Arborpalooza

joshuatree

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):

APPLE

APPLE

AVOCADO - the original Haas tree is in La Habra Heights!

AVOCADO – the original Haas tree is in La Habra Heights!

CALIFORNIA FAN PALM (hardwood) - the only palm native to California

CALIFORNIA FAN PALM (hardwood) – the only palm native to California

CANARY ISLAND DATE PALM (hardwood) - you can't eat these dates :(

CANARY ISLAND DATE PALM (hardwood) – you can’t eat these dates 😦

CREPE MYRTLE (hardwood)

CREPE MYRTLE (hardwood)

DESERT JUNIPER (softwood) – you can’t make gin without it!

EUCALYPTUS (hardwood)

GIANT SEQUOIA (hardwood) - largest & oldest living thing

GIANT SEQUOIA (hardwood) – largest & oldest living thing

GRAPEFRUIT - The one that lives in the JACCC plaza in downtown Los Angeles was saved from destruction in 1980 by the Southern California Gardeners' Federation b/c they saw it "as a living monument to the contributions made by Japanese immigrants to America"

GRAPEFRUIT – The one that lives in the JACCC plaza in downtown Los Angeles was saved from destruction in 1980 by the Southern California Gardeners’ Federation b/c they saw it “as a living monument to the contributions made by Japanese immigrants to America”

ITALIAN CYPRESS (softwood)

ITALIAN CYPRESS (softwood)

JACARANDA (hardwood) - these are blooming in Los Angeles RIGHT NOW

JACARANDA (hardwood) – these are blooming in Los Angeles RIGHT NOW

LEMON

LEMON

LIVE OAK (hardwood)

LIVE OAK (hardwood)

MEXICAN FAN PALM (hardwood)

MEXICAN FAN PALM (hardwood)

MONTEREY CYPRESS (softwood)

MONTEREY CYPRESS (softwood)

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”

NORFOLK PINE (softwood) - fun fact: Norfolk Island was a penal colony near Australia

NORFOLK PINE (softwood) – fun fact: Norfolk Island was a penal colony near Australia

ORANGE

ORANGE

SOUTHERN MAGNOLIA (hardwood)

WILLOW (hardwood)

YELLOW PALO VERDE ("medium"wood)

YELLOW PALO VERDE (“medium”wood)

Aaaaaand here are my really terrible drawings of the non-fruit trees’ leaves:

This wasn't the DRAWING badge - don't judge.

This wasn’t the DRAWING badge – don’t judge.

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.

 

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