Friday, March 28, 2008

Oak Summit in Boone

Oak Summit~~~~ there must have been a time???
When this entire ridge was covered in oaks to the summit.
Now, highways surround, cars pass, people notice the sign that says Oak Summit with no notion of the Oaks or any sense of any summit at all.
These heritage oaks have a story. Why have they been saved? When was their nature to be natural and not surrounded by development? Where can they grow and be respected?
May they always reach upward! May they always reach outward! Hopefully in so doing might these heritage oaks grab us and lift us beyond our mundane comings and goings. And remind us of their grandeur, longevity, and heritage.

Oak Ridge in Boone

Oh my, what a mighty oak! And so tall, somewhat unusual in height for mountain oaks.
It even comes with its own signage!
Towering over the building that is named for the trees.
One wonders, will there always be room for these giant heritage trees?
Notice, it is within a few feet of the highway (State Farm Road). How long can it last? Where can it grow?
How many of us pass it each day and not notice?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

5,000 Year Old Tree

Sometimes you have to go waayyyyy out of Watauga County.
All the way to California!
This is reported to be the oldest tree in North America.
National Champion Bristlecone
PinePinus aristata var. longaeva

Inyo National Forest California
Age = 5000+ years

The Bristlecone Pine is among the oldest living things on earth.
Individual bristlecone pine trees may live over 5,000 years.

This tremendous, rugged Bristlecone Pine tree is growing in the Inyo National Forest in southern Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Its exact location is kept secret to protect the tree from having its roots trampled by visitors.

Bristlecone pines are usualy difficult to date by tree rings, since their complex, massive root systems sprout multiple stems, which die, often to be replaced by new younger shoots.

Simply amazing to ponder!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Heritage Walker

Ok, so this is not a tree. Now. But it was a tree, or part there of. I found this "heritage walker" in the Perkinsville community. I spotted it from the new 421 in the area near the new auto parts store.
Remember, one of the attributes is that a Heritage Tree be one that has been around long enough to be the biggest, oldest, or connected by a story to the person or community. I am sure there is a story behind this tree. Wondering what it is? Why would someone go to the trouble to stand up a root system of a large tree? And to light it up and offer it for others to enjoy?
I call it a Heritage "walker" because it looks like a primitive creature crossing the ridge at night and caught in a spotlight. Not knowing whether to run or flee, it freezes in the spotlight in attempt to imitate a tree root. Pretty good camoflage isn't it?