The Portland Heritage Tree Quest, group 7 - Northwest passages: riding out the storm - CycleBlaze

February 27, 2020

The Portland Heritage Tree Quest, group 7

Twenty Questions, continued

#16: OK, I finally get the concept.  A WNW / ESE orientation, a 1200 mile box, and not going east of the Mississippi.  It’s a domestic trip, so it’s not Havana either.  You must be flying WNW from San Antonio.  Las Vegas!  Right?  Please tell me I’m right.  Wrong, but warmer.  A good thing too, because you’re almost out of questions.

Yesterday’s Ride

Today’s entry is about the latest PHTQ outing, but let’s stop briefly to look at Team Anderson’s training ride out to Gresham yesterday afternoon.  Not many photos because we’re just out for the ride, but it was too pretty out to pass over completely.  

Besides the bunny bonanza, we especially enjoyed riding into Gresham along the new Wy’East Trail Path that we haven’t seen before - or at least, it’s new to us.  It was opened five years ago, but we’ve never notified it.  And, we enjoyed biking down Gresham’s Main Street, an attractive avenue lined with cafes, restaurants, and a lovely brick Carnegie Library.  We mentally filed away a plan to ride out here some summer afternoon and have bunch at Nicolas, a Lebanese/Mediterranean restaurant that looked worth a try.

This mountain just keeps coming up. Can’t take our eyes off of it.
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Another welcome bike infrastructure improvement since we were here last: a new, smooth-surfaced bridge across Johnson Creek, replacing the old, wooden planked one.
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A sheep in the shade!
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It’s a bunny bonanza today! We saw six of these guys along the Springwater Trail today, the most ever. None of them look like antelope jackrabbits, but Jen might correct me on this again.
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Bill ShaneyfeltEars shorter than face. It is indeed a cottontail as you suspected.
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3 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltI was pretty sure. The other tip-off is that we’re about 1,500’ miles too far north.
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3 months ago
Bill ShaneyfeltTo Scott AndersonThat too. :-)
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3 months ago
Jen GrumbyOK .. I know we're too far north to see antelope jackrabbits, but that would be seriously cool to run into one on the Springwater Trail!
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2 months ago
Spring comes to Jenne Butte.
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One last bit of rust for the February Cycle365 Challenge.
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PHTQ, Group 7

It’s another gorgeous day today, the best of an amazing string of late winter/pre-spring days this week.  It’s in the mid sixties when I leave home at about one.  I’m off the hill and way on my way to Tilikum Crossing when I realize I’ve forgotten my camera back in the apartment.  Frustrating, but not worth turning back for it.  I’ll just make do with the phone camera for a change.

I’m off to the eastside to the Brooklyn neighborhood again, to pick up the China Fir I obliviously biked right past last week.  

A tree grows in Brooklyn: a China Fir, Cunninghamia lanceolata. Not a true fir, it’s actually a member of the cypress family. A native of China, Northern Vietnam and Laos.
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Looking at its trunk, it’s clear it’s not a true fir regardless of its name. It’s only near relative is the Taiwan Fir, another Cunninghamia species.
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Cunninghamia lanceolata, the China Fir.
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From Brooklyn, I drop through Oaks Bottom to the Springwater Trail, passing by the tadpole pond and listening to a chorus of frogs.  There are plenty of small birds flitting around that might tempt me to stop for a shot, but with just the cellphone I know it’s not worth it.

A few miles later I cross back to the west side over the Sellwood Bridge, huff and puff my way up through the Sellwood Bridge, and pause at the top for another arresting view of Mount Hood.  Along the way I zip past a group of four older riders, and then let them pass me again when I stop for the photo.

As I pass them again a few minutes later one of them brings a smile to my face when he says I’m being stopped for a random drug test.

Looking east at Mounts Tabor and Hood, from Riverview Cemetery.
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All of the remaining trees on today’s list are in the lumpy northern outskirts of Hillsboro, south of Council Crest.  I don’t cover much distance in the next few miles, but I see some beautiful and unfamiliar territory as I went through the small, twisted streets here.  The next tree up is this tall Blue Atlas Cedar.

And, looking at this tree, I see I must have been wrong in the Atlas Cedar I thought I saw last time.  It looks nothing like this tree.  The guide is confusing here too - it lists both the Atlas Cedar and Blue Atlas Cedar, but as the same species - so maybe they’re cultivars.  In any case, I’m sure about this one.  Among other things, it’s blue.

