This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info:

Friday, June 28, 2013

Three trees in summer color

One doesn't see a lot of true chesnuts (Castanea) around. I can think of two good reasons. The burs are intensely prickly (which explains why indigenous Americans invented moccasins). And as much as I want to enjoy it, the odor of the flowers is pervasive and pretty gosh-darn awful. The specimen to the right was photographed this morning in Grosse Pointe. In Ann Arbor there is one off N Fourth near Kerrytown and another near the north end of Spring St. Just follow your nose. Dear readers, please send in addresses of other flowering specimens.

Tartarian maple (Acer tatarica) is putting on a nice show right now. The leaves of this small-stature species are mostly unlobed and resemble those of mulberry. It is a close relative of the more common Amur maple (A. ginnala), whose leaves are deeply three-lobed. I note that Tartarian maple is included in Rehder's Manual of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs, written almost 100 years ago, so this plant is not new to cultivation. I think you're most likely to run into this species as a recently-planted street tree. This one was photographed on Washington St in Chelsea.

Right now the golden-train tree (Koelreutaria paniculata) is stopping traffic on N. Fourth just north of Kerrytown. I wasn't the only one taking pictures of this specimen. If you want to grow this at home, consider collecting a seedling growing in the nearby shrubbery.


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