A Tree Tour of Reed College IV
Bill Long 9/8/07
Updating Maps 12-16
[I said a word about Map 18 here.]
I returned to Reed after an all-day continuing legal education seminar ("CLE") to continue my really important education--on trees. CLE is one of the modern "rackets," which if not fraudulent, is ripe for it. Lawyers in Oregon must get 45 hours of CLE credit every three years, usually must pay for it, must get some training in ethics and "diversity" issues, etc. Every time you have these "musts" you have tons of unwilling participants and teachers who are making loads of dough going from one CLE to the next talking for a few hours about "issues in ethics" or "reporting child abuse," etc. Well, everyone seemed to be happy with it all, except me, so what complaint do I really have? Let's return now to the tree maps of Reed.
I found this map, though accurate, to be one of the more uninspiring "walks" on campus. Oh, they just cut down tree # 41, I think, but it may have been # 42 (both are/were Pinus sylvestris, so it makes little difference). The walk is useful if you are trying to identify some of your Oregon native trees--such as the Thuja plicata, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Acer macrophyllum, Pinus ponderosa, Quercus palustris and (one) Sequoiadendron giganteum. There are a few Gleditsia triacanthos, the thornless honeylocusts, which are planted throughout the parking lot and also in Maps 2 and 3. The two small native Sitka Spruces, Picea sitchensis, are instructive because you see them when they are young and before the bark has its unusual mottled quality. You can tell a Picea sitchensis by lifting up one of the branches. The prickly "leaves" are green on the top and blue underneath.
There are 47 trees here.
This is a map which needs surgery. The major problem is that the area adjoining Map 14 is not well described. Let's first say what is cool about this area of campus and then move to the revisions needed. We are moving up past the tennis court and parking lot and towards the sports center. We have the familiar trees (the Pseudotsuga menziesii, Gleditsia triacanthos, Thuja plicata) and then run into one that is plentiful on campus, the spreading London Plane Tree (Platanus x acerifolia), but then, we are stunned by the tree to the south of the Sports Center, the Styrax obassia or Fragrant Snowbell. The Styrax japonicus (Japanese snowbell) is a common one on the U of O campus, and there are several exemplars near the Hauser Library on Reed's campus, but the obassia is uniquely here (the U of O also has several obassias) at Reed. Here, however, is one problem with Map 13. Trees 27-24 are correctly identified, but then there are at least two or three more obassias (young ones) on the East side of the Sports Center wing, and there also is an unidentified Cornus kousa there, too (near the Incense Cedar and Norway Spruce). Because I was approaching the trees on this map from the East, I got very confused. The S. obassias are very attractive trees, with large ovate thickly veined leaves, five-petaled white flowers (golden bud) and the telltalle "bells" that hang from the tree. The S. japonicus has lanceolate leaves.
Then, on the North side of the Sports center are several trees that are unidentified. I found at least four...mostly near the entryway (Western Red Cedar and Vine Maple?) and on the North side of the pathway. Maybe they made a decision not to consider Vine Maples to be trees, but it is so listed on the Species List on the Reed College web page. So, please "update" this map.
There are about 40 trees in this map.
Map 14 has both difficulties and beauties to it. There are a few trees indicated on the Map that are no longer there, such as Tree # 10, # 11 (it had already been removed by the time of the map's publication) and # 27. Then, there are trees on either side just North of the breezeway between Kaul and Gray that are not identified. The grove of trees planted behind Gray (trees 8-29, with several missing) is not a pretty grove; trees are tightly packed that should be more widely spaced. It is hard to work through the list here, and the Cornus nuttallii has leaves that are so high (it is the tallest of the dogwoods, even taller than the "Giant Dogwood"--go figure...) that you barely can see them in the cluster, much less try to study them. I don't know if the two S. obassias planted near the Sports Center should be in this map or Map 13, but they should be added.
The two most stunning trees on this map are the always-favorite Acer griseum (Paperbark maple) and the rare Fagus sylvatica 'Asplenifolia' (Fernleaf European Beach--# 38). Like the Himalayan Birch or the Birchbark Cherry, the Paperbark Maple "sheds," and it does so with such stunning colors and irregular peeling that you just have to stop, look and marvel. You sometimes want to "help" the tree "shed," but leave your hands off! The "fernleaf" beech is not only attractive (leaf picture here--though the Reed page doesn't have a picture), but it makes one wonder what indeed a beech is. That is, the leaves are so different from the Copper or European beach, that you seemingly have a different type or species of tree. Apparently not. I don't think I have to wait until heaven to ask God this question; I will pursue it right here on earth.
There are about 37 trees here.
The trees noted on Map 15 all there and correctly identified. I ran into one student when I was looking at the plum tree (# 1 at the Cerf Amphitheater), who told me that one of her favorite memories of Reed (she is a senior) will be the flowering of this plum in Spring. I still have trouble identifying all my pines (the Austrian # 12 is one of the hardest for me), and this map has an Austrian and a Sugar Pine. The Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) always gets my attention. There are at least two exemplars I recall at Oregon State Univ.: one just East of Benton Hall and one on the Lower Campus near the winding parking lot. The latter looks quite different from the former because it has "appressed" (not oppressed!) leaves. These usually grow in swamps in the East, and there are all kinds of interesting legends about it (and the "knees" of the Taxodium). The U of O has at least four. I like this tree because it has the finest and tenderest leaves of any tree I have ever felt.
There are 15 trees here.
Other than not being able to find Tree # 8 (I wonder if it has been removed), this map also is accurate. The proximity of the Oregon Ash (Fraxinus latifolia-- # 5, 2) and White Ash (Fraxinus americana-- # 4) give an opportunity to compare these two. Thirteen Japanese Flowering Cherries in a row (or a "round") should forever enable us to identify the Prunus serrulata, but cherry identification is more difficult than you think.
There are 28 trees here.
Total trees here: 47 + 40 + 37 + 15 + 28 = 167 trees. With the 356 so far we now have 523 trees.