Not just a 7th species . . . 7 more!

Last week, I asked for one more tree–a 7th suggestion–to add to my list of 6 species and received 7 more suggestions, more than doubling the list.

If you want to cut to the chase and see the full list of the 13 suggested tree species, check out The List. If you want to read the full story of who suggested what and why, read on . . .

A Pawpaw?

Writer Al C. suggested the Pawpaw tree, commenting after my last blog posting: “Have you considered a Pawpaw tree? They are native to Michigan. They have large (think: apple) fruit. The fruit tastes like banana and custard.” Al’s apparently on to something here. The Michigan Farmer website has a post entitled “The Possibility of the Pawpaw,” which states: “Although it’s been called the ‘Michigan banana,’ the pawpaw is actually related to the tropical custard-apple family and is the only temperate member of this tropical family of trees.”

The fruit of the Pawpaw tree (Photo by Tyrone Turner of WAMU 88.5, Washington’s NPR station owned by the American University.)

An Oak?

Writer Gerry F. suggested an Oak, explaining, “According to the Woodland Trust in the UK, ‘A single 400-year-old ancient Oak produces 234,000 liters of oxygen a year and may support more than 2,000 species of bird, insect, fungus, and lichen.'” 

The oak that stretches from the far side of neighbor Suzanne C.’s backyard over toward ours. At night, stars occasionally alight on its branches while it anchors the earth to the night sky.

A Redbud?

Fellow Troy-Community-Choir Member, Lisa E. suggested her favorite, the Redbud tree, adding “They put on the most beautiful show in the spring, very short, but well worth it!”

An Eastern Redbud (Photo by Marie C. Fields)

Writer Susan H-B. came back with a second suggestion, also recommending a Redbud, explaining, “. . . Less political, maybe, [than my Ohio Buckeye suggestion] but actually dearer to my heart. When I was growing up, we had a lovely redbud tree in Bellefountaine, one of the several towns we lived in. . . . We lived there during the happy middle of my elementary years. . . .I remember one afternoon walking along a ladder on the ground under the tree, singing ‘I’ve Been Working on the Railroad’ over and over.”

An Elm?

Writer Rhonda H. asked if she could make a second suggestion, putting forth the Elm, writing, “Today it hit me that I needed to speak up for the elm! I was thinking about the seeds/seedlings from that majestic one on Hazel St. It must be disease resistant to have survived Dutch elm disease. I don’t know if disease-resistant elm saplings are available or if it would require starting one from one of her seeds. (which I realize would take way too long), but I felt compelled to add elm to the list!”

Rhonda’s Hazel St. Elm in Birmingham, MI during construction (October 29, 2017)

Rhonda had given me the Hazel St. address from her route in Birmingham, MI in October of 2017, and I shot a few photos. She knew our neighborhood was dealing with a great loss of a number of large trees due to construction and was worried that the construction on Hazel St. would kill that grand elm. But, she drove by it Thursday and reported, “She’s still there, holding her own . . . so far.”

A Japanese Maple?

Daughter Caitlin B., who thinks I’ve become a “crazy tree lady,” nonetheless contributed her suggestion of a Japanese maple. We planted one at our house in Ferndale, MI, where we lived until she was 12.

One cool sunny Saturday morning, before she was born, I rode out with a friend of my husband’s who had a truck to a tree nursery to pick it out. My husband and Jimmy R. planted it right in the middle of and very close to the front of our house. A good place for what was supposed to be a “dwarf” variety of Japanese maple, but it quickly grew up toward and between Caitlin and her sister Meagan’s bedroom windows. It is still growing where it was planted on W. Maplehurst Ave. Caitlin likes the Japanese maple for its red leaves.

Caitlin’s former bedroom windows, top right, are now fully screened by the Japanese maple planted before she was born. (Photo from Google Street View, Aug. 2018)

A Magnolia?

Writer Barbara A. strongly recommended a Magnolia as “the most beautiful tree.” She explained, “When we were kids, our magnolia at our house in Dearborn, MI was the size of the universe. The canopy was low, and underneath its branches, we held tea parties and read. I especially remember reading The Kingdom of Carbonel–one of a series of books about a black cat–there. The magnolia’s leaves are a beautiful dark shiny green, and I love the flowers. Although it only lasted 3 hours, my wedding bouquet was made of magnolia flowers!”

A Saucer Magnolia (photo by Badgernet – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14878980)

A Dawn Redwood?

Friend Barbara O. who knows her trees–coming in regular contact with them as a docent at both the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor and at the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory (aka the “Belle Isle Conservatory”) on Belle Isle in Detroit, as well as in her treed lot in Franklin, MI–suggested the Dawn Redwood.

This was the first tree suggested that I’d never heard of before although Barbara tells me she has one growing in her front yard. The tree’s true name is Metasequoia, and it is one of three types of sequoias or redwoods in the world: Giant Redwoods, Coast Redwoods, and Dawn Redwoods. The Dawn Redwood is classified as a deciduous conifer, like the Tamarack (see “Lee’s Larches“).

A Dawn Redwood (photo by John Pozniak, July 5, 2004., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=784195)

And, an interesting Ginkgo planting location suggestion

Writer Eileen P. added her vote, bringing the count–if we were counting–to 3 for one of the first 6 suggested trees, a Ginkgo. She suggested it be planted near a Senior Center. Ginkgo, revered as it is for its great longevity and with ginkgo leaf extracts supposed to support one’s memory, a senior center would make an excellent location to plant one. I met Eileen when she joined a writing workshop, “Finding Your Way to Writing” I was facilitating at the Mahany-Meininger Senior Center in Royal Oak. So, I guess we know which senior center!

13 trees . . .

And, a decision to be made soon. Arbor Day is just 38 days away. The information at the links on The List will surely prove helpful. I suspect a spreadsheet of tree species’ attributes is in my near future!

4 thoughts on “Not just a 7th species . . . 7 more!

    • So, I vote in favor of the Redbud tree because of the beautiful shape of its leaves. As for spring blossoms, my choice would be Viburnam. Every spring I am overcome by Viburnam-envy until I rationalize that one doesn’t have to own a tree to enjoy it. Still . . .

      Like

      • Ah, yes, Loretta, the Redbud has heart-shaped leaves. And they are beautiful! (I didn’t realize Vibrunum could be trees–I have a bush–but I know they come in many varieties.) Thanks!

        Like

Leave a Reply to Susan Hall-Balduf Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.