Will the real Blue Atlas Cedar please stand up?
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Cedrus Atlanticus, a native of Morocco and northern Algeria.
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Blue Atlas Cedar.
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Blue Atlas Cedar.
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The next two trees, a Lacebark Pine and Bald Cypress, are a big disappointment.  Assuming that they’re indexed correctly in the guide, they’re not viewable without a private showing.  They must be buried somewhere in the middle of a large private woodland that takes up the better part of a city block.  Frustrating, because each is the only instNce of its species in the guide.  Nothing to be done but drop them from the Quest.

At least I can console myself though with a pretty ride through these unfamiliar hills, climbing along Vermont Creek.

Why didn’t dad build me one of these? What a terrific treehouse, with the trunk of this huge tree skewering it.
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Which reminds me - I’d better get training if I want to compete in the California Alps Death Ride this year.
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The final trees of the day are all clustered within a block of each other, on Dosch Park Lane.  It’s a beautiful neighborhood, and one I’ll be returning to later when the deciduous trees leaf out.  There’s a cluster of heritage trees here.

First up is this tall Ponderosa Pine.  No stranger of course, since it’s a predominant species in central Oregon - but very impressive standing tall and isolated beside a city street here.

Tree #130 in the inventory, this Ponderosa Pine is listed as 125 feet tall. They can be twice this height in the wild.
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It’s easy to see how the Ponderosa Pine got its name.
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Right next door is tree #144 in the inventory: a 104 foot tall Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobes).
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White pine, white house.
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Not sure if this is a ponderosa or white pine cone. You tell me. I’m showing you both sides to make it easier for you.
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Bill ShaneyfeltThat is white pine. I remember from Botany at Antelope Valley College in 1965 learning about ponderosa pine cones. They are big, heavy, rounded and spikey. And we had a row of white pines in our back yard one of the many places I have lived.

OK, I just looked up a nice picture of ponderosa cones.

http://allobotanicals.com/pine-cones/ponderosa-pine-cones/
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3 months ago
And just around the corner is the final tree on today’s list: tree #147, a Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis). A native of the Pacific Coast from Alaska to California, it’s uncommon this far inland. This one, at 112 feet tall, is a runt. They can grow to almost triple this height.
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I should look around. I’ve probably got a photo somewhere of Rodriguez leaning against a much larger instance of this tree.
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Sitka Spruce cone and some sort of laurel leaf.
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So, that’s it for the list.  As long as I’m here though, I might as well peek at this tree planted in the middle, propped up on all sides.  Obviously a beloved old survivor.

It’s another heritage tree! #290 in the inventory, a Yellow Bellflower Apple (Malus x domestica). Behind it to the right stands the Sitka Spruce we were just looking at.
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This tree has an amazing story to tell: the oldest living grafters apple in the western United States.
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At 170 years old, our beloved Apple is showing its age a bit.
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On the way home, along Terwilliger Boulevard. Spring is blooming out everywhere. I’d better head down to the waterfront to see if the cherries are opening up yet.
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Keeping Score:

Group 1 (7 species):  grand fir, willow oak, hedge maple, Douglas fir, incense cedar, tulip tree, sugar maple.

Group 2 (9 species): silver maple, Japanese cedar, oriental plane tree, European beech, American chestnut, copper beech, mockernut hickory, basswood, butternut.

Group 3 (9 species): ginkgo, crape maple, northern red oak, deodar cedar, bigleaf linden, giant sequoia, coast redwood, Japanese pagoda tree, Mount Fuji flowering cherry.

Group 4 (8 species): Zelkova, Carolina poplar, Japanese red pine, Katsura, bur oak, river birch, catalpa, wych elm.

Group 5 (8 species): Monkey puzzle tree, western white pine, boulevard cypress, madrone, single needle pinyon, pecan, Coulter pine, Monterey pine.

Group 5-1/4 (2 species): Port Orford cedar, English yew

Group 6 (6 species): White fir, Atlas cedar, Cedar of Lebanon, Endlicher pine, Dawn redwood, Umbrella pine.

Group 7 (6 species): China Fir, Blue Atlas Cedar, Eastern White Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Sitka Spruce, Yellow Bellflower Apple.

Dropped (3 species): Paradox Maple, which I couldn’t find and may no longer exist; and the Lacebark Pine and Bald Cypress, both of which were unapproachable and hidden in the middle of a large private woodland.

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Jen GrumbyThat's too bad that the Lacebark Pine and Bald Cypress weren't accessible.

I think the property owners should provide viewing privileges to the PHTQ Founder!
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2 months ago