Thomas (or Wendell) Berry Tree
Evans Property, Waynesville, North Carolina (planted July 2008)
"Thomas (or Wendell) Berry" (#29), shown by Russ Regnery,
7/31/08. Russ's left palm marks the top of the seedling.
one week after planting
Nov 08: View West. Chuck Dayton stands by this specimen.
After leaf fall, the seedling is in full sun to grow.
Nov 08: View South, downhill. Closeup of seedling.
September 23, 2010: noonish on sunny day; yet full shade.
Michael's hand is at top of tree.
9/23/10: lovely central crown growth
(photos by Connie Barlow)
This specimen is on the west side of the Evans property on an east-facing moist slope of a ravine that has a perennial creek running N-S through it. Slightly upstream of the plantings, an intermittent springs/falls streams down some vertical bare rock walls and empties directly into the creek. (3,400 feet elevation)
LEFT (May 18, 2012): This specimen seems superbly healthy! Notice the moist indicator plants nearby: Christmas fern, false solomon seal, pipevines, virginia creeper, Smilax, and (perhaps most important of all) hydrangia! Striped maple is part of the mid-canopy shading this specimen.
RIGHT (May 18, 2012): New growth is superb! A small vertical apical extension of new growth is emerging from the top-center of the plant. Triplet branchlets of new growth appear on all 4 of the top-tier radiating branches and even on some of the radiating branches one tier below. On a scale in which "Celia" specimen is rated by Lee Barnes as a 10, this specimen is also a 10.
LEFT (May 18, 2012):
RIGHT (May 18, 2012): This photo suggests that this specimen is so healthy that it is not even bothering to put any growth into ensuring a basal coppice stem (which Torreya specimens usually have, and which instantly take over all the new growth if a main stem fails).
NOTE: Spring 2013 photos below taken April 24 on an overcast day, but spring was delayed nearly 2 weeks, so it is more like April 10. Thus, instead of light-green new growth photographed above in spring 2012, there is only light-green leaf buds to indicate the vigor of the plant.
ABOVE LEFT (April 24, 2013): "Thomas" appears to have lost some vigor, compared to branching richness of spring 2012 photos.
ABOVE RIGHT (April 24, 2013): Notice that it appears to have the same radial top layer as spring 2012. The only growth during summer of 2012 was triplet branchlets extending out from the 6 radiating top branches, plus about 2 inches of apical vertical height. Here you can see that only 4 new lateral branches will radiate out from the new topmost layer this year, and apical vertical growth will be delayed to follow that. So overall, Thomas is less healthy than Maxilla and Celia.
NEW MEASURE OF HEALTH IN 2013: leaf bud count = 40 on main stem; there is no ancillary basal growth.
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