Monday, October 12, 2009

Heritage Tree, South Park Blocks, and today's dahlia.

Scroll down to see today's dahlia, Gregory Stephen, from Swan Island Dahlias.

Click Heritage Trees of Portland to find out about the ordinance that created the Heritage Tree program, as well as additional information at the Portland Parks & Recreation Web site. I especially like the various links, Trees by Year, Trees by Species, Trees by Location, Heritage Elms, and Trees of Merit. When I clicked on Trees by Year, I discovered that I had seen in person the second so designated Heritage Tree in Portland, in 1975.

Believe it or not, I didn't go there first to find today's subject. I lucked out and found this one on Aug. 29 when I got to the Antoinette Hatfield Hall early--I had signed up to help with new usher training for the Portland Center for the Performing Arts. Not wanting to just go inside and just wait, I walked west across the South Park Blocks, not expecting to see a plaque in the sidewalk on the corner--there's the photo, beneath this one. What I read made me look up and find the subject of the third photo below. Now I'm wondering if a sycamore and a London planetree are relatives. Click, click. I'm taking photos and looking for the best vantage points.

The tree as seen from the middle of SW Main as it goes through the South Park Blocks.

The plaque on the sidewalk.

The sign on the tree.

There in the distance you see the brick building--that's the Antoinette Hatfield Hall, part of the Portland Center for the performing Arts, my ultimate destination.

I just love the Internet. I've found a pdf of a brochure or booklet, "Oregon Geology," published by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, from November 1985. On pg. 7, I've read about the sidewalk plaque. "At the northwest corner of the intersection of Main and West Park there stands a magnificent london (sic) plane tree (Platanus acerifolia) (a) that was planted in 1800 by Sylvester Farrell. At the base of the tree, a gneiss marker indicates incorrectly that the tree is a sycamore (which is a close relative of the london (sic) plane tree). The marker also left out an "L" in the gentleman's last name. The tree has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the sole survivor from pioneer times in the immediate area."

Simply grand, that information. I love digging for it, too. Can't help it. I used to be a librarian.

Today's dahlia, Gregory Stephen. Facts from Swan Island Dahlias--Bloom: 12" Red, Bush: 4'

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