Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hoyt Arboretum - Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Today, I took the day off from work to venture into the Hoyt Arboretum to meet the trees. The Hoyt Arboretum has labels on many of the trees and shrubs. Murphy and I walked around to see what we could see.

Oregon Ash (Fraxinus latifolia) is a smaller tree, less than 25 feet tall according to Pojar. Also, it states that Oregon Ash seems to protect from snakes: traditional wisdom suggest that rattlesnakes will not crawl over an Oregon Ash stick, and areas where this tree grows are free from poisonous snakes. Interesting. The Fraxinus latifolia is bare today as it is a deciduous tree, brown trunk covered with green moss/lichen ridges.

This day ends up being a good day to better learn the Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) which happens to be Oregon’s State Tree. The Douglas Firs today seemed to range in size of truck but where all quite tall. Some of them had low enough needles that I was able to touch and get a good look at while others where way up high. I had trouble determining if these were both Douglas Firs, but according to signs they are. The outline in the Pojar shows the trunk growing very tall before the branches and needles appear. Next time, I not only need to look at the way they grow spirally but see how flat the needles are.

Moss/lichen seem to grow in small amounts on the bark. The bark is very intricate and mysterious with wrinkled depth.

One way to determine if it is a Douglas Fir is to look for cones on the ground surrounding the tree. I have learned these cones and have read that they are unique. They are the ones that are about 2 inches in length that can be held hidden in my hand.

Upon double checking that Douglas Fir is indeed our state tree I found some other interesting things about Oregon. Oregon’s state bird is the Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta), state flower is the Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium), state nut is the hazelnut (Corylus avellana), state stone is the Oregon sunstone and the state animal is the American Beaver (Castor canadensis). (

Time well spend on Saturday getting to know the waterleaf (Hydrophyllum tenuipes) because today I able to point some out to Murphy and then look in my Pojar to ensure my correctly. Pat on the back, well done.

Regarding homework, perhaps my new plant friend to practice water-based botanical extracts will be Marshmallow. I will look into getting some Marshmallow. Initially I thought Ginger and bought some Ginger at the market today. After reading about Ginger I had second thought but it is handy when fighting off a cold. My second guess occurred when I noted that my ‘cold’ is mainly a sore throat. Maybe both, ginger as my known and marshmallow as my new found friend. The sliminess will most likely help my dry scratchy throat.

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