Picture of a Friday Tree

Friday Tree Followup

Friday tree followup – Several people got this. Although the bark is unusually pale, this is a common persimmon, Diospyros virginiana.  Persimmon is a common tree in Kentucky and is interesting year-round.  The bark, resembling alligator hide, makes it easy to identify. In late fall, after a few cold nights, the fruit is ripe and […]

Picture of a Friday Tree

Friday Tree

Here is the first Friday Tree. Each week, we will post a picture of a tree and see who knows what it is (on our Facebook page). When you post on the Facebook Page, tell us a little bit about your own experience with the tree. Then, once we have some good choices, we’ll provide […]

Stems for STEM

  Venerable Trees, Inc. and Andrea James, together with other partners soon to be named,  are pleased to announce a new program to involve kids on the North Side of Lexington in nature study and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) projects. The program is called Stems for STEM.  Lexington parks are home to an […]

Ancient Trees in Urban Parks

Urban parks in Lexington Kentucky contain many trees that were growing long before the parks were established. It is common for parks to include large, old trees, but these usually were planted after estalishment of the parks. In Lexington, most urban parks in the older parts of town were small parts of large estates. The […]

Llama tasting a bur oak

Even Llamas Love Bur Oaks

Yes they do. Llamas and a bur oak in the Nashville Basin. The white one just wanted to roll around in the dust, but the brown one was determined to have some bur oak for breakfast. (Click the picture for a bigger, better-looking version).

Trees at a Bluegrass Farm

Save These Dates

Venerable Trees will be offering several workshops over the next few months. Details of workshops will be posted soon.  Please note that registration is required for all workshops and there are fees for some. Note: Some Dates have changes. Here are the upcoming workshops. All are on Saturdays. Saturday, August 29, 8am-2pm – Lexington Urban […]

Picture of an ancient blue ash in a construction area

Why it matters

The goal of Venerable Trees, Inc is to conserve woodland pastures in rural areas and to preserve ancient trees in urban developments whenever possible. We recognize that it is not always possible to preserve every ancient tree in a development. However, there should be a public discussion before any tree is removed. The bur oak […]

Urban Forestry: Old Trees in Residential Neighborhoods, Part 1

Urban forestry often focuses on planting and management of young trees.  Very large, old trees are rare in urban settings outside of parks and cemeteries. Not so in the Bluegrass, where huge, ancient trees are abundant throughout our cities and towns.  In the Bluegrass, cities have grown up on land that used to be woodland […]

Venerable Trees Lecture – June 19 in Paris KY

Tom Kimmerer, Chief Scientist at Venerable Trees, Inc, will be giving a lecture on Venerable Trees of the Bluegrass. Date: Thursday, June 19 Time: 3 pm Place: Wallis House, 616 Pleasant Street Paris, Kentucky 40361 Sponsor: Garden Club of Bourbon County Map of the Wallis House

Counting Tree Rings

One of the most important tasks for Venerable Trees, Inc, is to evaluate the age of Bluegrass trees. Here is a slideshow showing preparation of a tree stump for tree ring analysis. More will be added as we complete this analysis.

Latest Slideshows

New slideshows are now appearing at our photography web site, The Lives of Trees. Visit the Latest Stories at the Lives of Trees to see what’s new. We will continue updating stories at both sites. We will post information about all updates to both sites here.

Woodland pastures in the Bluegrass

Woodland pastures have been a dominant feature of the Bluegrass landscape since before settlement in 1779. Today, central Kentucky farms are still the home of ancient trees in woodland pastures. Click the picture below for a slide show of woodland pastures in the Bluegrass. .

picture of Shumard oak

A most puzzling tree

Shumard oak, Quercus shumardii, is a puzzling tree. It is not abundant anywhere in its large range. It is easily confused with other red oaks, and it probably hybridizes with them. In the Bluegrass, Shumard oak is common, but highly variable. Here is a slide show of Shumard oaks in the Bluegrass.

Picture of a white ash behind a building

A tree in a tight place

Trees with limited root systems often fair poorly, unless they are very deeply rooted. Here is a slide show of a white ash with a very limited root system that is doing well because it is deeply rooted in the limestone rock.

An elegant old tree

There is a beautiful old catalpa tree at Ashland, in Lexington, KY, that has been loved by generations of visitors. I suspect it is the most photographed tree in the Bluegrass. A close look at the tree shows the great character that develops with age. Here is a slide show of the old tree.

Pollen cones of white pine

Conifers like eastern white pine, Pinus strobus, don’t produce flowers, but they can be very attractive in the spring when they show their cones. Here is a slide show of pollen cones, male cones that produce clouds of yellow pollen. Don’t worry, pine pollen rarely causes allergies.

Life cycle of buckeye

Ohio buckeye, Aesculus glabra, is a common tree in the Bluegrass and Midwest. Here is a slideshow of its life cycle. More photos will be added as time permits.

Fringetree in Flower

Fringetree is one of the most elegant small trees in our flora. Here is a slideshow about fringetree at The Lives of Trees.

Ash trees losing leaves

How do your ash trees look?

Have you noticed any ash trees in your neighborhood dropping green leaves? Several days of heavy rain over the last few weeks have allowed the development of a common ash disease called ash anthracnose. The disease is caused by a fungus, Gnomoniella fraxini. The fungus spends the winter on old petioles (leaf stalks) and branches. […]

The poison tree

Scroll down for story below the slide show. [soliloquy id=”1453″] Hiking in the Sierra Nevada foothills, I saw the tree first, then its flowers, and then the pile of dead bees beneath the tree. The tree was a California buckeye, Aesculus californica, and the flowers had killed the bees. Buckeye is a small group of […]

Picture of a white ash behind a building

One tough landmark tree

In 1989, Bob Ramsey opened a little restaurant on the corner of E. High Street and Woodland Avenue in Lexington, Kentucky.  The restaurant, with its excellent comfort food, soon became a landmark in Lexington.  A patio behind the restaurant provided outdoor dining shaded by a large white ash tree that is as much a landmark […]

American bison on Bluegrass pasture

Bison, the National Mammal

The American bison has been an enduring symbol of the United States since before the founding of the nation. Though we think of bison as primarily a western animal, there were plenty of bison in the east. The first bison ever seen by early settlers was in what is now Washington DC! In spite of […]

Why are young bur oak leaves hairy?

  Young bur oak leaves are densely hairy.  Why?  Scroll down past picture to read more… Why are the young leaves of so many trees hairy? Here are some possible benefits to hairiness in leaves.  There is no reason to think that only one of these explanations is correct. Many organs, tissues and processes in […]

Picture of serviceberry flowers

Time for Services

Serviceberry trees are blooming all over the Appalachians. Although other trees like birch and alder may flower earlier, the first showy flowers are serviceberries, coming a couple of weeks before the dogwood. The slopes of all the forested hollows in eastern Kentucky are dotted with these elegant, slender trees.In the old days, before good roads […]