Friday, April 30, 2010

Curiosity: A Familiar Driveway

I was curious, my curiosity sometimes gets the best of me. I wondered if they were the same, I wondered have they changed? Are Far Guy and I the only people in the whole world who noticed. One day I couldn't stand it anymore.
I drove down the drive, and stopped at the top of the hill to take a photo..nothing has changed, well that is not quite true, lots has changed..but the trees remain the same.
We drove down the drive further, we stopped to visit with Dave. I told him of our mission that day. He has lived there about 5 years and he has never noticed.
I took another photo looking uphill. Can you see it now? It is OK if you don't notice anything..honest. You have to be really in-tune with your surroundings in order to notice.  On a side note the "Poetry Tree" made it through another winter..a long time ago our daughter Jen wrote a poem about this tree it is the Popple that is leaning into the driveway on the right side of the photo.


Long ago, I didn't notice either, then one warm spring day, after I had been to town, as I drove down the drive I noticed the dividing line. The driveway separated a grove of Aspen Trees we call them Popples, they are said to all be connected somehow with one root. I don't know if I believe that..but it is not an important fact to me anyway. What was important to me that day was that our trees on the south side of the drive were all leaved out in their finest green haze, and the trees on the north side of the drive hadn't even broken bud. They looked deader than a doornail. I was upset, I shared my concern with Far Guy when he got home from work, I showed him...we wondered, I worried..was it some kind of bug that was going to wipe out all the trees? A few days passed..I wrung my hands, and lamented the death of a whole stand of trees..a week later my dismay turned to joy when the seemingly dead trees finally leafed out. It happens every spring, for some reason..there is a difference, is it in the seedlings? Are they a different species, were they from a different seed source? Perhaps not tremuloides at all but alba or some other species. ( Far Guy says they are all albas or Silver Popple on the North side.) I am still not convinced..I was always comforted somehow that it was not my imagination, it happens every spring..and I captured it this spring:)

19 comments:

  1. How interesting. Must be something to do with the soil on the south side of the driveway, for those trees to bud first, maybe?

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  2. We have lots and lots of cottonwoods in our area, my cottonwood is always earlier than the ones at Misty's. Her trees (8 of them) green up at different times, sometimes two at a time, sometimes more. They are of the same subset. Mine is different.

    Interesting.

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/

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  3. Interesting - - - or maybe the way the sun hits? All the trees around us cause our flowers to bloom a week later than those persons in town without many trees. Plus they have the heat of the city. Our temperatures are a bit cooler and it is only 5 miles difference.

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  4. The ones on the south side bloom first due to the sun, I imagine... And yes - our ice has finally disappeared!

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  5. Very interesting...maybe the ones on the south side are younger? Ohhh who knows - but fun to guess?

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  6. I like trees!
    We are all bloomed out and the wind is blowing so hard it may de-leaf them.
    Patsy

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  7. Connie, I do believe that aspen tree clumps all have a common root system. It makes sense that they might all leaf out at different times. But this was a very interesting post to think about why the difference? And yes you caught it very well with your trusty camera!

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  8. Trees seem to be triggered by the amount of sunlight they receive. Maybe one side gets more sun during the day. We can run two weeks later on plants than a house up on a hill about three miles from here.

    God bless ya and have a fabulous Friday Connie!!!

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  9. I'm sooooo glad they leafed out!!! Have you solved the mystery yet as to why one buds out before the other? Sunlight maybe? Or maybe your answer was between the lines and I just didn't get it. Thanks so much for adding your prayers to ours for the north wind to blow, blow, blow that oil to the deep, south Gulf. It means more to me than you will know . . . . and I love that old poem tree that leans out over the drive . . . what a beautiful place. BW

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  10. Bayouwoman, Nope haven't solved the mystery..it just happens every year like clockwork. It could be a combination of things..slightly different species, maybe cold springs hidden underground or something that I haven't even thought of yet. Sunlight is about the same, as is the soil and moisture..they are all about the same age..it is a curiosity! :)

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  11. Our popples are the last to leaf out in town every spring. Bear Bait says it's because they're Big Tooth Aspen (what's the scientific name for that one?). I wonder if it also has something to do with location, as the land around our property is flat to the N/S/& W of us and our yard forms the east-facing slope down to our swamp...

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  12. I'm saying that when the driveway was cut, that it cut the root supply -- so that the ones on the left side don't get the message to start budding, until they actually SEE the others

    I just painted a picture of aspens. It was a class project. Someone mentioned that root theory.

    (I am taking a water color class to see if I can get my mojo back.)

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  13. ps. I hope you know I was joking about the root theory.

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  14. ps. I meant to say the root connection to the other side.

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  15. Yes I have the same problem On the west side of the house in the hollow no leaves on the east side higher ground all green. Geri

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  16. Lattice, Big Tooth Aspen is Populus grandidentia..the only difference is the edges of the leaves...I think.
    Pamela, I hope you are someday a famous painter, then I can say I knew you when!
    Geri, Glad to know that you have noticed it also..what is your theory?
    Thanks everyone for your comments:) Connie

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  17. Connie, we have a similar occurance at our place. With far less excuse for the trees to act in such a manner, no driveway, no house, no building. From what I understand is that yes, apen can share a root system when they indeed have suckered but that is not necessarily always the case. Suckering occurs after harvest or some sort of damage during, and also causing, the right conditions for suckering along the extensive root system of the aspen. The suckers on the same root system would be clones and then they would be less likely to have differences save for perhaps shape due to growth variables. But if the entire stand came into being from seed, then they would have their own root systems and would not be clones. When that type of stand is harvested or damaged causing suckering of the originals then you would see some clones of one and some clones of another eh? Anywho I'm no expert but there you have my understanding of the root system of the aspen. Difference in leafing out of same species but not clones?

    Lots determines phenological events and even the make up of the soil can come into play, which could be effected by run off from foreign material brought in for the construction of the road, there by causing a difference where there seems to be none other such as shade or ambient temperature. But if everything is indeed even steven and you still have leaf differences, then by golly its a mystery. Any way you slice it it is one of those groovy things that happens and we get the priviledge to enjoy, ponder, investigate, enjoy and ponder some more.

    Sorry to get so terribly wordy but I dig trees, with shovel as well as mind. Hey, happy Arbor Day for yesterday and happy May Day today!

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  18. Do they get different kinds of light? It may have something to do with the road down the middle giving different growing conditions. We had a grove of aspen in our farm timber in southern Iowa. They really were a freak thing as they, nor birch, grow in Iowa. I wonder if they were Popples as they just grew in one area. They died out in a time of five years,before my dad sold the farm. I don't know if wagon train people planted the start of them as it is not native to Iowa.

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  19. Well, dang, ain't it a mystery! I can see it in the photos, after you brought it to our attention of course. A very interesting phenomena!

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie