least a couple of weeks away in our area—and more if winter doesn’t relinquish its hold on the weather. But, all good things come to those etc., etc. —MN

(via fastcompany)

March 9, 2014
Torn between naming this one “Quit It, Jerks!” or “Lay Off, Dinguses!”
There’s been an uptick in poaching incidents in California’s forests, but the targets aren’t endangered animals. Instead, the trees themselves are the victims. Poachers have taken to cutting burls from the state’s famed redwood trees to be resold on market for exorbitant prices, owing to the fact that the material has become exceedingly scarce.
Is the carpentry blackmarket awash in evil Ron Swansons? Click through for the story from the New York Times. — MN

Torn between naming this one “Quit It, Jerks!” or “Lay Off, Dinguses!”

There’s been an uptick in poaching incidents in California’s forests, but the targets aren’t endangered animals. Instead, the trees themselves are the victims. Poachers have taken to cutting burls from the state’s famed redwood trees to be resold on market for exorbitant prices, owing to the fact that the material has become exceedingly scarce.

Is the carpentry blackmarket awash in evil Ron Swansons? Click through for the story from the New York Times.MN

January 30, 2014
ichthyologist:

Fish Poison Tree (Barringtonia asiatica)
The fish poison tree is native to tropical mangrove habitats across the Indian Ocean and western Pacific Ocean. As its name suggests, all parts of the tree are poisonous. In some cultures, the seeds of the tree are ground up and used to incapacitate or kill fish for easy capture
 The active poisons, including saponins, are soluble and form a foamy sud when agitated in water. The fish take in the poison directly into their blood stream via the gills, which acts of the respiratory organs of the fish. This does not affect their edibility. The fish float to the surface where they are easily collected by fishermen.  © via Flickr

Today in amazing but true tales of the world’s trees, Barringtonia asiatica. It also has medicinal uses including stopping postpartum bleeding, healing skin irritation, and can calm an upset stomach. But, as the description above notes, all parts of the tree are poisonous, so preparation is best left to the professionals. ~AR

ichthyologist:

Fish Poison Tree (Barringtonia asiatica)

The fish poison tree is native to tropical mangrove habitats across the Indian Ocean and western Pacific Ocean. As its name suggests, all parts of the tree are poisonous. In some cultures, the seeds of the tree are ground up and used to incapacitate or kill fish for easy capture

 The active poisons, including saponins, are soluble and form a foamy sud when agitated in water. The fish take in the poison directly into their blood stream via the gills, which acts of the respiratory organs of the fish. This does not affect their edibility. The fish float to the surface where they are easily collected by fishermen.  © via Flickr

Today in amazing but true tales of the world’s trees, Barringtonia asiatica.
It also has medicinal uses including stopping postpartum bleeding, healing skin irritation, and can calm an upset stomach. But, as the description above notes, all parts of the tree are poisonous, so preparation is best left to the professionals. ~AR

January 29, 2014

laughingsquid:

How Trees Survive in the Cold Weather of Winter

Ever wondered how trees survive winter? Through a couple of really neat adaptations. And one of them is tasty. Mmmm … pancakes. ~AR

(via utnereader)

January 27, 2014
fieldmuseumphotoarchives:

Scar on a tree branch from Mistletoe. The sticky seeds of Mistletoe, left by birds, germinate on branches of trees. The seedlings send out holdfast roots in to the bark of the host tree, establishing a partial parasitic relationship (obtains some nourishment from its host but also photosynthesizes). Malformations of the branch of the host tree may result in ribbed or flower like scars.
© The Field Museum, B79890.
Piece of a tree branch with scarring from a Mistletoe plant growing on it.
8x10 negative
1941 

Sometimes I feel like the Field Museum archivists are trolling us by posting all these amazing botanical, archival photographs. It’s like they know we’re watching them! If it’s true, it would be the most welcome trolling I’ve ever been on the receiving end of!
Oh, and this photograph is pretty great. Mistletoe has a bad rap though. Since mistletoe can lead to the death of its host organism, it has long been stigmatized as a bad plant to have around. But a recent study has actually indicated that mistletoe is in fact a “keystone” species, meaning that it is vital to the existence of many creatures within its habitat. ~AR

fieldmuseumphotoarchives:

Scar on a tree branch from Mistletoe. The sticky seeds of Mistletoe, left by birds, germinate on branches of trees. The seedlings send out holdfast roots in to the bark of the host tree, establishing a partial parasitic relationship (obtains some nourishment from its host but also photosynthesizes). Malformations of the branch of the host tree may result in ribbed or flower like scars.

© The Field Museum, B79890.

Piece of a tree branch with scarring from a Mistletoe plant growing on it.

8x10 negative

1941 

Sometimes I feel like the Field Museum archivists are trolling us by posting all these amazing botanical, archival photographs. It’s like they know we’re watching them! If it’s true, it would be the most welcome trolling I’ve ever been on the receiving end of!

