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Tree IDs

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Blog series by Gary Fixler updated 05-17-2010 07:04 AM 10 parts 39070 reads 71 comments total

Part 1: Dendrology

02-21-2009 02:38 PM by Gary Fixler | 17 comments »

Hi folks! I’m new here, as of tonight, but it already occurs to me that this might be the place for an idea I’ve been toying with. I’ve done minor carpentry-like woodworking since high school (31 now), but in the last 2 years, I’ve finally been able to rent a house with a detached 1-car garage in LA. Thus began my meteoric rise to choking myself out of said garage with tools and lumber acquisitions :) Late last year, it occurred to me to wonder what the trees the wo...

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Part 2: collecting wood

02-22-2009 12:07 PM by Gary Fixler | 13 comments »

I’m overwhelmed by the love shown in my last post in this series, asking if anyone was interested in learning with me (more like teaching me) about different woods, and the trees from which we get them. You were! I’ve found my people. Let’s get started! cracks knuckles I thought I’d begin not with a tree, but with something very much related and interesting that I recently stumbled upon in one of my habitual all-night online woodworking research sessions: the IWCS, ...

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Part 3: The Coast Coral Tree (Erythrina caffra)

02-23-2009 04:26 PM by Gary Fixler | 2 comments »

I thought I’d get the ball rolling on this Tree ID series with the one I’ve already mentioned in my call-for-interest post. I’ve identified this one, and a very small set of others, and will post those first, as I do not have photos yet of the trees in my area of any that I haven’t managed to track down. The internet has several names for this one, including the coast coral Tree, the coastal coral, the kaffir tree, and the kaffirboom, or kafferboom tree. These last ...

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Part 4: Silver Birch (Betula pendula)

02-26-2009 05:01 AM by Gary Fixler | 7 comments »

I believe this will be the last of the trees I post in this ongoing series that I’ve already identified. I think it’ll be more fun for me and anyone else following along to go on the hunt for a tree’s name and species along with me than for me to simply post an encyclopedic entry of each tree. I didn’t take proper pics of the 2 or 3 others I’ve identified either, so they’re not worth posting yet anyway. I do intend to follow up identifications with more abo...

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Part 5: First mystery tree - help me ID it!

03-06-2009 12:43 AM by Gary Fixler | 4 comments »

Status: SOLVED We arrive finally at the trees I don’t know, though there may be a few more I do in later posts in this series. This one seems an ornamental, and it lines some streets in my area. It has very long alternate compound leaves (2’ or more), and the leaflets split in two at their tip, looking like 2 leaves welded into one. This past week or two a few have begun to bloom in large pink flowers. My pics are from several specimens lining a local street. ...

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Part 6: First mystery tree followup - Orchid Tree (Bauhinia variegata)

03-11-2009 03:45 PM by Gary Fixler | 2 comments »

Our very own socalwood immediately picked off my first mystery tree. It would seem indeed to be a Bauhinia variegata, known commonly as the orchid tree. I took a look through the world of the Bauhinia, and for a time almost thought it was Bauhinia purpurea, The Free Dictionary’s other possibility (entry 1). Apparently I’m not alone in this confusion, but shots of B. purpurea, like the one in the Wikipedia article seem quite different. Another name that occasionally popped up was B...

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Part 7: Second mystery tree - Any ideas?

03-14-2009 12:38 AM by Gary Fixler | 4 comments »

These shots are from late February. I have several more since then backing up in my collection, so it’s time to roll out another mystery tree. I saw this one while paying a ticket at a Santa Monica, CA courthouse (missing front plate – whoops!). I love the swanky designs on its limbs. The leaves remind me a lot of Ficus benjamina (Benjamin fig/Weeping fig), but the trunk and limbs do not. Maybe a cultivar, or some other kind of ficus? Here are several photos, from this Flickr s...

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Part 8: The deadly Chinese Elm

03-25-2009 11:34 AM by Gary Fixler | 8 comments »

I was not expecting to ID this tree this way. At the end of my street is a tiny triangular park – by tiny, I mean maybe 0.2-0.3 acres – lined with what I’ve been guessing might be some kind of Eucalyptus. They’re tall, twisty, and have a peeling or splitting bark that reveals many multicolored blotches beneath. Today I learned what they are while looking up a Chinese elm my friend told me fell in the wind storm this week. It was 70 years old, and 50’ tall. I w...

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Part 9: trees I know now

02-26-2010 03:20 PM by Gary Fixler | 6 comments »

I got to thinking tonight about the trees I’ve been learning about this past year, and felt like giving myself a quiz to see which ones I could rattle off from memory. I’ve been learning the genus/species names as I go, too, and sometimes accidentally the family names. Though I’ve ID’d dozens more than this (lemon, avocado, elms, ashes, tons of gums and palms…), and have read through probably a few hundred in tree books and vats of species listed online from my a...

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Part 10: North Hollywood Park

05-17-2010 07:04 AM by Gary Fixler | 8 comments »

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 ...

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