Friday, February 13, 2009

Can't see the forest for the trees

Western Pine

23. Western Pine
Already knew: Western Pines, especially up in BC are being decimated by the Western Pine Beetle, which is normally killed off during cold winters but the winters haven't been getting cold enough for long enough to do so. You know you have pine beetles by the little round holes they leave in the bark. The pinecones from the Western Pine are skinny and smooth, and not so good for traditional pinecone crafts. They are evergreen trees.
Recently learned: The Western Pine grows between 30-50 meters tall. The branches of most pine trees grow in a tight spiral up the trunk. Pines grow well in acid, sandy soil.
Monkey Tree

24. Monkey Puzzle Tree
Already knew: The monkey tree is an evergeen tree with spiny leaves. If you are riding in the car with your sister and you see a monkey puzzle tree, you can say "Monkey Tree don't pinch me!" and pinch her. This is a good game to play in unison with Slug Bug.
Recently learned: The Monkey Puzzle Tree is native to Chile, and thought to be a living fossil. It can grow to 40 meters tall and have a trunk that is 2 meters wide. Unlike pine trees, it is usually a single sex tree with male and female cones on different trees. The seeds are edible and frequently eaten in Chile, but the tree does not produce seeds until it is 30-40 years old. It can possibly live to be 1,000 years old. It's original name in Mapuche (the native language of the area) is Pehuen.

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