Trees


2016 - Under a weeping willow in upstate New York




August 2021



I made a new friend whose roots go back for centuries.






Looking up!





Jamaica - Pictures by Ben Erwin






Forests




Angkor Wat, Cambodia






Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees


Rainbow Eucalyptus or Eucalyptus Deglupta are the only species of eucalyptus that grow in the northern hemisphere. They are very tall trees found in tropical forests and the jungles of the Hawaiian Islands, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Philippine Islands, and sometimes in southern Florida, Texas, and California. It is one of only four eucalypt species out of more than seven hundred that do not occur in Australia. It is characterized by multi-colored bark. Read more.

The color phenomenon is caused by patches of bark peeling off at different times - the colors indicating the age of the tree. A newly shed outer bark reveals bright greens which darken over time morphing into shades of blues and purples which in turn change to orange and red.




Prunus Serrula Tree


Prunus serrula, called birch bark cherry, birchbark cherry, paperbark cherry, or Tibetan cherry, is a species of cherry native to China, and is used as an ornamental in many parts of the world for its striking coppery-red bark. Read more




In the News ...





Tropical trees are living time capsules of human history   PhysOrg - February 6, 2020
In a new article published in Trends in Plant Science, an international team of scientists presents the combined use of dendrochronology, radiocarbon dating and isotopic and genetic analysis as a means of investigating the effects of human activities on forest disturbances and the growth dynamics of tropical tree species. The study presents the potential applicability of these methods for investigating prehistoric, historical and industrial periods in tropical forests around the world and suggests that they have the potential to detect time-transgressive anthropogenic threats, insights that can inform and guide conservation priorities in these rapidly disappearing environments.




Secrets of '1,000-year-old trees' unlocked - by making protective chemicals that fend off diseases and drought   BBC - January 14, 2020
And, unlike many other plants, its genes are not programmed to trigger inexorable decline when its youth is over. The ginkgo can be found in parks and gardens across the world, but is on the brink of extinction in the wild.




A 16-Million-Year-Old Tree Tells a Deep Story of the Passage of Time   Smithsonian - November 25, 2019
Each yearly delineation on the sequoia's surface is a small part of a far grander story that ties together all of life on Earth. Scientists know this as Deep Time. It's not just on the scale of centuries, millennia, epochs, or periods, but the ongoing flow that goes back to the origins of our universe, the formation of the Earth, and the evolution of all life, up through this present moment. It's the backdrop for everything we see around us today, and it can be understood through techniques as different as absolute dating of radioactive minerals and counting the rings of a prehistoric tree. Each part informs the whole.





North Carolina Bald Cypresses Are Among the World's Oldest Trees   Smithsonian - May 9, 2019


Researchers document the oldest known trees in eastern North America   PhysOrg - May 9, 2019




Researchers document the oldest known trees in eastern North America   PhysOrg - May 9, 2019
A recently documented stand of bald cypress trees in North Carolina, including one tree at least 2,624 years old, are the oldest known living trees in eastern North America and the oldest known wetland tree species in the world.




Climate change is giving old trees a growth spurt   PhysOrg - May 9, 2019
Larch trees in the permafrost forests of northeastern China - the northernmost tree species on Earth - are growing faster as a result of climate change, according to new research.




Urban trees 'live fast, die young' compared to those in rural forests   PhysOrg - May 9, 2019
Urban trees grow more quickly but die faster than rural trees, resulting in a net loss of street-tree carbon storage over time




Fossils from the world's oldest trees reveal complex anatomy never seen before   PhysOrg - October 23, 2017

The first trees to have ever grown on Earth were also the most complex, new research has revealed. Fossils from a 374-million-year-old tree found in north-west China have revealed an interconnected web of woody strands within the trunk of the tree that is much more intricate than that of the trees we see around us today.The strands, known as xylem, are responsible for conducting water from a tree's roots to its branches and leaves. In the most familiar trees the xylem forms a single cylinder to which new growth is added in rings year by year just under the bark. In other trees, notably palms, xylem is formed in strands embedded in softer tissues throughout the trunk.




