Did you know that a Joshua Tree is not a tree at all? Turns out it’s an angiosperm (that’s “flowering plant” for the fancy-word-averse) that belongs to the yucca family, so considering this was the first “tree” I considered when starting to work on the Tree badge so long ago, I was about two seconds into the project and was already batting 100. Sigh.
However, one delightful trip to the Los Angeles County Arboretum, several sweaty hikes and pleasant neighborhood walks, a ton of field guides, countless conversations, incessant Google-imaging, and one very fortuitous library book later, I am now master of my tree domain…well, at least as it pertains to this badge. Without further ado, I present to you a list of twenty-one trees I now know and love, along with photographic evidence (and one very terrible drawing):
DESERT JUNIPER (softwood) – you can’t make gin without it!
MORETON BAY FIG (hardwood) – the one at the corner of Colorado & Santa Fe in Glendora is the “most massive cultivated tree in the greater Los Angeles area”
SOUTHERN MAGNOLIA (hardwood)
Aaaaaand here are my really terrible drawings of the non-fruit trees’ leaves:
SUCCESS! This post knocks out FIVE of the ten Tree Badge requirements (see below), putting me one measly requirement away from finally earning this sucker!
#1. Identify, out-of-doors, fifteen trees.
#8. Know by sight five trees that bear edible fruits and nuts.
#11. Know which of your fifteen trees are hardwoods and which are softwoods.
#17. Record the shape of the leaves of your fifteen trees by making prints, plaster casts, collections, or drawings.
#19. Photograph, sketch, or paint three of your trees, showing their characteristic shapes.