Today’s Trees: Maples
Big Leaf Maple, Acer macrophyllum
The grand big leaf maple has leaves as large as a foot. They are valuable trees to the Pacific Northwest as habitat for deer, birds, squirrels, insects, and even shade for young fish along the water’s edge.
There are 3 or 4 resident maples to Washington State: Vine Maple, Rocky Mountain Maple, and the Big Leaf. There are many cultivars of the Northeastern maples though that are commonly planted in Washington.
I believe the one in my yard pictured below for contrast is one of several cultivars of Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum, judging by its much more brilliant color changes and smaller leaf than the big leaf maple. These beauties are the Wisconsin State Tree, and from that state East, some are great to be tapped for maple syrup.
As my month of tree conversations nears a close, I would like to use the spirit of the maple to post a note in memoriam in honor of my uncle, Peter Roosen-Runge, who passed away on October 21, 2013, after a long illness. The last time I saw him was a decade ago when he visited family and met my daughter. He was a remarkable person in the sense of that overused word, “genius,” with what I believe I was told as a youngster was photographic memory and perfect pitch and a voracious intellectual capacity, but the primary reason I smile when I think of him is his final wish. In lieu of a funeral, he wanted donations made to the Toronto Parks And Trees Foundation. May more of us benefit as he did from the spirit of the trees!