World is home to '60,000 tree species'   BBC - April 5, 2017
Data revealed that Brazil was the nation with the greatest number of tree species, home to 8,715 varieties. Apart from the polar regions, which have no trees, the near-Arctic region of North America had the fewest number of species, with less than 1,400. Another fact to emerge from the data was that more than half of the species (58%) were only found in one country, suggesting that they were vulnerable to potential threats, such as deforestation from extreme weather events or human activity. About 300 species have been identified as critically endangered as they had fewer than 50 individuals remaining in the wild.




'Tree Man' Has Surgery: What Causes This Rare Condition?   Live Science - January 10, 2017

A 27-year-old man in Bangladesh known as the "tree man" recently underwent surgery to remove the extensive, wood-like warts that covered his hands and feet. But what causes this rare disease? Over the past year, the man, Abul Bajandar, has undergone 16 surgeries to remove 11 lbs. (5 kilograms) of the unusual growths from his hands and feet, according toAgence France-Presse (AFP). Prior to the surgery, the growths were so extensive that Bajandar could not feed himself or hold his daughter.




Pioneer Cabin Tree in California felled by storms   BBC - January 9, 2017
Storms in California have toppled one of America's most famous trees - the Pioneer Cabin Tree. The giant sequoia was known for having a hole cut through its trunk - big enough for a car to drive through. The tree, estimated to be more than one thousand years old, was felled by the strongest storm to have hit the area in more than a decade. California and Nevada have been hit by unusually high rainfall levels, leading to flooding and falling trees.




What Is the Oldest Tree in the World?   Live Science - August 23, 2016

The planet's trees have seen plenty of history pass by their trunks. In fact, they began to populate Earth 385 million years ago, toward the end of the Devonian period. Considered living historical records, the organisms can withstand generations of development and change. But which tree has been around the longest? Until 2013, the oldest individual tree in the world was Methuselah, a 4,845-year-old Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) in the White Mountains of California. Researchers at the Rocky Mountain Tree-Ring Research Group then announced the age of another P. longaeva also located in the White Mountains - this one 5,062 years old.




Do Trees Sleep at Night?   Live Science - May 24, 2016

After a long a long day of photosynthesizing, do trees fall asleep? It depends on how you define "sleep," but trees do relax their branches at night, which might be a sign of snoozing, scientists said. In the only reported study to look at tree siestas, researchers set up lasers that measured the movements of two silver birch trees (Betula pendula) at night. One tree was in Finland and the other in Austria, and both were monitored from dusk until morning on dry, windless nights in September. This was close to the solar equinox, when daylight and nighttime are about equal.




Trees that can walk up to 20 meters a year   BBC - December 18, 2015
It takes a whole day to travel from Ecuador's capital, Quito, to the heart of the Unesco Sumaco Biosphere Reserve, some 100km to the southeast. The journey entails three hours by car to the edge of the forest, and then anywhere from seven to 15 hours by boat, mule and foot, mostly uphill and on a muddy road, to reach the interior. But the effort is worth it, considering you wind up in the middle of a pristine forest that houses a rather unusual find: walking palm trees.




Earth's trees number 'three trillion'   BBC - September 3, 2015
There are just over three trillion trees on Earth, according to a new assessment. The figure is eight times as big as the previous best estimate, which counted perhaps 400 billion at most.




How to make trees grow bigger and quicker   Science Daily - April 16, 2015
Scientists at The University of Manchester have discovered a way to make trees grow bigger and faster, which could increase supplies of renewable resources and help trees cope with the effects of climate change. The genes, called PXY and CLE, control the growth of a tree trunk. When over-expressed, making them more active than in their normal state, the trees grew twice as fast as normal and were taller, wider and had more leaves.




Pine Tree Yields Longest Genome Ever Sequenced   Live Science - March 22, 2014
Scientists say they've generated the longest genome sequence to date, unraveling the genetic code of the loblolly pine tree. Conifers have been around since the age of the dinosaurs and they have some of the biggest genomes of all living things. Native to the U.S. Southeast, the loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) can grow over 100 feet (30 meters) tall and it has a lengthy genome to match, with 23 billion base pairs. That's more than seven times the size of the human genome, which has 3 billion base pairs. (These pairs form sequences called genes that tell cells how to make proteins.)




