Certainly I never thought about trees flowering when I was younger. Leaves, branches, bark are all so noticeable. Flowers, many at least, are often less so. I clearly remember learning the difference between Red Maple and Sugar Maple flowers and have enjoyed learning ever since.
Here in Central Vermont the air last week was full of the seeds from the very early flowering Aspen tree, a veritable snowstorm in June!
These tiny, airborne seeds are both numerous and vital, the reason why there are many young Aspens about.
The last of the magnificent Black Locust have finished blooming. This is a tree that spreads by root sprouts while also producing viable seed, the pods of which are a clear indicator the tree is in the pea family. While the seed pods are of interest all winter long, this time of year it is the flowers that spread their gorgeous scent around the city. And the trees end up full of buzzing bees seeking the sweet and plentiful nectar. In the end the street is covered in the remains of the spent blooms.
In bloom this week are the amazing Catalpa trees. These hail from further south but were long ago planted all over the country by farmers who used them for fence posts. The trees are also hardy street trees with beautiful big leaves, long bean-like seed pods and flowers that are indescribably beautiful.
I look forward to the next big tree bloom: Linden, Little-leaf linden and Basswood. All produce many small flowers that are easy to miss…until you walk near the tree in bloom and, like the Locust, catch the scent of heaven and hear the bees at work. More photographs of the flowers next week when they are fully open.
These are just a few of the trees I’ve been seeing and enjoying lately. I wonder what you might find in your world?