Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tree 101

So on Friday I wrote a little post and mentioned that I wanted to research some trees that I talk about a lot ( in real life not blog life.) and admit- know NOTHING about. Well except that Aspen is what we have out at my family's country house, pine trees are what I call ALL tree's that have needle on them instead of leaves and Poplars are the ones that blow fluff in the spring.

Really, a very juvenile knowledge about them- but I love them just the same.

So I Googled it Friday afternoon and then sent my simple findings to my friend Calvin ( who is my hiking buddy- you may know him from previous pictures posted in my blog.), you see- we have a conversation during our last hike about what the different types of trees are. We fell on the realization that we were both aware of them and had simple understanding of them but never really got around to find out what the true difference were between them.

Poplar Tree
"Populus is a genus of between 25–35 species of deciduous flowering plants in the family Salicaceae, native to most of the Northern Hemisphere. English names variously applied to different species include poplar, aspen, and cottonwood. "

In Calgary we know Cottonwood Trees as the ones that produce fluff in the spring- it's the female trees (those females- always causing issues.) and make everyone all sneezy and watery eyed with allergies. I always use to call them Poplars but really that is just the tree nationality, it's like saying I'm from Canada (with is true) but really- I'm a Calgarian (a city with in the province of Alberta that helps to make up the country of Canada.).

Aspens are these fabulous trees that I am most use to seeing out west, closer to the mountains. They tend to have long trunks and a canopy of leaves at the tops. Usually their bark is whitish/ grayish with black marks and leaves that whisper in the wind.

Pine Trees aka Evergreen Trees
"The family Pinaceae (pine family), is in the order Pinales and includes many of the well-known conifers of commercial importance such as cedars, firs, hemlocks, larches, pines and spruces... They are trees (rarely shrubs) growing from 2 to 100 m tall, mostly evergreen with subopposite or whorled branches, and spirally arranged, linear (needle-like) leaves. The female cones are large and usually woody, 2-60 cm long, with numerous spirally-arranged scales, and two winged seeds on each scale. The male cones are small, 0.5-6 cm long, and fall soon after pollination; pollen dispersal is by wind. Seed dispersal is mostly by wind, but some species have large seeds with reduced wings, and are dispersed by birds"

My simple understanding of Evergreen Trees is all trees with needles as leaves are pine trees. I've never paid much attention to any of the sub species though I love them all equally, enjoying their fragrance and making Christmas Crafts with the pine cones. We don't have Cedar tree's in Alberta because our climate is dry and so I see most of them when I travel out west to BC. We typically get Spruce, Firs and Pine.

Here is a link from the Canadian Forest Service that explains the difference between the three.

So that's my story about tree's. I started this post yesterday but got distracted... like I usually do when I try and research trees. I love looking at them, playing under them and enjoying them in my world however the horticultural part of it- I get a little lost. I think it's all the Latin names that mix me up.

*ps: If you don't already own a copy of the book The Giving Tree- buy it*


Anonymous said...

Cool! You know what tree I've always loved? The gingko, it's so cool.

Tracy-Girl said...

I love that book "The Giving Tree" it is one of those books from my childhood that I love!

amourissima said...

oh my goodness- this is SUCH a dorky post but I had to finish it! Thanks for the comments :)

Yaya: Gingko tree- I've never seen it before! Neat!!

Tracy-Girl: My grandpa gave me The Giving Tree for my birthday one year- it's one of my favorites as well

Calvin said...



p.s. what are you talking about? I have a profound understanding of trees. They fall into the category of: Living Things Often Taller Than Me That Are Unlikely To Eat Me.

amourissima said...

You're a living thing that is taller then me, does that make YOU are tree??

Calvin said...

That depends--how likely do you think I am to eat you?


Rolley said...

aww i love trees too.. I usually feel rather alone with my tree loving thoughts though, I've never met anyone that likes them like I do. I love the colour, the smells, flowers, bark, .. there's so much to love about trees. I like to draw them too, its the only thing I can hand draw fairly well.

I liked your post anyway! It was good cuz I wanted a sequel to the other post hehe. Did you hear about the pine trees they found near Sydney a decade or so ago? Some bush walker stumbled upon a strange group of pines in a remote gorge, turns out they were the only ones left of a tree that lived millions of years ago, full on, thought to be totally extinct but still living in a tiny group.

Anyway, over the years they cultivated them in the hope to bring the species back, I actually bought two when they started selling, but couldn't keep them alive up here in the tropics. Beautiful trees, so prehistoric looking! go LOOK! How touching, that a tiny group of the lovelies could still live on for so long, while the world around them changed endlessly.