City Creek Nature Notes – Salt Lake City

January 12, 2017

January 12th

Filed under: Box Elder Tree, Dogwood, Gambel's Oak — canopus56 @ 10:07 pm


3:00 p.m. It again rains on and off during the day, and I take a short afternoon job. The general sleep of and loss of leaves from trees emphasizes the sprigs and buds at their tips. I collect buds from three common trees: Gambel’s oak, Box Elders, and red-osier dogwood. The layout of the each is different.

The red-osier dogwood has the simplest of layouts: buds alternate in lateral pairs on either side of the sprig, called auxiliary buds, and they point towards the sprig’s end. When foliage comes in, this gives the twigs a ladder-like appearance. At the end of each is a single bud, called the terminal bud. The Box Elder sprigs have a radial plan. Buds curl around the central twig in a helical fashion, so at any one point, only a single bud appears. Then ends also have only one bud. Sprigs of the Gambel’s oak also have a radial plan on the lower twig, but at the end of a sprig, there are three buds laid out in a triangular arrangement. The end of all are scaly: they two or more small scales that protect the bud, and the scales become protoleaves in the spring.

The buds contain meristem – the plant version of undifferentiated stem cells. If meristem tissue is on a shoot, surrounding tissue tells the meristem to become twig and leaf; if on the root, surrounding tissue tells the meristem to become another root tap.

These are the generation of next summer’s leaves.

In Thoreau’s “Journal” on January 12th, 1855, Thoreau is moved as he remembers the height of summer during the depths of winter. On January 12th, 1860, he comments on the decreasing density of fresh snow, as one moves from the bottom to the type of a layer.

On January 12, 1896, the Salt Lake Tribune editorialized that recent proposed forest reserves proposed by the Utah Forestry Association, should be adopt of governmental bodies. Reserve No. 3 includes City Creek Canyon. The Tribune observed that “the citizens of Salt Lake who have in City Creek Canyon an apt illustration of the value to this city of bestowing proper care on the success of our water supply should heartily assist in securing these reservations.” On January 12, 1918, the Treasure Box mine owners described new veins of ore containing zinc, silver, gold and lead (Salt Lake Tribune).


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