Labor Day Weekend VI
Bill Long 9/3/07
The Trees of Reed, Maps 5-8
Map 5 also is in the NW area of the campus, between Map 1 and the community gardens. There is some building going on West of this area; I wouldn't be surprised if Reed is trying to acquire all the land West of its current boundary to 28th St. Map 5 lists 26 trees, but in fact, five of these trees are no longer standing (Trees 6, 11, 22, 25, 26). Map 5 trees are just south of the "orchard" of (predominantly) cherry trees in Map 1. Of the 21 trees, five are one of my favorites: Umbellularia californica, the California Bay (Laurel). I wonder why it is also called the Oregon Myrtle--perhaps local pride. In that regard it is like the Chamaecyparis lawsoniana. We had one in our yard when I was a teen-ager in CA; we called it a "Lawson cypress." However, in Oregon it is called a "Port Orford cedar." In any case at this time of the year the rock-hard green fruit balls of the Oregon Myrtle are developing--a sure sign this is the tree you are looking at.
There are two exemplars of Pinus thunbergiana (or thunbergii), the Japanese Black Pine, and there are at least four more on the campus. Pine identification is difficult for me, but if you notice the number of needles in a bundle, the length of the needles and the "fulness" of the tree, you have some clues. In this map area we also have the distinctive Ginkgo, a Silver Maple, with its deeply cut leaves, an English Walnut and a few Sycamore Maples. The only campus exemplar of the Corkscrew Willow 'Tortuosa', Salix matsudana, is also here. You can tell it at this time of year by its "lush twisty leaves" that blow in the wind--which will soon give way to its "casually contorted branch structures" in the Fall/Winter.
The "revision" of this map should eliminate the five trees as well as indicate a walking/bike path that has been put in between trees 5/7 and running north of 10 and 11.
Map 6 only has 13 trees indicated, but this map seems to have been drawn up before the landscaping for Steele West was done--or they decided not to identify trees around dorms (which isn't the case elsewhere). So, the trees are all correctly identified, though it would have been nice to give another Japanese Black Pine near the other one (tree 9) but because it technically is not in the grass but in the "rough," it probably isn't listed. But the revision of Map 6 should probably include the three cherries West of Steele West, as well as Vine Maples surrounding the North part of the dorm.
There are no unusual or striking trees in this group, though I wonder sometimes when we have a European White Birch (Betula pendula) or a Cutleaf European White Birch (Betula pendula 'Laciniata'). It seems we have the latter here.
Map 7 doesn't include the landscaped trees surrounding Steele East (I saw Vine Maples, a Zelkova and at least one Star Magnolia), nor does it include what looks like a small Colorado Blue Spruce to the West of the large Acer rubrum (tree 58). All identified trees are still standing. This collection of trees is significant for two reasons. First, in the grove/stand of trees numbered 38-47 are two examples each of the fairly rare Turkish Fir (Abies bornmuelleriana) and Japanese Hemlock (Tsuga diversifolia). The former is said to either be its own species or a variety of Nordmann Fir--a discussion that I can't advance at this point. In any case, the two on Reed's campus have upturned clusters of sharp bristles, which makes you turn your eyes to the top of the trees. The Oregon State Univ. web site calls the Japanese Hemlock the "Northern Japanese Hemlock," to distinguish it from, drum roll, the Southern one (Tsuga sieboldii), but again I won't get into these distinctions. I just love my hemlocks. Drink to that with me?
The other arresting thing about Map 7 is the group of Conifers that extend from Map 7 to Map 8 along the north end of the map. Including Map 8, we have the following "row" of trees: some Douglas-firs, then two Colorado Blue Spruces, then a Western Larch, a Grand Fir, a Brewers Spruce, a Norway Spruce and a few Dawn Redwoods. This is the most impressive lineup of Conifers on campus, I believe, except that a few of them are still in the "infancy" stage. Named after Prof. Wm. Henry Brewer (1828-1910) at Yale, the Brewers Spruce is native to the Siskiyous of SW Oregon and N California. It has been called "one of the rarest and least known American spruce." It isn't even in the Hoyt Arboretum in Portland, nor on the OSU nor U of O campuses. Guard that tree!
Map 8 has the largest collection of trees (74 listed) of any of the 33 campus tree maps. I could find all of them, except for Tree 50, a Coast Pine (Pinus contorta). There are so many of them around, however, that missing one isn't a great loss. For some reason, I like the corkscrew/twisting pattern of a willow much better than of a pine.
You shouldn't miss the six Katsura's which are on a small pathway leading to a neighborhood to the East of the campus. Katsuras are always welcome for me; indeed, it is now a popular street tree in the City of Salem.
If we were to add up the trees in this section, we have this:
21 + 13 (plus additions for next revision) + 59 + 73 = 166. We are almost 25% done with the maps and trees of Reed.