Welcome to the new year of A Year With the Trees. I am visiting the Southern Appalachian trees this year by family. The first family is the Maple Family, Aceraceae
Since it is winter time, lets start off with the bark. I will get as up close as I can.
*This Acer negundo tree lives at the Botanical Gardens of Asheville.* Also known as the Box Elder tree. I took a photo and then cropped it in order to draw attention to the pattern in the bark. The mature bark is often described as having shallow fissures and ridges; a younger tree will have smooth bark. The color of the bark is brownish grey. One way I can identify this tree in the winter is the epicormic shoots that emerge from the trunk. These are little random shoots just sticking out here and there on the trunk. They are usually bright green.
*This Box Elder lives near the educational building at the Botanical Gardens. If you were looking at the front door, walk to end of the building to your left. This tree will be close to the side of the building.* It use to have a twin tree. However, that tree was cut down a few years ago. The Botanical Gardens manager cut it down to build up the perennial bed of native flowers. His goal was to bring some light into the garden to allow the flowers to grow. The flowers are beautiful indeed; however it is with mixed emotions that I appreciate them.
I encourage you to go into nature and enjoy the peace that surrounds you.
* January 5, 2014
Hi there, dear readers of this blog. I have some sad news to report. I went to the botanical gardens today with my daughter. We were going to taking bark photos of some of the trees and guess what I found. Sadly, I found that this tree is no longer standing. All I found was a stump, some wood shavings, a few shoots and some bark. I do not know why it had to be taken down; but it was. I will ask the garden manager soon. I am sure he had his reasons and I will let you all know. Here is a photo of the stump and some of the shoots. You will notice the beautiful red wood that is evident in the stump.
I will find out if there is another Box Elder in the Botanical Gardens to share with you all. If not, I will be looking in the city of Asheville.