The sky is falling

Bigleaf Maple.  Acer Macrophyllum.  This is a plant of opportunity:  a little open ground, a shaft of sunlight–Whoomp. There it is.  When mature it will grow to fifty feet high and wide, occasionally reaching 90 feet by 90 feet.  It is a stalwart of the second growth forest.  They are pretty when in leaf, and are attractive of mosses and licorice fern

Mosses and licorice fern on Acer Macrophyllum. Check the oil in your chainsaw.

which give them a stately and serene appearance. 

They also seem to grow a knuckle-y knob just above the root, and then put huge, nearly vertical top growth above that as they compete to reach the sky. When bare this makes them look precarious at best–and as the branches rattle and crack together in the merest zephyr of a breeze, you worry for your brand new roof and wonder the cost of hazard tree permits and removal.  And they are bare most of the time.  The phenomenal leaf drop began in mid-September and was fairly complete a couple weeks later, unless you count the twigs and branches which have been steadily falling ever since.   Now it is almost May and I have just this weekend seen leaf buds, so they may be in full leaf by June.  If you have one, or thirty or so like I do, there is likely a chipper/shredder in your future.  At least you could turn the tremendous mess into something useful.  Allegedly they have a similar sap to a sugar maple, so perhaps I have a syrup-making opportunity.  If you don’t have one, and are standing there in the nursery thinking about buying one, here is what you need: more than an acre of property.  Gutter screens (my overflowing gutters, 45 feet up, make my roof appear from ground level as though it is costumed as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream).  A large rake. The patience to continually tidy up during the 8 1/2 months in which the tree will litter your yard.

 Never mind.  Get a different plant.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Native Plants and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The sky is falling

  1. Pingback: What have I done? | A Thistle in My Sensitive Area

  2. Pingback: All Things, All at Once | A Thistle in My Sensitive Area

  3. Pingback: What if I wasn’t around to hear it? | A Thistle in My Sensitive Area

  4. Pingback: Memories and old photographs | A Thistle in My Sensitive Area

  5. Pingback: Fall…not quite like the catalog | A Thistle in My Sensitive Area

  6. Pingback: Two bright spots and a dark cloud | A Thistle in My Sensitive Area

  7. Pingback: That’s A Snappy Looking Tree | A Thistle in My Sensitive Area

  8. Pingback: The plan is the process, the process is the plan | A Thistle in My Sensitive Area

  9. Pingback: All dried out | A Thistle in My Sensitive Area

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s