Wednesday, August 5, 2009

An Old Dogwood

This old Flowering Dogwood, Cornus florida, has lost a part of itself. Not an uncommon occurrence for trees in the wild. The part that dropped off was dead, but recently accounted for about a quarter of the tree’s leaf mass.

The point of detachment. It doesn’t look like this branch had a very good hold to begin with. A lot of scars and dead wood don’t make for a strong tree.

Many of the big Dogwoods in this area have been lost to disease. It’s not often you get to visit with one that is old enough to display the characteristic alligator bark pattern.

There’s a lot of decomposition going on inside this tree. I doubt that any of these branches are very strong.

The tree’s troubled past has left a comfortable looking bench seat, but I’ll not try it. I would feel pretty bad, probably in more ways than one, if my weight caused this branch to break loose.

More bad news here. This is an awfully anguished branching pattern. What troubles this tree must have had.

The leaves are looking pretty good. A little spotty, but no worse than those on some of the younger specimens. This guy’s not giving up.

There’s even new fruit developing. That’s a sure sign of vitality.

Maybe the fruit’s just a valiant last effort. This is also new fruit and those are dead leaves. I love big Dogwoods and hope this one stays around for a long time. I have confidence that this tree will prosper despite its present difficulties. To show my support, I may go back and sit on that branch.

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