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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tree Knowledge

I love how the expertise of one person becomes apparent to others through connections and experiences. Last week I met a wonderful arborist named Jason, and he has taught me so much about the trees in our yard. Sadly, one of our favorite maples has experienced a stunted growth season. I have hugged it many times, reminding it how much we love its shade the orange leaves that make our library gleam golden in the autumn. Yet it remains distressed. Jason taught us to uncover the roots, certain the problem was something called stem girdling roots (see for more information - it is an increasingly common problem). He was correct. Many of the roots are wrapping around the trunk, compressing it and causing stress to the tree. We will follow his guidance and hope to save this tree. He also taught us about unions and tree wounds.

As we walked around the yard together last night, I had the brilliant idea of creating a tree bibliography for him to share with families and teach young readers and would-be arborists about trees. I've started with these titles:

  • A Log's Life by Wendy Pfeffer
  • A Tree is Nice by Janet May Udry
  • Tell Me, Tree: All About Trees for Kids by Gail Gibbons
Any other ideas?


  1. Enjoyed this post and the titles you've already unearthed . . .

  2. How about a poem? "Birches" by Robert Frost

  3. I like that idea, Kate. There is a picture book version of "Birches". I also thought of Kris O'Connell George's OLD ELM SPEAKS.

  4. I immediately thought of OLD ELM SPEAKS, too. Also POETREES by Douglas Florian, and A LEAF CAN BE, by Laura Purdie Salas. And you could always read him my "Oak After Dark".