Pretty in pink

I’ve been watching this tree around the corner from my house since the first hint of color emerged in early April.

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Around April 16 the tight flower buds have opened to clothe the tree in pink fluff.  I think of my sister visiting me from Japan one year who noticed this and asked me about this “Dr Seuss tree.”

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By mid-May the pink has faded to brown.

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The cottony seed fluff is released around June 5.

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And the tree’s new look is a different kind of soft and fluffy, thin scale-like foliage gradually shifting the dominant color to green.

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Tamarisk, genus Tamarix, is also known as salt cedar — I don’t know the exact species of this tree.  It has a rather unruly, sprawling habit, but can be pruned to control it’s shape if desired.   Drought tolerant, it is hardy to USDA zone 4.  Oregon State University has more details on this deciduous tree native to southeastern Europe here.

Before you consider planting this tree, do your homework — in some places it is invasive and its establishment has caused significant decline of native riparian plant communities in many parts of the American west.  A map and discussion is available on invasiveplantatlas.org.  You can read about it on this USDA website, or a very detailed report is available at terrain.org.

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7 Responses to Pretty in pink

  1. Julie Fukuda says:

    That is exactly the kind of tree I prefer to enjoy in someone else’s yard. Certainly the flowering version is stunning.

  2. Ricki Grady says:

    Fascinating, new to me tree. When I saw the shot of the seed fluff, it reminded me of dandelions. Not too surprising, then, that it could become invasive. I love the budding stage, and the later foliage, but with all of the trees to choose from, I guess I’ll skip this one. Fun to read about it, though…thanks!

  3. Right, Ricki — and Mom too. Nice to have this near by to watch, but too much spread — would dominate a small yard.

  4. yonbanme says:

    I like the last photo with the poppies in the foreground. I enjoyed seeing the same tree throughout the seasons, I hope you do more series like this–very interesting. So often you get a photo of a tree in one or two stages but not all the different ones. Makes me want to photograph the trees in front of our house–no one would believe the volumes of materials they drop!!

    • Kimie, I plan to do more posts like this — eventually including a visual record of the full annual cycle for many trees, and pictures of different life stages. I’m having fun watching more closely, paying more attention to the trees around me!

      Yes, your linden trees sure keep you busy!

  5. Heather says:

    I love the form of the trunks. What a weird, wonderful specimen.

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