Saturday, December 11, 2021

Two Trees and a Rock on a Trail

First, the Weather Report.
It's time for a final report about the trees I followed this year. But they haven't changed since last month, and it's cold and wicked windy. I'd rather think about that nice October day when I met two trees and a rock on the trail to Lamoille Lake, in the Ruby Mountains in northeast Nevada.
Rock huggers.
I imagined these gnarled old trees as seedlings emerging above ground in a protected spot next to the giant boulder. For years they grew taller from apical buds, and wider by adding new vascular tissue (plant nerds—see diagram further on). They were symmetrical saplings until they bumped into the rock. But they kept growing anyway, taller and wider ... except where they couldn't.

Limber pines, Pinus flexilis (named for tough flexible branchlets).

Trees grow taller at the top, not from the base (a common misconception).

This is my contribution to the monthly gathering of Tree Followers kindly hosted by The Squirrel Basket. Consider joining us for some low-key good times (more here). Now I need to go find another tree!