With spring and summer come farmers markets and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. In the next two months, berries of a ton of different varieties come into season including, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Well, I say berries but really only one of the berries mentioned is actually a berry. Guess which one? I’ll wait. As the narrator of a blog piece about botanical fruit varieties I have infinite time.
‘Epiphyte’(“epi” = on top of; “phyte”= plant in Greek), is a fancy-sounding term for a plant that spends most or all of its life living on another plant, usually on a tree . You might think that an epiphyte is a parasitic plant, but it is not! These plants only use the tree as a support system and take no nutrients from the tree itself. They instead rely on rainwater to carry nutrients down tree bark or on collections of soil and detritus in the crotches of branches. Epiphytic plants are represented throughout the plant kingdom, including non-vascular plants (mosses, liverworts, hornworts) and vascular plants (plants that can conduct water).
Incidentally, the Silicon Valley has seen some pretty significant storms (flawless segue). We’ve been flooded with calls about downed trees, bent trees and broken support stakes. Our inboxes doth overflow with cries for help from concerned residents. With this in mind here’s what you need to know to manage tree risk.
We need diverse viewpoints in science, public policy and the environmental movement not only because to do include these viewpoints is more egalitarian. Environmental issues often affect minorities disproportionately. The water crisis in Flint Michigan isn’t the first time this has happened to a community of color. It’s happened time and time again, locally in Alviso, San Jose, on Native American Reservations and on the East Coast from Chester Pennsylvania to the South Bronx. On an organizational level, Our City Forest targets areas in San Jose that have been disproportionately impacted by freeway construction and air pollution and low-income, tree-denuded neighborhoods. We recognize that we cannot do this alone.
February is Black History Month in the US and Canada. (In the UK it is observed in October). With the spotlight on Black History, it’s especially imperative that we take the time to focus on African American biologists, ecologists, conservationists and environmentalists (although we environmentalists should be doing this all year).
OCF’s process of busting a lawn, i.e., removing it, is more passive than you might think. The verb “bust” suggests action that is violent, as if the Lawn Buster seizes the lawn and takes it away to be imprisoned, or busts it in the chops.
It’s that time of the year again! We will be receiving a large order of bare root trees at the Our City Forest Community Nursery in mid-February. It’s a busy time for us which and we need help from volunteers like you.
Hello internet! We’re taking a breather from botany this week and focusing on the practical. Today is January 29, 2016 and I bet you know what that means. No, not National Corn Chip Day, this blog is proudly independent of the corn chip cartels that seek to dominate this great nation. No, right now we’re at the height of the tree pruning season!
Hello Internet! I’m writing again for all of you curious tree people after the holidays. When last I left, you were in your living rooms examining your Christmas/non-denominational holiday trees as a guide for how tree anatomy works. Toward the end I pulled the rug out from under our tropical and sub-tropical readers when I revealed that palms aren’t actually true trees at all.