Monday, May 25, 2009

This Tree and Why I Love It

When it comes to the trees along Belltown's thoroughfares, 5th Avenue has its massive planes and maples, 4th Avenue has its stately maples and oaks and 3rd is getting away from its commitment to the honey locust. But what about 2nd? Oh, it's just chaos, man! There's absolutely no rhyme or reason for anything. We've got pear trees, purple leaf plums, California incense cedars (one of which I hate with a passion), red cedars, maples, a palm tree, a few stout oaks and, most surprisingly of all, the bald cypress. Behold:

This specimen, along with two of its friends, stands at 2nd & Blanchard. And yes, that's the same bald cypress that is the state tree of Louisiana. It may look like an ordinary evergreen; it's got needles and all, but it's the type that sheds them in the fall - just like they do in Louisiana! Ain't that weird? And I have no idea how these three cypresses got here. They're totally non-native and they usually do a lot better when they're growing in a few feet of water in a swamp. But not only have all three done well, they're actually outgrowing the competition, which is a little strange, since cypresses don't grow very fast at all.

I like this particular tree the best. It's right outside our local murder mart, Wally's. It's the only obstacle the drunks have on their way in to refuel with a Tilt or a Four or a Joose or a simple six of Bud Light and they usually find a way to collide with it. But this tree doesn't mind; it's way bigger than any one drunk. I can't describe it, but there's a certain dignity to this tree that's missing from its neighbors.

I love this tree.

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