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Posts Tagged ‘Ice Storm of 1998’

maples

“At the southeast corner of Willow House, two trees form a graceful arch over the pathway to the door. They don’t have the sturdy trunk we usually associate with trees, but appear rather like two large bushes.” Does this passage sound familiar? If you have been a faithful follower of The Chronicles, you might recognize it as the opening to The Whisperers.

icedamage

After studying the winter trees, I concluded that they were Manitoba maples. However, knowledgeable nurseryman and former property owner Tony kindly pointed out my error. The pair of trees are, in fact, non-native ornamentals, Amur maples (Acer ginnala Maxim). Tony shared the above photograph of the twin Amurs, taken after the Ice Storm of 1998, when the trees were badly damaged. Now that the trees have leaves, the Amur and Manitoba maples are easily differentiated. The compound leaflets on a central stock, shown below on the right, are those of the Manitoba maple (Acer Negundo).

mapleleaves

In winter, the plentiful maple keys, or samaras, of the Amur maples, rustling gently in a hushed evening breeze, made the trees whisper. But now that the trees are flowering, I noticed a different sound coming from the trees. They are abuzz with pollinators such as the bumblebee (Bombus sp.), shown below.

beeonflower

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