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    Hints of Balsam and Pine  from our  corner of the Adirondacks. Adirondack Letters
    No.11: A Trees Story.
    Hints of Balsam and Pine: Nature Reflections in a minor key from our quiet corner of the Adirondacks. For Fourpeaks Guests and anyone who ever dreamed about a wilderness getaway. CLICK & GO!  (On this page.)   Adirondack Letter No.11: "A Trees Story."   (On the next page.)   Visit Our Trees. 21 photos and tree identification guides.   Fourpeaks Trail Map with tree locations. Visit Our Trees!   List and Links to all the Adirondack Letters in this series.  

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    "A Trees Story" Adirondack Letter No.11
    Subject: "A Trees Story." Adirondack Letter #10
    Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 16:31:34
    From: < >
    To: < youremailname@youremail.address >

    To:    Fourpeaks Visitors
    At:    < youremailname@youremail.address >

    Dear Fourpeaks Visitor,

    Looking out from The Cabin porch those early days in '68, there
    were so many of them, and except for one, I didn't know them well
    at all. I considered learning their names and bought some books to

    Maple wings. I was familiar with just the maple, as a small boy in the city,
    for the friendly shade in Summer and the "wings" that fell in
    Springtime to the concrete walk below. We'd snap them open and
    stick them on our noses to make a funny face. The sap was white
    and sticky.

    Long Island locust. Robinia hempsteadia. As a teenager a stand of native locusts filled the corner lot at
    our suburban home on Long Island. The deep fissures in the bark
    and the fragile compound leaves made a distinct impression. They
    gave little shade and appeared stunted. I supposed their progress
    to great size was held back by poor soil.

    Settled in one of the commuter towns on the South Shore, we'd take
    our young family weekends driving East for the open space and
    ocean air. At a State Park mid-island the kids would feed the
    ducks and we'd picnic later in a shady grove. The major trees had
    little embossed metal squares on them with their common and latin
    names. Aside from the maples I retain no impression of them except
    that beech has a distinctive light grey bark quite smooth for a

    Another favorite weekend spot was the Cutting Arboretum still
    farther East. The ducks nested in a salty marsh we'd take the kids
    to see and later they'd feed them by the shore. Specimen trees of
    great size and age were arranged in open fields with lots of space
    around. The names were on decorative metal plaques each fixed to a
    small spike in the ground. The lower branches of a perfectly
    shaped Japanese spruce touched the ground in a 50-foot circle and
    the top of it soared above our heads a hundred feet into the air.

    Popple. Quaking or Trembling aspen. Populus tremuloides. When I first got the land here, old pasture was already thick
    woods and the forest was fast closing in the haying fields and
    garden plots. I got to know popple, that aggressive sun-loving
    volunteer species. Ed Boynton cleared a young stand of them just
    below Camp Rock. We bought our first farm tractor and spent
    weekends mowing down the yellow-green shoots, pushing the field
    edges back to the original lines. I spared five of them in the
    open meadow by New Camp, but they're short-lived and today there's
    just two of them left.

    One day a strong wind blew down a big tree accross the brook. It
    looked like good firewood, so I had it cut up, split and ranked.
    It's name was bass, and it had big leaves and a regular bark I'd
    never seen. Next year I tried but it didn't burn well. Merritt
    said it was a weed tree (like the popple) and was no good for
    anything. The pile stood there by The Cabin porch for years.

    White pine. Pinus strobus. I liked the fragrance of pine and the feel of the needles
    underfoot. We cut out the hardwood growing in between them and
    made a pure pine grove by Camp Barn.

    White Cedar. Chamaecyparis thyoides. Exploring around by Sugar Camp we found a road that dead-ended in
    a considerable cedar swamp. Great roots were exposed in many
    places and small streams of water moved between them. It was so
    pretty and cool in Summer I got some help moving Gypsy Camp into
    it and we built a privy.

    Black spruce at Halsey Straight farm. Halsey Straight planted four black spruce by his farmhouse years
    ago. Today he's gone but they're giants with a healthy progeny.
    We've transplanted a number of them in different places and they
    do very well always maintaining a regular shape in sun or shade.

    American Beech. Fagus grandifolia. There was some worrying about the beech blight in the 80's. A pure
    stand of them below Ridge Camp made it through with very little
    damage however.

    Hemlock grove. Tsuga canadensis. The salvage cutting we did after the ice storm in '98 improved
    access to the outlying sections of the property. Willy knew a
    hemlock grove by the notch between Rattlesnake and Ebenezer. We
    cut a trail to it and cleaned it up. We plan this Fall to set up a
    picnic table and benches.

    Thanks for reading this. Come and visit our trees at I'll introduce you to them with
    their full names, identification photos and a map of where to find
    them here. There are still some open dates this Summer. And a
    lovely quiet season coming after that. CLICK HERE for our
    Availability Calendar and make some
    time. Till then please visit us On-Line: "Explore our 700-acre private rest and play-ground." Pretty Camps in a Hidden Valley. Walks with views & Beauty spots. Photo Guest Book--What they said.

    Your Adirondack Guide,

    Martin Schwalbaum

    P.S. If you liked this Letter, CLICK HERE to Tell a Friend!
    If you didn't like it please reply to this with "REMOVE" in the
    subject heading. Thanks.

            Member Whiteface Mountain Visitors Bureau
       Member Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau

    This is   No.11  of a really occasional   Letter,  "Hints of
    Balsam and   Pine  from our Corner  of the Adirondacks,"  for
    Fourpeaks guests   or  anyone  who   ever   inquired about  a
    Fourpeaks   Vacation/Getaway. To get off this list reply with
    "REMOVE" in the subject heading.

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