Follow the slope downward, to the east, toward the meadow, to where the earth levels off and there are crocuses coming up through a damp layer of wood chips. This is where the tree is. Behind the tree, the ground rises into a sort of berm between the Botanic Garden and Flatbush Avenue that breaks the siren howl and traffic rumble. A wide asphalt pathway meanders in front of it. On a typical spring day visitors usually pause here to admire the tree, and read the placard with its name and chuckle, because it’s a caucasian wingnut.
The tree’s branches are thick and deeply ridged, twisting out from a [...]
When will New York City win its war against leaves? The B and the Q trains are still enjoying a late fall issue, according to the MTA: "Fallen leaves, when crushed by train wheels, leave a slippery residue on the rails which may affect the train's ability to start and stop." What is this mysterious "residue"? Why do we allow trees to attack our important infrastructure? Let's finish this once and for all. Kill the trees, save the subways.
Is this the oldest tree in the world? Sure, why the hell not.
Antarctic Beech Fairy Ring #1211-P1020362 (12,000 years old, Queensland, Australia)
For the past six years, Rachel Sussman, 37, has devoted her life to chronicling the oldest living things in the world before they disappear. A photographer by training and hedge scientist by necessity, her photos are a mix of Annie Liebovitz and Ansel Adams: portraits whose subjects happen not to be human. Sussman has chased down nearly three dozen different organisms, a 400,000-6000,000 year-old bacteria in Siberia, a 2,000-plus year-old olive tree in Crete, and some 3,000 year-old lichen in Greenland, to name a few. She spent February and March chasing down 5,000-year-old moss in Antarctica. [...]
Great. Now even the trees are going to destroy the planet. A major bummer of an article in Nature explains that, due to global warming, trees are growing farther north than they have before. And how, because tree-tops are darker than barren land, they have less "albedo" (that's a cool word!) or "reflectiveness," and so the earth with absorb more heat from the sun. "When the vegetation moves in, there will be an amplification of the warming," says Inez Fung, an atmospheric physicist at the University of California, Berkeley.