Oh, and this photograph is pretty great. Mistletoe has a bad rap though. Since mistletoe can lead to the death of its host organism, it has long been stigmatized as a bad plant to have around. But a recent study has actually indicated that mistletoe is in fact a “keystone” species, meaning that it is vital to the existence of many creatures within its habitat. ~AR

January 20, 2014
Big trees absorb more carbon than many little trees, and they are fast disappearing. It’s time to work harder at conserving the planet’s big trees, to protect them from logging, invasive species, devastating storms, catastrophic fires, and encroaching development. It’s one of the reasons forests require management, a term that many people find odd. Trees are the planet’s lungs. ~AR

(via Save the Big Trees! | Science | Smithsonian)

Big trees absorb more carbon than many little trees, and they are fast disappearing. It’s time to work harder at conserving the planet’s big trees, to protect them from logging, invasive species, devastating storms, catastrophic fires, and encroaching development. It’s one of the reasons forests require management, a term that many people find odd. Trees are the planet’s lungs. ~AR

(via Save the Big Trees! | Science | Smithsonian)

January 16, 2014
Happy birthday trees! No, no, I haven’t lost my mind, apparently today is Tu Bishvat, a minor Jewish holiday that celebrates our tall and stately friends. In Israel the day is celebrated much like Arbor Day is in the United States. For many, the day is marked by eating the fruit of trees, especially those mentioned in the Torah, including grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates. In Israel, the day marks the earliest point at which trees being to flower and leaf out, making it the “new year” for trees. Either way, it’s a lovely sounding holiday, and an opportunity to thank the lungs of our city. Happy birthday trees! ~AR

Happy birthday trees! No, no, I haven’t lost my mind, apparently today is Tu Bishvat, a minor Jewish holiday that celebrates our tall and stately friends. In Israel the day is celebrated much like Arbor Day is in the United States. For many, the day is marked by eating the fruit of trees, especially those mentioned in the Torah, including grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates. In Israel, the day marks the earliest point at which trees being to flower and leaf out, making it the “new year” for trees. Either way, it’s a lovely sounding holiday, and an opportunity to thank the lungs of our city. Happy birthday trees! ~AR

January 13, 2014
It may seem hard to believe, but there is a possible upside to our recent deep freeze: subzero temperatures might be enough to kill off some of the area’s nastiest insects, ones that attack both plants and humans. Insects in the cross-hairs include hemlock wooly adelgids, southern pine beetles, emerald ash borers, and my personal nemesis, ticks. Personally, I’m hoping for a few more cold snaps if that’s the case! ~AR
(via Celebrating Deep Freeze, Insect Experts See a Chance to Kill Off Invasive Species - NYTimes.com)

It may seem hard to believe, but there is a possible upside to our recent deep freeze: subzero temperatures might be enough to kill off some of the area’s nastiest insects, ones that attack both plants and humans. Insects in the cross-hairs include hemlock wooly adelgids, southern pine beetles, emerald ash borers, and my personal nemesis, ticks. Personally, I’m hoping for a few more cold snaps if that’s the case! ~AR

(via Celebrating Deep Freeze, Insect Experts See a Chance to Kill Off Invasive Species - NYTimes.com)

December 15, 2013

awkwardsituationist:

photos (click pic) by: 1. justin schmauser; 2. torsten silz; 3. zoomboy1; 4. justin schmauser; 5. anymotion; 6. jim bolden sr.; 7.  jaqueline d’ella; 8. zoomboy1: 9. justin schmauser 10. mohammed el gammal

Chlorophyl decay is the process that leads to fall foliage, and these photographs couldn’t be a more gorgeous primer on the topic. ~AR

December 8, 2013

candidscience:

DECOMPOSITION & DECAY *

In our modern-day human culture, decomposition and decay have often come to be viewed quite negatively, with the former mainly associated with things that are rotten, have a bad smell and are generally symptomatic of death, while the latter is similarly viewed as very undesirable, whether it be in terms of urban decay, or, on a much more personal level, tooth decay. However, they are vital processes in nature, playing an essential role in the breakdown of organic matter, recycling it and making it available again for new organisms to utilise.

IMAGE SOURCES: 1, 2, 3, 4

This is one reason we allow downed trees to remain in situ within the Thain Family Forest, and it is the basis of compost. Plants would be nothing without decay! ~AR

December 6, 2013
klnwhooha:

I’ve struck autumnal gold at the NYBG! :D 

Nature’s first green is gold,  Her hardest hue to hold.  Her early leafs a flower;  But only so an hour.  Then leaf subsides to leaf.  So Eden sank to grief,  So dawn goes down to day.  Nothing gold can stay.
~ Robert Frost - Nothing Gold Can Stay

klnwhooha:

I’ve struck autumnal gold at the NYBG! :D 

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

~ Robert Frost - Nothing Gold Can Stay

December 5, 2013

What’s beautiful now? The end of leaves.

The leaves are mostly off the trees these days, which means they’re gathering on the grass, amongst the trees, or in the Bronx River. The absence of leaves gives the opportunity to enjoy the architecture of the Garden; to marvel at enormous trees and tiny seed pods. Increased leaf litter makes it easier to spot the birds and animals that make their homes in the Garden.

So, when you visit, yes, you do have to visit the Holiday Train Show, but also be sure to take a turn through the Forest and a stroll through the Ornamental Conifers. Look carefully, listen closely, and see our grounds with new eyes!

For a look at what’s going on today at the Garden, follow us on Instagram and Twitter where we post updates from our staff and visitors. Need help getting around? Our iPhone app can help out there. It’s free and available in the App Store. ~AR

Photos by NYBG photographer Ivo M. Vermeulen.

December 5, 2013

bobbycaputo:

Photography by Gerco de Ruijter

Winter is coming… Which is okay! ‘Cause it’s a beautiful time for trees. —MN

(via squirrelonsquirrel)

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