LumberJocks

Tree IDs #10: North Hollywood Park

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Gary Fixler posted 05-17-2010 07:04 AM 3772 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: trees I know now Part 10 of Tree IDs series no next part

On my first few drives to my new job way up in North Hollywood I passed by a large, grassy park loaded up with – by my standards – enormous trees. I vowed to check them out, and on Wednesday of last week, I took a lunchtime walk down there. It’s only a few blocks, though they are large, city blocks. It’s probably not a full 10-minute walk, so it’s not bad.

Looking it up later, I learned that it’s North Hollywood Park. The Days of Our Lives cast did a ‘green week’ thing there a few years back. That’s about all I could find on it. Here it is on Google Maps.

Large trees greeted me right away at the Tujunga/Magnolia intersection. You can see a tiny man on a bench beneath the one in the center, behind the yellow fire hydrant. Nothing approaches this size nearer my home in west LA (Culver City/Venice/Marina Del Rey/Santa Monica):

North Hollywood Park intersection

A closer pic of the guy:

man under large gum tree

There’s a nice, wide, dirt path around the triangular park that has bikers, joggers, and dog walkers on it throughout the day. I drive up this road in the morning, back home in the evening, and now I’ve stopped by at lunch, and usually I see about 15-20 people just on the stretch here. This was the emptiest I’d seen it:

path in North Hollywood Park

I didn’t know what these were while taking this photo, but later realized they were black walnuts. Now I’m not sure, as the leaves seem to better match butternut. I’m pretty sure they’re in the Juglans genus, either way:

possibly black walnut trees

This one was over 3’ in diameter:

possibly large, black walnut tree

It had quite a canopy, of which this shows only about 1/3rd or so:

potential black walnut tree canopy

I would have been thrilled to make off with this missing limb, probably 2’x3’ in size:

walnut tree trunk with large, missing limb

Note the little guy hanging off the trunk at the bottom here:

squirrel on what might be a walnut tree

This is one of those parks where the squirrels have become quite accustomed to humans:

squirrel sniffs around among fallen, possibly black walnut leaves

squirrel sniffs around among fallen, possibly black walnut leaves

Here’s one of the fallen leaves:

black walnut or butternut leaf

black walnut or butternut leaf

And here are more of the wonderful, twisty limbs:

twisty limbs of a black walnut, or possibly butternut

twisty limbs of a black walnut, or possibly butternut

The big reason I’d wanted to come to the park was what this family is looking at – Eucalyptus. In particular, lining the street I drive on each morning are a particular euc with currently tons of red blooms. I’ve seen some online eucs with such floral plumage, but never any up close, and I was keen to get over there to investigate.

giant eucalyptus with family looking up at it

You’ll note in the above shot the person on the right of the path, with the huge trunk next to them. I got sidetracked as I neared that one:

huge eucalyptus trunk

This particular species dots the landscape here, and is obvious with its coloration, distinctive peeling (different than all the other peeling eucs in the area), spiral growth, brownish limbs, and the particular leaf shape, coloration, and fullness. In particular, though, the bark is just really neat:

spiraling euc trunk

The leaves look almost like bright plastic:

spiraling euc trunk

But back to the trunk :)

spiraling euc trunk

I felt very small next to this thing, which is saying something. Nothing ever makes me feel tiny:

spiraling euc trunk

spiraling euc trunk

And here’s my hand for a little bit of scale:

huge euc trunk with my hand for scale

I wonder if they grow like that in the forests of Australia, or if this has gotten so big because it’s been by itself for a long time, with lots of room to spread.

On the way to the red blooms, I passed a path with purple plums and what I think were large sycamores:

purple plums and sycamores

Pretty sure this is a sycamore. All of them in this park, and the ones I’ve seen in Burbank parks (Griffith) lean hard in one direction:

sycamore tree

I spotted what at a distance looked like coast live oaks, so I went to have a look. They’re always so pretty online:

coast live oaks

Closer up, the leaves were a match for CLO:

coast live oak leaves

This is what I expect from my live oaks – lots of bendy, long branches spidering all over:

coast live oak tree trunk and branches

The 50gal barrel trash can gives some good scale. These are big trees.

coast live oak tree trunk

More friends:

coast live oak tree trunk with squirrel

coast live oak tree trunk with squirrel

coast live oak tree trunk with squirrel

This shot almost looks sideways, the branches are so long.

coast live oak branches

I would love to walk through a forest of these, blotting out the sky:

coast live oak tree

coast live oak tree

I don’t know about coast live oaks, but regular live oaks have curved branches like this, and that’s what made them great for ship builders. Instead of trying to bend or cut a beam, the old craftsmen would simply find a trunk or branch with the bent shape they needed and shave away the excess, kind of like this guy did with curved pieces of black locust. It also means the grain runs continuously up the piece, instead of cutting a curved shape from a wide piece and having grain lines run down the long lengths, but across the short parts of the curve, creating fragile points.

