Finley and I have been talking a lot about trees lately. She asks, “What tree is that, Mama?”
I answer, “Ummm….well….ahhh….”
My tree identification skills are lacking.
Aspen. Sure. They are everywhere in Duluth.
But the difference between a bigtooth aspen and a trembling aspen. No idea.
Maple versus oak. Got it.
But the difference between a red maple and a mountain maple or a bur oak and a white oak? Nope.
And then there are the evergreens…they are all just green to me.
Yet, trees contribute much to our quality of life in Duluth.
Since we spend a lot of time in the woods, I set out to increase my knowledge of the trees in our own backyard, neighborhood, and town.
Finley and I grabbed a tree identification book and off we went on a “tree hike”’ at Amity Creek.
It was a purposeful hike. We focused our attention on trees.
We were in awe of the towering pines, slightly creeped out by the large burls (rounded knotty growths on trees), enamored with the endless pinecones, and overjoyed to play among the strong roots and hollowed-out trunks.
After two hours, I still need to continue my studies. I can’t identify a basswood, ash, elm, cottonwood, bitternut hickory…the list goes on.
But Finley did get to practice climbing trees “like a monkey.”
Someday my hope is she can identify which kind of tree she is scaling.
Learn more about native trees in Minnesota at the Department of Natural Resources website.
Do trees have special meaning in your family? Share your thoughts in the comment box below. Thanks!