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Horse Chestnut and Red Maple

Well things got of to a quick and early start here on Cape Cod. Just as  in many places this Spring.  The dry weather, however has slowed the pace down quite effectively. The other day I visited my favorite fresh water spring on the Cape to get some fresh water and to see how my trees where doing.

Unopened tree bud

The Horsechestnut seems quite unmoved by all of the nice growing degree days that we've been having.

I’ve always wondered why the buds on the Horsechestnut tree are covered with the sticky substance that they are. Upon looking into this I learned that this sticky substance helps to protect the bud from frost damage. According to the Herb Society in the UK,

“Sticky buds can be used to make a simple flower remedy which is helpful in dealing with “mental chatter, easing repetitive thoughts or worrisome behaviours”. It is often called “white chestnut remedy” to differentiate from the “red chestnut remedy”, used for “fear or over concern for others”. ”

So the Aesculus are rather uninterested in making a show yet so i decided to see how the toppled Red Maple was doing.

Buds of the Red Maple tree not showing yet

The buds of the fallen Red Maple tree not showing yet.

The Acer  rubrum  is not too showy yet either, though I have noticed that many of the other Red Maples in the are much further along in their Spring development. This is not surprising since this particular tree has half fallen over. I did give a quick scratch test to   check the cambium layer however and there is defiantly  a nice green color under the bark. So it seems that this fallen Acer is still hanging in there but a bit hindered by the stress.

Maple tree buds in bloom

Most of the Red Maples in the area are coming along nicely. Soon, a spectacular show of red blossoms will fill the trees surrounding the spring.

Life is springing up all around these two trees however. The first signs of life in this wetland are usually the Skunk Cabbage Symplocarpus foetidus.

This plant has an amazing ability to literally, “melt” it’s way up through the frozen soil by a process called cyanide resistant, cellular respiration in which it   generates temperatures of up to 15-35°C above air temperature.

Coincidentally this plant has also been traditionally used to treat various nervous conditions.

Tiger lillyTiger Lilly Hemerocallis fulva seems to be another numerous inhabitant of this plot of land surrounding the Horsechestnut and Maple. Tiger Lillies are a delicious, edible addition that will brighten up any salad.

And it seems that the population of Knotweed  is growing each year in this spot. Fallopia japonica is listed by the World Conservation Union as one of the world’s 100 worst invasive species.



1 Comment
  1. It’s a lovely post! I’ve put a link from my blog. Hope that’s the right thing to do.

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