curved coast live oak tree

Another woodland pal on a sycamore:

sycamore with squirrel

Very expectant these little guys…

sycamore with squirrel

Back to the coast live oaks, here’s my hand for some scale:

coast live oak trunk with hand for scale

They are apparently quite messy trees:

coast live oak leaf litter

But that doesn’t bother the squirrels:

coast live oak leaf litter with squirrel

This guy came within about 6” of my left foot:

One last CLO shot:

coast live oak

Finally I made it to the blooming eucalypts. I was eager to see the red blooms up close. It’s nice to have goals :)

Eucalyptus trees

Red blooms!

Eucalyptus tree

They won’t do this for too long, so I was glad I had the opportunity to come see them this year.

Eucalyptus tree with red blooms

Eucalyptus tree with red blooms

Eucalyptus tree with red blooms

Pods galore:

Eucalyptus tree with red blooms

Blooms and pods:

Eucalyptus tree with red blooms

The ground was covered in seed pods, too:

Eucalyptus seed pods

The pods start out light green:

Eucalyptus seed pods

Blooms on the ground:

Eucalyptus blooms on ground

Some bloom closeups:

Eucalyptus blooms

Eucalyptus blooms

Eucalyptus blooms

Eucalyptus blooms

And now some nice closeups of the pods. All Eucalyptus pods, though highly varied in shape, size, and coloration, have 2 halves. The bottom, cup-like portion attached to the stem is the calyx. The lid-like top is called the operculum, and this always pops off to allow the flowers to spill out. Eventually the blooms fall away and the remaining cup grows seeds and showers them down. I’ve had a few pods that were closed the day I brought them home, then sprang open overnight and sprinkled hundreds of tiny seeds, each about the size of a pepper flake. Each pod can hold dozens.

Eucalyptus pods

Eucalyptus pods

“Eucalyptus” comes from the Greek words “eu” (ευ), meaning “well” and “kalyptos” (καλυπτος), meaning “covered.” “Well-covered” refers to each little flower pot (calyx) that hides the flower until the lid (operculum) falls off. Okay, that’s enough learning for now :)

Eucalyptus pods and blooms

I’m pretty sure these are red ironbark, aka mugga, aka mugga ironbark (Eucalyptus sideroxylon). Again, from the Greek “sider” (“iron”) and “xulon” (“wood”) which often transforms to xylo-, we get a species name that means “iron wood.” It’s hard stuff. Here’s a good shot of the pods in various stages:

Eucalyptus pods and blooms

Dead blooms:

Eucalyptus pods with dead blooms blooms

If anything, the bark doesn’t seem quite right for E. sideroxylon, but it might be within the range:

Eucalyptus trunk

Eucalyptus trunk

Eucalyptus trunk

It’s a weepy tree:

Eucalyptus trunk

Eucalyptus

Cool trunk:

Eucalyptus trunk

Finally, I do NOT envy this guy his job:

most mowing ever

That is a lot of grass.

I loved the park, and the trees, and I plan to head back every now and then and wander among the old giants. It’s very relaxing. I felt quite good the rest of the day at work knowing the old-timers were over there, and that now we had met :)

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator



8 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112942 posts in 2331 days


#1 posted 05-17-2010 07:25 AM

Wow thats a lot of info

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2136 days


#2 posted 05-17-2010 07:46 AM

It was a lot of tree, Jim! I was going to break it up, but with less free moments these days, I decided to just get it all into one.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15090 posts in 2430 days


#3 posted 05-17-2010 07:49 AM

Gary, ever think you missed you calling by not being a forester?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2136 days


#4 posted 05-17-2010 07:57 AM

Actually, Topamax, I have too many hobbies, and I get this involved in all of them. I’m a bit obsessive. Woodworking and dendrology sure have taken a front seat in the last year, though.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View degoose's profile

degoose

7052 posts in 2109 days


#5 posted 05-17-2010 08:00 AM

Gary This is my back yard and some of the GUM trees… aka eucalypts… notice the size of the shed. . I am fortunate to have a nature corridor behind me... cant be built out nor can the trees be cut down...

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15090 posts in 2430 days


#6 posted 05-17-2010 08:03 AM

That sounds almost like the making of dendures ;-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View tyskkvinna's profile

tyskkvinna

1308 posts in 1740 days


#7 posted 05-17-2010 03:39 PM

Definitely sycamore. They grow like weeds here, and are popular with the kiddos because they’re famous for not growing straight (and therefore, are easy to climb!)

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile (online now)

FirehouseWoodworking

636 posts in 2028 days


#8 posted 05-17-2010 06:36 PM

Nicely done, Gary!

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase