This is one of our Sycamore Trees. It looks dead, as it is all white on top, but it is very much alive, all 90 feet of it. I liked the contrast of the smooth, white tree branches against the cloudless, azure sky.
Near the base of the tree, the bark covers the trunk. As the tree grows, the bark peels away, like a snake sheds its skin. Pieces of the bark fall off in big chunks, leaving the mid-section looking mottled, like camouflage fabric.
Here’s a close-up of the peeling, shedding bark. I like the bark, or lack thereof. I like the tree, too. In the summer, it has amazingly large leaves, up to 15″ wide, on average, about the size of a dinner plate. My very favorite part of this tree, however, is…
…the seed or the fruit. Not sure which this is – seed or fruit or both . Any botanists, feel free to jump in here to comment.
If I could reach one, I’d pull it down and show you up close what they look like, but they’re all too high for me to reach. They start out as a hard seed or fruit in the fall and turn into a ball of a million tufts of brown fuzz. Similar to a dandelion that has gone to seed, but much more dense. Why I like them so much is that, for whatever reason, hanging there on the bare tree, they remind me of the Truffula Trees from The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss.
Here are the full-grown trees. Notice the smooth, white, mottled bark.(Okay, it’s really striped bark, but I’m trying to forge a connection here.)
The Lorax, with little Truffula trees sprouting in the background.
I turned the picture upside down so you could see the resemblance between the tiny Truffula trees and…
…the Sycamore seed/fruit.
The Lorax said, “I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.”
I say, “I’ll show you my Sycamore, in case you’ve not seen one.”