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Fri, 29 Apr 2011

Arbor Day 2011

It is Arbor Day. I have not planted a tree yet. I do have a photo to share of the blossoms of a sugar maple tree at our house.

Trees do sometimes have showy flowers. Locally, Cherry, apple and redbud are good examples along with the ornamentals common in people's yards. More often, the flowers are green or other colors that don't attract much attention. The dull flowers don't attract insects either. The pollen from such trees is light and blows from tree to tree in the wind. You may have even parked a car under a pine tree and been dismayed to see the yellowish-green dust all over your recently washed car. Windborne pollen also causes some people to suffer from their allergies. Spring pollen counts are high on sunny, windy days.

We don't tap for syrup, though the maples up at Walnut Hill School along Walnut Street are tapped each year for a few weeks. The buckets are gone by now. Sap runs best for collection when the temperatures go low at night and up again during the daytime. March is typically the best month around here. The Natick Community Organic Farm has a sugar shack where they produce pints of maple syrup from gallons of the collected sap from trees in Natick. I bet it tastes extra good because it is made right here in town.

At the very least, get outside today. It is sunny here. Go for a walk and admire the buds, blossoms and burgeoning leaves beginning to show on the tree branches along your route. If you don't know what the trees are, go back later when they are in full leaf and try to identify them. One good resource is New England Trees. Of course, if you are in another part of the world, look around for tree ID guides suitable for your region.

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