Henry David Thoreau Tree
Waynesville, North Carolina (planted July 2008)
Location is isolated north section of Corneille Bryan Native Garden, surrounded by pavement, Lake Junaluska NC (2,600 feet elevation)
LEFT: Both "Hazel Delcourt" (Michael Dowd has his hand marking the top of this just-planted seedling) and "Henry David Thoreau" (which will be planted to the right of the man in orange shirt) were planted in July 2008 along an isolated northern chunk of the garden, surrounded by pavement. The south-facing sun would have been intense in the early years, until the "jungle" grew up around them. (See photos taken in May 2012 below.)
ABOVE LEFT: "Henry David Thoreau" (#9), shown by Jack Johnston right after planting in July 2008 (see the little seedling outlined against the blue of his right leg). Notice the white pine behind Jack; so this Torreya specimen has a young evergreen blocking its southern side (which you will see in later photos, too).
ABOVE RIGHT: 1 week after planting.
ABOVE LEFT (May 18, 2012): Since the 2008 planting, a jungle of deciduous subcanopy plants have surrounded this Torreya specimen. Herbs include jewelweed, poison ivy, virginia creeper, and lots unidentified. Witch hazel is to the west (right) in this photo. Significantly, a white pine is directly south of this specimen (visible upper left of both photos), thus blocking sunlight in the winter. How did this Torreya grow so tall?!
ABOVE RIGHT (May 18, 2012): On a scale in which "Celia" specimen is rated by Lee Barnes as a 10, this specimen is rated a 16. This is by far the biggest, tallest specimen in 2012 of all the 31 seedlings initially planted in 2008.
ABOVE LEFT (May 18, 2012): Amazing new growth!
ABOVE RIGHT (May 18, 2012): All specimens were given wire cages after 3 of the initial 10 planted in July 2008 succumbed to voles eating the cambium during the first winter. Since then, no new deaths have occurred, and all of the remaining 7 Torreyas are extraordinarily healthy.
April 23, 2013
Janet Manning, chief gardener, stands behind the Henry David Thoreau plant. She reports that, with the exception of watering this specimen for several months after it was planted 31 July 2008 and installing wire cages to protect the stems from rodent damage the following spring, there has been no human intervention or assistance for this specimen. (She is facing west into the late afternoon sun).
ABOVE LEFT (April 23, 2013): Connie Barlow stands next to the Henry David Thoreau tree, facing south. Her right hand marks the top of it, while her left hand grasps a branchlet of the 20-foot-tall white pine that shades the Torreya tree until late morning. Notice that the Torreya produces copious growth in a westward direction, while investing in very little growth eastward toward the white pine's shadow. Measurements of the central main stem growth beneath the top radial layer of lateral branches indicate that this tree grew 8.5 inches vertically in 2012 and the same amount in 2011.
ABOVE RIGHT (April 23, 2013): Close-up of the leaf buds for 2013 new growth topping the apical stem. Notice the apex shows that another single vertical stem will grow, surrounded by 5 lateral branchlets that will radiate out from that point.
ABOVE LEFT and RIGHT (April 23, 2013): Connie Barlow (photographer) uses her left hand to highlight the vigorous growth of 2012 and the lack of weather damage to those exceptionally long needle-sharp leaflets.
NEW MEASURE OF HEALTH IN 2013: leaf bud count = 158 on the single main stem and 63 total on the three ancillary basal stems.
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