What is a Deciduous Tree?

What is a deciduous tree? It’s a tree that loses its leaves in the fall. In the autumn, it loses all its leaves and becomes a wintry looking thing, one of the skeletons of winter along the landscape. It isn’t the frost that kills the leaves, it’s a natural process that the tree goes through while it makes chemical conversions through the winter, to return in the spring with a blast of bright green shoots that turn into the fresh greenery of the new season. The oak is a perfect example of a deciduous tree. However, the California Live Oak is an exception, keeping most of its leaves all winter long, leaving nesting and hiding places for birds and squirrels.  Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

Advertisements

How Does Mistletoe Grow On Trees? You Might Be Surprised

CreatespaceAcornsAndEat'emFRONTCOVER

Mistletoe is a parasite. Some people say it harms trees, others say not so much. Opinions vary and I imagine it has a lot to do with climate.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen mistletoe grow on anything but oak trees, but the American mistletoe also grows on poplar, maple, tupelo, apple and thorn trees. Grapevines and apricot trees that grow in the Himalayas, are sometimes found with mistletoe growing on them.

What really surprised me was the way the mistletoe gets its start. Birds are attracted to the mistletoe berries and after they eat them, they clean their beaks while sitting on a tree branch. Because the berries are sticky, the seeds from the berries attach to the branch. Eventually, the seeds germinate and the mistletoe begins to grow. The roots grow right into the bark of the tree drawing water and nutrients. This parasitic action can cause the tree branch to die and lead to the death of the whole tree.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

The Druids and their Little People… Think Fairies

CreatespaceAcornsAndEat'emFRONTCOVERThe Druids believed in little people and that these little people lived inside the oak trees. I’m not sure they didn’t, I don’t know, I wasn’t there but recently a tiny human was found, so maybe at one time there were little people. The Druids were convinced and probably all of ancient Ireland believed in them. It’s a great legend. Let’s say it’s true, there were little tiny people at one time. If I was a little person, say six inches, I think I’d find a lot to love about a big oak tree. One acorn would be a whole meal. Little people could spend their entire life in the environment of that one oak tree. There would be branches to climb, oak galls to push and play with and there are always little nooks and crannies where a little person could find shelter from the elements. I never believed in fairies, I always knew it was made up but after I read about the discovery of a six-inch humanoid, I’ve had to rethink it. The next time you see an oak, think of the little people (fairies and elves) who may inhabit that tree. Why not? People have grown taller over the years… you just never know.
Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973