Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Weird Tree Tidbits

This week, I learned two things about trees I never knew before. Since I’m guessing most of you don’t know either I’ll share.

The first concerns willow tree bark. Way back when Hippocrates was a physician he used to prescribe that patients chew on it. Doing so cured all sorts of maladies. Why? What common analgesic is a derivative of willow trees? Aspirin. Ah ha. Next time you’re out hiking in the woods perhaps you want to keep that in mind.

The second, and one I’m going to need to test out myself before I believe, concerns dead wood on live trees. Do you know how to tell, in the spring when the sap begins to flow, whether a branch is still alive or not? Other than the obvious, waiting to see if it sprouts leaves? Supposedly, you can feel the difference. Dead limbs will be warm to the touch whereas live ones will be significantly cooler.

Anyone live where it’s already beginning to warm up? Could you please go out and feel your trees to test this and then let us know? I’d really appreciate it as I’m sure everyone else will too.


Regina Carlysle said...

We hit 90 today. I'll have to go check my trees. This is fascinating.

Taylor Tryst said...

I can promise you that my trees still feel cold, and I don't even have to wade out in the three feet of snow to feel the branches...too bad, though. I wish it were warm enough in Minnesota to put the theory to the test.
Someone, please do let me know,

Amarinda Jones said...

Yeah, I knew about the first one but good to know you are spreading the word