Saturday, February 09, 2013

Acorn Journeys

East 7th Street  Charlotte, NC
Does anyone, besides me,  remember those great big acorns that used to cover the ground along East 7th Street along a 2 or 3 block area down from the Haigler and Baker Service station (now a 7-11) across from Stanleys going toward Monroe?

Once you took the cap off, the nut itself was about the size of a "pipe bowl."  As a matter of fact, we boys used to  hollow them out and make pipes out of them. Of course we never smoked anything in them, but it worked great making us think we looked cool and grown up. My Mom used them to occasionally make very creative fall decorations.

I have no idea what kind of oak tree produced those "monsters," and probably will never find out, since there are over 600 different varieties of Oak trees.

Historical Sites

Mount Vernon
People who live in the Washington area rarely visit the great tourist sites up here except when friends from out of town drop in to visit.  Or, in my case, to take my children to see them. One Sunday afternoon Linda and the kids and I were walking around the grounds of the beautiful home of George Washington in Alexandria, VA (Mount Vernon) and on a whim I picked up an acorn lying on the ground.

"Hey guys," I said, "why don't we take this home and plant it in our yard and in a few years you can tell all your friends about our George Washington tree!"

They thought that was a great idea, although later I got to thinking that the US Park Service probably has rules about stuff like that.

Anyway, that was over 30 years ago.

Ed's Squirrel Tree
And today in the very spot where I planted the George Washington tree..........

There's absolutely nothing!

However, a few feet away is a tree from my boyhood home in Charlotte that began life as a pecan buried by a squirrel in a brown pot on my mom's side porch in which she was growing a "cutting" from one of her cape jasmine bushes for Linda to try to grow in our yard.

When we got the cutting up here I noticed a weed next to the cutting which I suspected might be worth putting in the ground.

And, as you can see, the Virginia climate agrees with the weed that years later became the Squirrel Tree.

Now from what I've read,

"Pecan trees may live and bear edible seeds for more than 300 years. They are mostly self-incompatible, because most cultivars, being clones derived from wild trees, show incomplete dichogamy. Generally, two or more trees of different cultivars must be present to pollinate each other."

Pecan Tree at Mount Vernon
To me that is about as clear as the Chinese directions that come with computers. But what I think it says is that the squirrel tree is in danger of remaining a lonely bachelor unless...unless....fate, and the wind, intervene ( who knows what can happen in 300 years) bringing a seductive visitor from the nearest Pecan Tree.

And according to my calculations, it appears that the nearest Pecan trees to my house, with the most shapely cultivars, are... the ones that Thomas Jefferson gave to George Washington who planted them at Mount Vernon! (Feel free to look that up.)

Which means, thanks to that nameless squirrel in Charlotte, someday there may very well be a little George Washington Tree living in my backyard after all.