Sunday, April 20, 2008

The roots of Prescott

Though I cursed whoever was to blame for cutting down this beautiful old sycamore at the corner of McCormick and Gurley, I understand the reason. Take a look at the bit of sidewalk to the right and note the crack; just the sort of sight to give the city's attorney visions of lawsuits.

The fact is that the Arizona sycamore may be a lovely streetside tree. BUT. Our native sycamore is given to shallow and surface roots, which play havoc with sidewalks, streets and other manmade constructs. Note how far the roots of this big tree spread; if you look carefully at this Sharlot Hall lawn, you will see barren spots beneath which more roots are growing.

Nor are sycamores the only trees to spread out their roots. The specimen above and below is in the small park at the junction of Gurley and Sheldon.

Here's another tree in the same park with a good supply of surface anchors. I wonder the reason: maybe something to do with our rocky subsurface or the necessity of soaking up every little bit of rainfall that happens?

Even our towering Ponderosa pines grow a shallow root system, plus a deep tap root. You can see the obstacles that a pine must overcome below.

A street cut through our local granite revealed this root about a foot below the surface. It probably belongs to a nearby scrub oak.

For picture purposes, creekside trees are perhaps the most interesting. I thank my dotter for thinking to take these images on the February afternoon we spent out at Lynx Lake.

Is this how the trees just grow naturally -- or are we witness to many years of erosion by seasons of heavy run-off?


Anonymous said...

Super photos. The roots always find a way.

Anonymous said...

Those roots are most tentacular.


Warren said...

Great pics & series!

Granny J said...

steve -- the strength of roots is surely super-human!

bro -- a millipus, perhaps?

warren -- thank you

smilnsigh said...

Fantastic photo representation of root growth!

And I'm glad you got to notice the reason for taking the first one down. Yes, lawyers would love such a sight {crack and raised part of sidewalk}, hu? -sigh-

Thank you for your kind words, in your comment, on my leaving CDPB post. I'll still be having fun with my photographs. And still visiting people I've met. And I'll try to remember to put the link to my blog, after my signed name.


Hyde DP said...

tree roots are so fascinating but they do need to be kept at a distance.

pb said...

Moral seems to be:

Your sycamore will be a work of art, but will need a space the size of a museum to display it.

Granny J said...

SnS-- I love your photographs; readers -- you should check out Mari-Nanci's pictures of Saratoga Springs -- wonderful old Victorian houses and other details of one of our earlier summer resort towns.

hyde -- scary, aren't they, especially the ones drinking all that water. BTW, how do you find time to do all those blogs?? I especially like the one with the old photos; what a neat twist on the daily photo from wherever!

pb -- those are the museum's sycamores, not mine -- I tried to grow one years ago, but it turned up its toes. Mainly the Arizona sycamore likes to be near water, for instance, most of that glorious autumn color in Oak Creek Canyon is from the many sycamores that grow there.

Anonymous said...

Great series of photos on tree roots.

Before full time travel I lived in an old part of Denver with tree roots upending sidewalks along my daily run/walk. To avoid injury -- like many others -- we walked in the streets.

Granny J said...

Welcom, Wandrin -- Since I've walked with a stick for years, I don't woryy so much about the cracked sidewalks. But I can imagine the problem for runners, especially those who bliss out to an iPod.

Anonymous said...

Great spread Granny! And I say move the manmade, make way for the trees! I used to run, and considered irregularities of the surface a welcome reminder to pay attention.

Granny J said...

ad -- roots certainly insist upon attention to one's feet. Like you, I find them also a feast for the eye.

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