January Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

January 14th, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan

“Judge a Plant by Its Cover”:  Twigs and Bark

Photo of Acer buergerianum (Trident Maple)  trunk

Photo of Acer buergerianum (Trident Maple) trunk (#1)

1)   Acer buergerianum (Trident Maple) – photo of trunk (to the right)

  • Move over Stewartia pseudocamellia, at least for the time being.
  • Exceptional mottled flakey, lighter gray-brown bark on this young Asian maple.
  • Makes a good street tree in Seattle, tolerant of a wide-range of stress factors.

2)   Acer caesium ssp. giraldii

  • Maple featuring young branches covered with a whitish bloom (DO NOT TOUCH)
  • Native to the Himalaya region of China (Shaanxi and Yunnan provinces)
  • Specimen located along Arboretum Drive in the Peonies
Photo of Betula albo-sinensis var. septentrionalis (Chinese Red Birch) trunk

Photo of Betula albo-sinensis var. septentrionalis (Chinese Red Birch) trunk (#3)

3)   Betula albo-sinensis var. septentrionalis (Chinese Red Birch) – photo of trunk (to the right)

  • “The bark is singularly lovely, being a rich orange-red or orange-brown and peels off in sheets, each no thicker than fine tissue paper, and each successive layer is clothed with a white glaucous bloom.”  – E.H. Wilson, Aristocrats of the Trees
  • Please resist the temptation to tear, pull, rub… the bark.  It is disrespectful, potentially harmful to the tree, and a crime to deface public property.
  • Grove located in the Witt Winter Garden.
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (Jan. 7-17, 2013)

Samples of #2, #4, and #5

4)   Cornus sanguinea   ‘Midwinter Fire’

  • A multi-colored thicket-forming dogwood.
  • Brightens up ones’ spirits on any dark and gloomy winter Seattle day.
  • Located in the twig bed of the Witt Winter Garden.

5)   Prunus maackii   (Manchurian or Goldbark Cherry)

  • Not as common as the Birchbark Cherry, but has brighter honey-brown bark.
  • Located on the north toe of Yew hill, grid 30-3W.
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