Memorial Tree Update

This is the best season so far! Because this is the first update on this blog, there is nothing here to compare the progress of this small Memorial Tree to; but links to older updates on another blog can be found at the older (reblogged) article, ‘May 2‘. Some of those updates link to even more updates. This little Memorial Tree has had quite a history in Felton Covered Bridge Park.

It is actually the fourth tree in this particular spot. The original black oak was run over by a car many years ago, leaving the site vacant for a long time. An Eastern red cedar was planted on New Year’s Day in 2013, but later the following summer, succumbed to what dogs do to small trees. A bigleaf maple was planted the following winter, but also succumbed in its second year.

In the last few years since then, this little valley oak has contended with major difficulties too. Until recently, it had been gouged regularly by weed eaters when the weeds around it were cut down, even though we regularly pull the weeds around it so that the weed eater does not need to get so close. Before it could recover from getting gouged, it got gouged again, several times!

This is why it is still so puny. Every year, it puts out only a few inches of new growth. In fact, that is how it started out this year, with only a few inches of new spring growth that blinded out too early in the season. Then, for no apparent reason, it put out a second phase of summer growth, with an abundance of vigorous shoots that are about a foot long! This is very encouraging.

Although still puny, the little Memorial Tree is exhibiting the sort of resilience and vigor that it needs to survive in this less than optimal situation. As the bark of the lower trunk matures, it will be less susceptible to damage caused by weed eaters. As the tree grows up and above pedestrian traffic, the limbs will be less susceptible to breakage. The next few years will be critical.

No more growth is expected this late in summer, although the small new leaves will likely continue to expand for a while. Terminal buds are likely in the process of blinding out for the year. When the tree is dormant and defoliated in autumn, lower limbs will get pruned away, and the main trunk will get bound and staked. There will be no rush, as long as it is done before spring.

The picture above shows how long the new growth is. The picture below shows how this new growth looks on the small tree. The picture at the bottom shows how much smaller the tree was not too long ago. It also shows that weeds are pulled around the tree.

16 thoughts on “Memorial Tree Update

    1. Yes; I am sort of cheating by occasionally bringing it water. I don’t do it often, because I do not want it to expect it. Besides, I do not think that it needs it. I just do what I can to hasten it along until it gets established. This innocent little tree has actually been targeted by haters, so I really want it to grow up fast.

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      1. It should be fine after these first few years. It happens to be native, or at least native nearby in the Santa Clara Valley. (I am not certain if it really is native to the San Lorenzo Valley, or was just brought here because it was a convenient choice. The oldest trees are all coincidentally on the edges of main roadways and railways, as if planted there intentionally.) I a confident that it will be here for two more centuries or so.

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  1. Reblogged this on Tony Tomeo and commented:

    This is reblogged from ‘Felton League’, so some bits will be out of context. It is shared here because this is where all other updates about the Memorial Tree got posted.

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  2. What is it with haters of plants? Someone completely cut down a gorgeous blackberry in our garden, and I regularly see street trees with yanked limbs or places where leaves are stripped off. I’m glad the little tree is doing well. It certainly has a sturdy stake!

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      1. Have you seen the blog ‘Felton League’? It is rather light duty, but ‘Honk If You’re Hateful IV’ can be rather disturbing. I just got back from meeting with the sheriff sergeant about the hostility of the haters, and how, in the past, it escalated into violence. Some of these haters are very similar to those who engage in the mass shootings that have been in the news. They hate a particular group, and feel entitled to engage in violence against them. (Do not waste your time with ‘Felton League’ on Facebook. It is a mockery of our former group by one of the most mentally disturbed of the haters.)

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      2. It is saddening. We all know that some of the homeless are afflicted with mental illness, even if it is depression associated with homelessness. What is not often considered is that those who harass and stalk the homeless are also afflicted with mental illness that causes them to behave that way. We see so many patterns among the haters, and so any of the patterns fit so precisely into the symptoms of identifiable mental disorders. ‘NPD’ explains that briefly.

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      3. You know, that’s right. An obsession is an obsession and if someone stalks someone, whether a movie star or a homeless person, they have a problem and law enforcement should react to both instances.

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      4. We are dealing with that right now in regard to the guy who honks his horn on the bridge. ‘Honk If You’re Hateful IV’. He really believes that what he does is right. He accused me of stalking because I posted the videos online. (Such accusations are one of the common patterns observed among haters.)

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