Friday, December 12, 2008


Eric the half-a-tree.

There are oaks planted around the periphery of Dolphin Park in central Richmond. These provide acorns and nesting sites for a relatively new and growing population of Eastern Gray Squirrels. Their dreys are visible, now that the leaves have fallen.

The trees are all markedly asymmetrical, branching predominantly to one side, in all cases inward over the park. Why? If you look closely the answer is clear--heavy-duty, single-minded pruning. Every couple of years, crews in cherry-pickers cut back the branches on the street-side to prevent contact with overhead wires.

Drey on grey.

Reminder: The January edition of Festival of the Trees (#31) will be hosted here at Rock Paper Lizard. Please send links to tree- or forest-related blog posts and photosets no later than December 29 for inclusion, and be sure to put “Festival of the Trees” or FOTT in the subject line of your email. The address is talba [at] shaw [dot] ca. You can also try using the online submission form at And if you haven't yet visited December's FOTT at A Neotropical Savanna, please do!


Linda Navroth said...

So that's what they call squirrel nests! I've been noticing a fair amount of them around campus now that leaves are dropping. Some of them are HUGE--guess those are the over-developers of the squirrel world.

Hugh said...

Linda: Yes. Handy for crossword puzzles too.

I think you have Fox Squirrels, which are larger than eastern grays.