This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tree report, second week in May

This week there are a lot fewer trees and shrubs flowering than there were last week. I noticed some pink flowers at Saint Joseph's College and wondered why a magnolia was still in bloom, but when I checked it, I found that it was actually a pink dogwood.
On the north end of town, along Webster, there are some horse chestnuts that have prettier flowers than the ones I had last week.
The most noticeable flowering shrub this week is bridal wreath. Because I grew up in a house that was surrounded by them, I have a soft spot for them. I recall chirping sparrows nesting in them, and being fooled by cowbirds to raise young that were not their own. Seeing that taught me that nature had a harsher side.
A tree that is blooming in the woods is one of the cherries. There are quite a few around Lake Banet. There are several species of cherry trees. These may be black cherry because the trees are quite large. Black cherry is an interesting tree because the leaves can be poisonous to livestock, though the fruit is edible and is sometimes made into jelly.
While in the Lake Banet area, I noticed that the red pine were blooming. The flowers are not flower-like because the trees are wind pollinated. If you shake the branches, you will release big clouds of pollen.
Also blooming in a very inconspicuous way are the mulberries. There are a lot of them at Lake Banet and in many other places in town. The birds love the fruit, and I wish I did too because there is so much of it around Rensselaer. I have little mulberry trees that keep trying to grow, and I cannot kill them. I cut them back to the ground each year, and the next year they have sent up new growth.
The references I found on the Internet say that mulberries have both male and female flowers. I do not know which these are.

No comments: