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Festival of the Trees #58

Welcome to the 58th Festival of the Trees! I am pleased to host for the third time. Thank you to all the contributors and a special thanks for Arati, Dave, and Jade.

I received contributions about "Arbor Day celebrations and other real-world tree festivals" worldwide, homages to trees from the personal to the communal, at the neighborhood scale to that of nations. Let's start in North America and branch out from there.

Image: Coast live oak, Oakland, California
From Cumberland Island off the coast of Georgia, Honor Woodard shares a personal celebration of the live oaks on the island. Another celebration took place in Georgia. Rebecca of Rebecca in the Woods looks up a tree cavity to discover what's inside a hollow tree while Dave of via negativa poetically presents the physiology behind tree knots.  Crystal M. Trulove had a magical experience planting trees in her Portland, Oregon neighborhood with Friends of Trees and at the end of the day her daughter told her, "Wow, Mom, you’re in a really good mood."  Rebecca of A Year With the Trees exclaimed, "What a beautiful March we are having," at sighting red maple, red bud, serviceberry, and dogwood flowers at various locations in Asheville.  Jade's a tree planter, too.  At Brainripples, she chronicles the planting of five birches and ten spruces at her homestead last month.  I love that No. 15 was planted "Just Because: because there is simply no such thing as 'too many trees.'"  Dave at Fidalgo Island Crossings shared a two-hour session of arboreal therapy in Heart Lake in the Anacortes Community Forest Lands in Washington.

Image: Birches, San Francisco
A perennial favorite, the Peeling Back the Bark blog, honored the 40th anniversary of the successful Apollo 14 mission and the seeds of the loblolly pine, sycamore, sweet gum, redwood, and Douglas fir brought to the moon and back by astronaut Stuart Roosa. Another tree anniversary is that of the 1957 Caldecott Medal winner A Tree is Nice by Janice May Udry and illustrated by Marc Simont.  An excerpt from the 1957timecapsule blog:
Simont and Udry extol the beauty of leaves, the fun of jumping in a great pile of them, and the warmth of a big bonfire in the fall. Trees provide a wonderful climb, a place to lean a bike, shade and protection from the wind, a home for birds, a limb to hang a swing or flower basket, or the ideal spot for a picnic. And, if you plant a tree, you’ll have the year-after-year pleasure of watching it grow. You may inspire others to plant their own trees, too.
Image: Sign, Cleveland
Going further back, to 1920, Dave at Shorpy posted a photograph of an Arbor Day tree planting in Washington, D.C. that occurred on April 15, 1920. (The website has a great collection of tree photographs that can be viewed here.) A celebration of early spring in the north is maple sugaring and several entries bring us into the thick of things. Peter Huoppi videotaped mechanical and manual sugaring methods in Connecticut. Emily and Chris wrote about tapping 19 trees on their Fiddlehead Creek Farm and Native Plant Nursery in New York. And over at Not Dabbling in Normal, Susy Morris provides a "brush up on [our] sugaring skills."

Image: Sukkah, New York City
Cherry trees are blooming in San Diego and the blossoms on the University of California campus were photographed by Annie on Natural Treasure. Overseas, almonds are blooming, too. The Jewish New Year for Trees or Tu B'Shat and coincides with the blossoming of the almond tree. View the almond trees on the Gilboa Hills at OyVaGoy.  (Our entry hails from 2010; it is about the 12 sukkahs displayed in Union Square Park, entries in the Sukkah City: NYC 2010 competition.  The structures were constructed primarily from paper, wood, and flowers.)

While some stroll or sit under the trees, others run. Arati at Trees, Plants & more entered the IISc (Indian Institute of Science) 10K Run to see "[t]rees everywhere, lining most of the paths we ran through." From experiencing trees with many to only one other, Ash of treeblog and his father visited their four grey alders (Alnus incana) planted "out in the wild." (Sorry to hear about No. 4.)  Pip Howard at europeantrees published an exchange about the landscape of Stoke Gabriel, the location of two lime trees that Pip is following for the Tree Year 2011 project. (Learn more about the project here.)

Image: Cherry trees, New York City
I would be remiss if I did not mention the blossom season in Japan. Tokyo Green Space blogger Jared Braiterman has several posts about Japan's current blossom season: a plum bonsai, quince and white bush, and white magnolia.  And the famous cherry blossom (sakura) viewing (o-hanami) celebrations.  Blossoms have opened in several locations but the best viewing times begin early next week according to the schedule posted at  However, news outlets such as the Wall Street Journal have reported cancellations for trips to Japan.  Accounts of prior cherry blossom seasons in Japan can be read at Human Flower Project (HFP): Under the Cherry Blossoms by Masashi Yamaguchi and Predicting Sakura by Julie Ardery, editor of HFP. In the U.S. you can participate in cherry blossom viewings in Portland (Oregon) at Sakura Sunday (via Yuki's Origami Blog), in Washington, D.C. at the National Cherry Blossom Festival, and in San Francisco at the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival.

I wanted to end with Suzanne's odes to catkins.  At Spirit Whispers, she examines the beauty of the catkin -- in gorgeous photography -- of the alder and the poplar. She describes the development of the catkin as "well worth the wait"! Suzanne will host Festival of the Trees #59. Please send your contributions to suziscribbles [at] by April 29. The theme? How do trees inspire you?

Festival of the Trees #1 through #57 can be accessed from the official Festival of the Trees website.


Georgia said…
An addition: Friends of Trees post about their March 19 planting at which 167 volunteers planted 500 trees. And one of the 167 was Phoebe, a five-year old, who "donated $28.87 to Friends of Trees in coins that she’d set aside from several months of allowance." at
Anonymous said…
On behalf of Suzi Murray (Spirit Whispers) who could not leave a comment because her computer has a bug --
"[C]ongratulations... great post & am looking forward to browsing through the links. How gorgeous are the cherry blossoms?!"
This is a fun theme - thanks Georgia. Great Festival!
rebecca said…
Great links, thanks for hosting this month!
Lovely, I especially enjoyed all the cherry blossoms.
Anonymous said…
What a wonderful blog idea, to have Festival of the Trees! This post is so fun. I am loving the different perspectives, the different honoring of our planet's trees, the incredible photos. Thank you so much for including a link to my Friends of Trees blog post. They are a great organization and deserve any positive recognition they can get. OK, I need to get back to reading the posts from all your links...