The Portland Heritage Tree Quest, group 9.5 - Northwest passages: riding out the storm - CycleBlaze

March 10, 2020

The Portland Heritage Tree Quest, group 9.5

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time to take a look at something other than news about the Coronavirus or our insane domestic political situation.  How about some trees.  OK?

First though, let’s look at some smiling and happy faces, and an exciting construction project.  Yesterday we drove with Bruce and Andrea down to Silverton to check in on the Grumbys and the status of their new home construction project.  We haven’t seen the Grumbys IRL since just before we left for Iberia last fall.  It’s wonderful having them back in Oregon where they belong and exciting to see the progress on their new home.  We’re already talking up a short up-valley bike trip to drop in on them sometime this summer.

This and the following photos come to you courtesy of Mr and Ms Grumby. Thank youse, folks!
Heart 5 Comment 3
Bruce LellmanThree really big, tall, burly men (with huge calves not visible) but still they seem dwarfed by the size of this window. Just imagine how big the window actually is!
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanCalves like cantaloupes! We’re all secretly getting by as drug runners.

This is really a nice photo, I think, with the large dark space framing us. We should nominate Jen for our official team photographer.
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Jen GrumbyIf we were selling the house (not!), this photo would be prime marketing material!

".. with windows built to accommodate men with the manliest of calves!"
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
A happy HAC reunion.
Heart 7 Comment 1
Bruce LellmanWhat a fine looking bunch of people! Must be all the cycling that keeps them looking so healthy.
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
The squirrel’s nest will go up there.
Heart 5 Comment 0
Heart 4 Comment 0

Not that we’ll see all that many trees today.  It’s another beautiful but cold day, and Rachael and I frittered always most of the morning tweaking some finishing touches into our itinerary across Colorado.  By the time I finally rolled out the door it was almost noon, and I only had a couple of hours to make my rounds before returning and getting ready for our late afternoon PIFF showing.

I had a 20 mile route to ten new heritage trees mapped out, but only made it halfway through the list before it was clear that I was running out of time.  So, I cut it in half, picking up the first five today and the others tomorrow.

And, I didn’t even make it to all five.  After making three complete passes through Couch Park I never did find the cucumber tree (Magnolia acuminata) that’s allegedly growing there and finally gave up.  I’ll have to do some research to see what this tree even looks like and then go back for a second try.  Embarrassing, because I see in the guide that the tree in Couch Park is believed to be the largest cucumber tree in the city.  Seems like I would have been able to pick it out.

So, an embarrassingly short ride that netted a puny four new trees.  More annoyingly, it was shortened for no good reason.  The film we both hustled back to attend turned our to be terrible.  Another amorphous, obscure, plotless stinker.  Very disappointing.

First up today is tree 037, a Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora).
Heart 1 Comment 0
A southern magnolia. Seen up close like this, it’s not that impressive - looks like it could just be part of a big hedge.
Heart 1 Comment 0
This must be one of those magnaflorae the Latins we’re talking about. This obviously isn’t the prime viewing time though.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Our southern magnolia is tucked away in the Lair Hill neighborhood. Just south of downtown but cut off by a ring of highways, it preserves some beautiful old homes.
Heart 3 Comment 0
Biking west of PSU up I think Jefferson Street, we find this graceful bamboo stand that I’ve not seen before.
Heart 4 Comment 0
It seems like every other ride I take lately I’m reminded that I’d love to see Japan again before I die.
Heart 4 Comment 0
Image not found :(
Another magnolia! This is tree 137, a Saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana). We see this tree everywhere in town now. It’s so showy and hard to overlook when it’s at its peak.
Heart 1 Comment 1
Patrick O'HaraYup! You're about a week ahead of us as far as spring is concerned. Our Saucer magnolias are just beginning to peek out of their furry buds.
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Remember this name, if you didn’t know what this tree was before: saucer magnolia. Got it, Rachael?
Heart 4 Comment 0
Tree 051, an Empress Tree (Paulownia tomentosa) looks just a bit sad and showing its age. It’s on the corner of a school ground by Couch Park, so I’m sure they can’t risk any deadfalls.
Heart 1 Comment 2
Bruce LellmanIt looks tormentosa.
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanIt took me a second, but then I started laughing out loud. Very embarrassing when sitting alone in a coffee shop.
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
The Empress tree, a native of China, is also known as the princess tree or foxglove tree.
Heart 1 Comment 0
The empress tree doesn’t look like much now; but at its peak it’s brilliant and unmistakable, blanketed India showy lavender blossoms.
Heart 3 Comment 0
Tree 217, a Yoshina cherry (Prunus x yedoensus) was hard to find. This is my second time trying to locate it, and it took me three passes today before I finally figured it out.
Heart 1 Comment 0
It’s easy once you spot the sign, but it’s high up the tree and not obvious. The tree itself looks modest enough that I wouldn’t have been sure if I hadn’t seen the sign.
Heart 2 Comment 0
It does look like our Yoshino cherry has stood here awhile though. Nice that it’s been preserved, at the corner of the fire station on Naito Parkway.
Heart 2 Comment 0
We’re certainly seeing it at the perfect time.
Heart 2 Comment 0
And, it stands in good company. Right behind it is another showy bloomer that we all recognize by now.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Just across the street in the waterfront park is the Japanese American Historical Plaza and it’s stunning cherry grove. This time of year folks crowd to the waterfront to see the trees, but it’s important to remember why they’re here in the first place.
Heart 1 Comment 0
A sobering reminder of how low a society can fall when fear takes over.
Heart 1 Comment 0
We’re still a few days early from the peak bloom.
Heart 3 Comment 0
This one though - it’s a few days ahead of the others. Incredible.
Heart 3 Comment 0
Heart 2 Comment 1

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.

Group 8 (5 species): Himalayan Pine, Gray Pine, Apache Pine, Italian Stone Pine, Loblolly Pine

Group 9 (6 species): Sycamore Maple, Japanese Larch, Spanish Chestnut, Weeping Willow, Oregon White Oak, Oregon Myrtle.

Group 9.5 (4 species): Southern Magnolia, Empress Tree, Saucer Magnolia, Yoshino Cherry.

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.

Rate this entry's writing Heart 7
Comment on this entry Comment 2
Jen GrumbyThanks for including photos from your visit to Silverton! It was great to see youse all, and look forward to seeing you again soon .. here or in Portland.
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyYou bet! Thanks for giving us permission. It will help us remember a wonderful day. I doubt we’ll meet before we leave town, but June for sure.
Reply to this comment
4 months ago