the boys WE learned that the top of a pine tree is called a Leader, and that the trunk STEM is a single shaft, or Bole – the main stem of the tree, is singular, straight, the leader continues to grow.
Another new point learned is that the branches come out of the stem at a 90 degree angle. The weight of the bough bends it down, but it does not grow at a downwards angle. This explains alot of why the boys and I are often dissatisfied with drawing a tree. We always draw a line up, with triangle like lines down. We know it is “supposed” to look like a tree, but it just doesn’t. We walked around looking at several conifers in the neighborhood and saw that yes, bar non, the branches come out at a near 90 degree angle.
We’ve printed out the section on trees out of the Handbook of Nature, and will continue to report our findings here. A HUGE eye opener is yet to be reported, but I’ll save that for next time. 🙂 Wonder what else I learned today???? The boys thing that Bear Grylls would like to know!
- Update- 2/16/10 – The boys were quite sure that pine trees did not have a single Bole – and we discussed this at length that they were seeing other trees that thy only thought were pines – but then we went to the beach. Shore Pines do not seem to have a single stem – many are split into 5 or more stems growing at equal lengths. Do the young plants get damaged by the wind squalls forcing more leaders to emerge for the sake of the plant? Those closest to shore seem to have the most equal leads. Here is a picture of one by the lake. We frequently get 40+mph winds here, but then calm in between, not the constant from a mile away. This is what we spotted while boating around the North shore of Devils Lake:
This is not one of those rare 4 leafed shamrock type occurrences, this seems to be the way with every shore pine - We were told in our by USFS personnel that a Shore pine, left alone will emerge into a Lodgepole pine if allowed to grow tall. We had several on our property along the coast in Southern Oregon and had a ranger come to look at them and see what they were. He said that they were old growth shore pines.