Category Archives: Curiosities

Decay as Habitat

I knew chickadees nest in trunk cavities, but I didn’t realize they would take advantage of something this small and so close to a house. I spotted this black-capped chickadee nest in a partially decayed lilac branch.   Dead and … Continue reading

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Callus Growth

An example of how allowing new shoots to grow at the margins of a pruning cut help it heal over quicker. Ideally large cuts like this would never have to be made, but sometimes we don’t get around to pruning … Continue reading

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Monkey Puzzle Tree

Did you know the seeds from monkey puzzle trees are edible? Latin name Araucaria araucana. I’ve been out collecting the fallen seeds around my neighborhood in Seattle a few times recently. Boiled for 5 to 10 minutes, and then cut … Continue reading

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Trunk decay

I came across something interesting last week while removing a small cypress tree in the Madison Valley of Seattle. The tree had a lot of recent branch and foliage die-back and generally was not looking robust. When I made the … Continue reading

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Spring Pollen

The Gymnosperms were spreading their pollen last week. Like nearly all plants, they fertilize their seeds by pollen moving from the male parts of the flower to the female. In the case of Conifers (a gymnosperm) they have separate male … Continue reading

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Goats and Urban Forestry

As part of the goal to reduce my business’s impact on the environment, this past summer I started a program working with goat owners in the greater Seattle area. When I’m working nearby someone that has goats and I have … Continue reading

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Reaction Wood

Have you ever wondered how a tree supports itself as it reaches towards an opening in the canopy? Or how a long limb holds itself horizontal? The answer is reaction wood. Reaction wood is a special kind of wood that … Continue reading

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Grafted Forests

Perhaps while in the forest you’ve seen tree stumps that look something like this.   This was a Douglas Fir (Psudotsuga menziesii) that was cut down some time ago. Instead of the stump dying and rotting away, which would normally … Continue reading

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