Studying City Trees
Increasingly, many of us live in cities. And, with the exception of some downtown areas, most cities have trees to look at. Of these, deciduous trees stand out in contrast to their conifer counterparts.
Why is this? I think it’s a maturation thing. Conifers begin to outgrow their youthful feeling only after reaching 200+ years, and yet many city areas are younger than this, or recreate themselves well within that timeline. Most city conifers are still in swaddling clothes. Deciduous trees, on the other hand, often begin to fall apart in less than 100 years, making them interesting subjects for city bonsai study.
These huge old deciduous trees are part of Portland’s Heritage Trees, a database of trees with unique size, age, historical or horticultural significance.
If you frequently wander local streets staring at trees you might be thought of as a nutter, but then your bonsai might improve, too. Conifer inspiration is often better in the wilds. On the other hand deciduous may be at peak performance right where you live.