Trees and Bees

Wind pollinated trees are abundant in temperate forests. Male flowers cast pollen into the wind in random search of a mate. In early spring, it is not uncommon to see bees and other insects visiting the male flowers in search of pollen, but they are foragers, not pollinators. I regularly visit a number of trees […]

Lightning struck tree

Death of an Oak

This beautiful old oak tree was struck by lightning last September. Within 2 days, it had completely wilted and showed no signs of life. Sudden death due to lightning is uncommon in trees, especially after the end of the growing season. Several experts recommended leaving the tree until spring to see if it showed any […]

Showy flowers

Flowers, Pollen and Allergies

Is that tree causing your allergies?  That pretty tree with the white flowers?  That pine tree covering your car in green film?  Nope. It’s the trees you don’t see that are getting you.This is the height of allergy season. You can feel it in your sinuses and see it on your car windows. Huge amounts […]

bur oak

Oak stories for 2014

Here is a New Year’s reading list for all our quercophile (oak-loving) friends.  These are articles at Venerable Trees published or revised in 2014. Stories and News: Riparian oak, a hybrid oak in the Bluegrass The Old Schoolhouse Oak in the news again The Old Schoolhouse Oak Has Babies Friday Tree – The Oak Conundrum […]

Friday Tree - What tree is this?

Friday Tree – The Oak Conundrum

The Friday Tree for this week is an introduction to several articles about oaks coming up next week at Venerable Trees. Oaks form the foundation of the forests of eastern North America. In abundance, size, diversity and usefulness, no other eastern tree comes close. There are fifty oak species in eastern North America, and oaks […]

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.