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“More likely the sharp prickles developed to confuse dinosaurs. The monkey-puzzle, or Araucaria, is a very ancient tree, found in the Arauco province of Chile. It is thought to have once been widespread, before our continents divided. It is related to the Norfolk Island pine and the Australian Wollemi pine, both of which also grew in prehistoric times. “– Chapter on Monkey-puzzle

Today’s quote is from a wonderful biography about 100 different trees including common oaks and apples to the more unusual baobab. The perfect read for anyone who wants to know a little bit more about our deep-rooted relationship with them. Each tree has its own chapter with lovely drawings and information on the origin of its name and where they originated from. Beginning with Acacia and wrapping up with Yew. Wells tells about their legends and lore and our history with each tree along with scientific facts. Long considered sacred by diverse cultures I too feel trees are sacred! I found the book entertaining and loved learning a bit more about each different tree. She reminds us of how we have depended on trees to make our furniture, dwellings, boats, feed our fires, and give us food since the human race began. And Diana Wells reminds us that they continue to protect our planet and are an essential part of our ecosystem.

This is Morey an American sycamore we rescued from a ditch when it was 3 feet tall and had 5 leaves.

This is Morey an American sycamore we rescued from a ditch when it was 3 feet tall and had 5 leaves. He is really shooting up this year!

Diana Wells is the author of 100 Birds and How They Got Their Names and 100 Flowers and How They Got Their Names, and is a contributing editor for the journal Greenprints. She was born in Jerusalem and has lived in England and Italy. Ms. Wells holds an honors degree in history from Oxford University. She now lives with her husband on a farm in Pennsylvania.

Here are some photos of so trees at Ravenscourt that I treasure and enjoy sharing with our local wildlife!

American sycamores at Ravenscourt Gardens

American sycamores at Ravenscourt Gardens

The Heights is a neighborhood full of old towering street trees that arch over the roads creating tunnels. I like driving through tree tunnels with the top down on my Mini. We have to keep our sycamores thinned on regular basis because of the possibility of hurricane force winds. The tree on the left has a hollow where a hive of bees has been living for about 3 years now. This spring we planted some Bluechip buddleia very near them. bluechip buddleia fbThey are a great food source for the bees since the buddleias have been in bloom since May.

One of my favorite things to do is sit on the porch as the sun goes down and watch these lovely old sycamores slowly fade to deep purplish black against the evening sky!

Happy Gardening!