180 million-year-old fossilized fern nearly identical to modern relative   PhysOrg - March 21, 2014
A trio of researchers in Sweden has unearthed a fossilized fern that has been dated to 180 million years ago, that remarkably, is in near pristine condition. The calcified stem of a royal fern dating back to the early Jurassic period was apparently preserved by mineral precipitation from hydrothermal brines as they rapidly crystalized, trapping the fern, which was clearly alive at the time, encasing it in an airtight environment. Although very small (just 5.8 x 4.1 cm) the fossil was so well preserved that the researchers were still able to make out cell cytoplasm, nuclei and even chromosomes.




Iconic Australasian trees found as fossils in South America   PhysOrg - January 9, 2014
Today in Australia they call it Kauri, in Asia they call it Dammar, and in South America it does not exist at all unless planted there; but 52 million years ago the giant coniferous evergreen tree known to botanists as Agathis thrived in the Patagonian region of Argentina, according to an international team of paleobotanists, who have found numerous fossilized remains there. These spectacular fossils reveal that Agathis is old and had a huge range that no one knew about from Australia to South America across Antarctica.




Weird Forests Once Sprouted in Antarctica   Live Science - November 2, 2013
Strange forests with some features of today's tropical trees once grew in Antarctica, new research finds. Some 250 million years ago, during the late Permian and early Triassic, the world was a greenhouse, much hotter than it is today. Forests carpeted a non-icy Antarctic. But Antarctica was still at a high latitude, meaning that just as today, the land is bathed in round-the-clock darkness during winter and 24/7 light in the summer.




Gold in trees leads to hidden deposits   BBC - October 22, 2013
Money might not grow on trees, but scientists have confirmed that gold is found in the leaves of some plants. Researchers from Australia say that the presence of the particles in a eucalyptus tree's foliage indicates that deposits are buried many metres below. They believe that the discovery offers a new way to locate the sought-after metal in difficult-to-reach locations.




Study: Just 227 tree species dominate Amazon landscape   BBC - October 17, 2013
Despite being home to about 16,000 tree species, just 227 "hyperdominant" species account for half of Amazonia's total trees, a study suggests.




Giant Sequoias Yield Longest Fire History from Tree Rings   Science Daily - April 21, 2010
A 3,000-year record from 52 of the world's oldest trees shows that California's western Sierra Nevada was droughty and often fiery from 800 to 1300, according to new research. Scientists reconstructed the region's history of fire by dating fire scars on ancient giant sequoia trees, Sequoiadendron giganteum, in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park. Individual giant sequoias can live more than 3,000 years and are considered the world's largest trees by volume.




This Tree's a Lady!   Live Science - February 4, 2010

Scientists have discovered the female sex hormone progesterone in a walnut tree, shaking up what's known about the different between plants and animals. Until now, scientists thought that only animals could make progesterone. A steroid hormone secreted by the ovaries, progesterone prepares the uterus for pregnancy and maintains pregnancy. A synthetic version, progestin, is used in birth control pills and other medications.




Trees evolved camouflage defense against long extinct predator: First evidence of camouflage defense in plants   PhysOrg - July 22, 2009

Many animal species such as snakes, insects and fish have evolved camouflage defenses to deter attack from their predators. However research published in New Phytologist has discovered that trees in New Zealand have evolved a similar defense to protect themselves from extinct giant birds, providing the first evidence of this strategy in plant life.




Ancient trees recorded in mines BBC - September 9, 2008

Spectacular fossil forests have been found in the coal mines of Illinois by a US-UK team of researchers. The group reported one discovery last year, but has since identified a further five examples. The ancient vegetation - now turned to rock - is visible in the ceilings of mines covering thousands of hectares. These were among the first forests to evolve on the planet.




Study: Tree Leaves Have Built-In Thermostat Live Science - June 11, 2008
Although Native Americans used to burn forests to farm, such practices were nowhere close to damaging "as the drastic deforestation that came with the Europeans," Roddick said. The colonists, like the Native Americans, cleared forests to farm, and felled trees for their timbers as well. "White pine was used a lot for shipbuilding," he explained. As deforestation leveled native trees, so too have infestations of disease and insects decimated forests.




Trees in Alchemy

Tree of Life

We experience in the alchemy of time and consciousness.

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