Even though the weather wasn’t the best I ventured out for a few hours this past weekend in my quest to learn trees. And as with most adventures it held a few surprises. Mainly an American Cottonwood Populus deltoides with an amazingly huge trunk.
Since I started learning trees it seems I notice every tree. And especially a group of tall trees at the local park I drive by every day on the way home from work.
One of my main goals in learning trees is to know their silhouette from a distance at least to the genus level.
My guess at this stage of learning, based on height, would have been a Tuliptree Liriodendron tulipifera, American Sycamore Platanus occidentalis, or Eastern Cottonwood Populus deltoides. And I would say the crown, which is all I can see from this point, is irregular and sparse. Which basically rules out the Tuliptree with its basically single, erect trunk. And the bark from here is definitely dark and not light like a Sycamore.
The park district has been clearing the undergrowth so getting to the tree was much easier than it would have been previously. Allowing for views and photos of the trunk.
And what a trunk!
I’ve been birding this park for three years. And to show how little attention I gave to other objects I never noticed or cared to find out about this tree. How could I miss something with a 4 foot diameter trunk?
And the Eastern Cottonwood is one of several trees Mourning Cloak larvae feed upon. Another piece of a huge puzzle identified.