Thursday, November 30, 2006

Festival of the Trees 6 – Taking Root and Bearing Fruit

Welcome to the Festival of the Trees 6!

I have emerged from a dense forest of tree blogging to share some of my favorite discoveries. Would that I could have included them all! Thank you to Dave Bonta for his support in preparing this festival.

Blogging about trees and forests at Arboreality provides me with the unique opportunity to share my daily discoveries among the trees. When I started out, I intended to use Arboreality as a vehicle both to share information, and to help me improve my plant identification skills.

The true surprises for me actually come from reading other blogs about trees and plants. Has anyone else noticed how amazing it is to watch forests and gardens grow and change in unison across the world? I love seeing how a certain tree or flower will blossom in my neck of the woods, only to emerge a week later in another region. Even more fun is to see how dramatically different wildlands and gardens can look in different regions of the earth.

Over at
Brainripples, reader Ester Wilson recently responded to a question about creativity with the following: “I’m sure that everything in the world has potential to pull out creativity within people. It may just depend on how much you’re willing to let it come out, how willing you are to be fascinated by the world.”

I hope that this month’s Festival of the Trees encourages you all to renew your willingness to be fascinated by the world, and to be touched by the trees.

[Photo above: Autumn Leaves, courtesy of Renata Vincoletto]

Turning Seasons

Many of us in the northern hemisphere have been enjoying the color show with the passage of Autumn, and it’s my pleasure to share some of the many signs of the seasons I found online in full color.

For the curious, Caroline at
Earth Friendly Gardening shares with us the mysteries of how and why leaves turn color in the autumn. Petunia’s Gardener enjoys the benefits of the big leaf maple and the ornamental cherry trees in mulching.

Lené of
Counting Petals is Giving Thanks, Pam of Nature Woman was awed by sparkling trees, surprise rainbows, and busy birds, and Mary Ellen at Poetry, Art, & the Fotoz of my life shares the many colors of Sacramento.

Amba at
Ambivablog tells us about her maple tree as it awes them with its annual color show, while Roger at Words & Pictures shares his Sweet chestnut and Ginkgo, still full of life at the turn of the season.

With autumn coming to a close, KerrdeLune of
Beyond the Fields We Know peers through the looking glass at seasons past. Petunia’s Gardener sees the first snows of the Pacific Northwest coat her late season apples. Sandra of here in Korea shares the annual wrapping of ornamentals in straw, to protect the trees through the coming winter, while Cindy at Woodsong shows us the Snow Bunting birds gracing the trees like fluffy ornaments. Speaking of tree ornamentation, Lorrianne of Hoarded Ordinaries gives us proof that deciduous trees can get into the Christmas spirit!

For those who are not quite as excited as I am for the autumn and winter, take a trip down under to see what Alice at
A Growing Delight is enjoying in Australia, including her recent visit to a Canberra Nature Park at Gungahlin Hill.

UK National Tree Week

This month’s Festival of the Trees 6 coincides with the
UK National Tree Week, established by the UK Tree Council in 1975. Vicky at Green Girls Global tells us about some of the celebrations and events of Nottingham in honor of National Tree Week.

Many of our UK bloggers share their activities celebrating trees for National Tree Week.
Morgan shares her “ode to trees,” Deirdre shares her tree planting experience, and Ross at the SEO blog tells us how ANYONE online can help to support tree planting in the UK for National Tree week simply by registering with

Treemania in Urbania

In addition to celebrations like National Tree Week in the UK, the
National Arbor Day in the US was first conceived by pioneers J. Sterling and Caroline Morton after their arrival in Nebraska. Their idea evolved into what is now a holiday celebrated at different dates in countries, states, and cities around the world.

Hanna of
This Garden is Illegal tells us a little about her Tree City, USA, a program sponsored by the National Arbor Day foundation.

In Georgia, Jesse of
Tree News spreads the good word about a city that has its priorities straight – and has spared no effort to preserve a huge, old Pecan tree in the face of urban development.

Even with our most valiant efforts and most noble intentions, some trees have to come down. Dave at
Via Negativa tells us the history and conclusions of the Gilead trees near his father’s home.

And then, there are those trees that we might WANT to take down, but just can’t find the heart to remove. Before I moved from Washington to Pennsylvania, I had no concept of the invasive presence of the beautiful Norway maple.
Body Soul and Spirit shares how torn we can be when trying to share space with these hearty trees when she advises us to just Say NO! to Norway Maples. Kasmira discusses a similar conflict when she shares what she thinks of Norway spruce.

[Photo above: Sumac Branch, courtesy of Maureen Shaughnessy]

Reflections and Meditations

At the heart of this month’s Festival of the Trees are the more subtle and inquisitive connections we make with trees.

Michelle at
Living Stress-Free shares with us the tree-standing stances she’s learned, and a beautiful tree-meditation.

Bev at
Burning Silo shares a exciting four part series exploring the coastal redwoods. You can enjoy Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four of the redwood series while slipping quietly into your own verdant reverie.

Many of us either owned or played in treehouses (ok, some of us probably still do), and Lois at
Nina’s Treehouse shares a whimsical, poetic story about an old lemon tree, and the coming together of all ages in the shade of its fragrant branches.

Over at Ginkgo Dreams, Kelly brings us daily ginkgo-bites, and my favorites are always the Photo Wednesdays! Check out her latest, Ginkgos in Turin, Italy.

Mother Angel offers an early painting that wraps love, youth, and trees into a single, sensual image. Salix Tree is tickled with arborsculpture, and Marja-Leena Rathje shares the unique xylothek (wooden library).

Reaching deeper into the abstract,
Crack Skull Bob shares his own interpretation of the dendritic form in his post A Tree is a Graph. Larry of Riverside Rambles shows us the Little Hyphal Trees of the amazing and important mychorriza.

[Photo above: Thuja plicata (Western red cedar), courtesy of Daniel Mosquin]


Most of us enjoy the thrill of exploration and discovery in our local gardens and forests. Xris of
Flatbush Gardener visited the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and returned with a plethora of pictures. GreenmanTim is Walking the Berkshires and finding all manner of new and strange trees of the Namibian desert.

Regular readers at Arboreality know that I love a good mystery tree, which is exactly what Pablo of the
Roundrock Journal is puzzling in his neck of the Missouri woods. And here at Arboreality, I’ve been sharing bits and pieces of my recent trip to the Poconos, including my stay in the Forests of Chateau Mumu.

Salix Tree shares
her favorite tree, an oak in Phoenix Park near Dublin, and Yellowstone Wolf uses picture and poetry to share her paper wasp nest discovery.

If you’re looking to recapture a sense of wonderment, Isabella, Age 9 will take you there with her post
A New Home at causa nostrae laetitiae. Still firmly rooted in his sense of delight, Larry at botanizing shows us the Light on the forest floor.

For those who require a unique perspective to help shake up their point of view, Dave at
Via Negativa and Jason at The Clarity of Night share with us a bird’s eye view from tree stands.

Jason has the project for you if you prefer introspection to exploration: this month he’s shared a peek into the
old growth hemlock surrounding the fruit of his labor, his new log cabin.

The Enduring, the Recalcitrant, and the Misbehaving

Trees are troublemakers too! I’d say most of us have a tale (or two) about the tree that just wouldn’t follow orders. Of course, the most admirable of this bunch are the trees that have refused to yield the passage of time with anything less than continued growth and grandeur.

Patrick at
Ramblings of a naturalist tells us about the Veteran oak in the High Weald, and Jeremy of the voltage gate shares part of the venerable history of the Eastern Hemlock trees.

Methuselah and the bristlecone pine trees are among the oldest living trees on earth, but that doesn’t mean they have half the clout of the mighty baobab trees (also called Upside down trees, or Monkey bread trees). Baobabs, native to Africa, Australia, and Madagascar, are important sources of food, water, and medicine. Terry at
Pencil Shavings shares a wonderful drawing of the amazing baobab, and if you want to see the magnificence of the real deal, visit Ursi’s blog and the Champion Trees.

Of course, not all the greats can last forever. Sonia at
Leaves of Grass says goodbye to an old arboreal friend, and Karen of Rurality must reluctantly let go of the beautiful but misbehaving Hickory tree. Conan the Historian connects us with the New York Times article, which tells us that the Chestnut tree at Anne Frank's sanctuary must finally come down.

While the old trees fall, the young rise up into the light. Over in Brittany,
Stuart and Gabrielle are experimenting with permaculture, and enjoying their latest discovery: a medlar tree and its pear-like fruits. And in Mountain Time, Trailhead is at once torn and bemused with the defiant and energetic evergreens who insist on reclaiming every inch of earth, right up to the house foundation.

* * *

Join us for the Festival of the Trees 7, to be hosted at The Voltage Gate. Submissions deadline is December 30, 2006. Send all submissions (including post title and URL) to Jeremy by email: thevoltagegate [at] gmail [dot] com. Be sure to put "Festival of the Trees" in the subject line. For additional information about the Festival of the Trees, check out the coordinating blog.

Images with credits retain their copyrights with the original authors. All other images in today’s Festival are from the Arboreality files, copyright © 2006 Jade L. Blackwater.

May the wonder of trees, forests, and gardens continue to inspire us all!

Until next month!


  1. Thank you so much for including one of my posts! I'm looking forward to exploring the other links from this edition.

    In addition to being close to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, I'm also fortunate to have my home in an area of Brooklyn which is lousy with trees. I have a few "Fall Color" posts of my neighborhood for even more tree action.

  2. Wow, Jade, you really outdid yourself -- what a generous and well organized post! I know what I'll be doing this weekend...

  3. Just great, Jade! You did an amazing and beautiful job!
    Thank you so much for including my blog on this edition! I just made a link to "Festival of the Tree 6" on my page.

  4. What a great festival! So many wonderful reflections. I'm honored to be a part of it!

  5. Wow that was a lot to organize. Great job!

  6. Wow! What a wonderful post!
    And thank you for including one of my photos!

    I will link this post in my page, ok?
    It's so beatiful!

  7. Wow! What a wonderful post!
    And thank you for including one of my photos!

    I will link this post in my page, ok?
    It's so beatiful!

  8. What a fabulous festival, Jade, and such! I, too, am honored to be a participant.

  9. What a terrific collection of pieces! Thanks for putting together this edition of FOTT - so well organized! And thanks as well for including my redwood pieces.

  10. So thorough, JLB...I am in awe. Thank you SO MUCH for including me. I'm honored and humbled.

  11. Fabulous festival, so rich, well-organized and well-presented, thank you! And thanks to whomever sent in my xylothek link - I hadn't thought of it myself!

  12. Thank you all so much - I had a fun time putting everything together, and I appreciate everyone's contributions to the Festival!




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