Going out to nurture the trees of New York City has given me plenty of surprises, not the least of which is the number of species to be found alongside the urban curbs. I was out in the snow recently to help put together a site survey, and I was blown away by the patterns and textures of the trunks we encountered — grey and furrowed, yes, but also yellow or red, with scruffy bark or horizontal lenticels that were dramatic gashes. When I used to think of trees it was mainly their leaves that appealed to me, green and elegant or the colors of a sunset. Now, having entered the urban forest to count specimens and prune them, I’m especially in awe of their stature, their trunks and branches naked, undisguised by the leafy canopy that usually cloaks them.
Here is an item I wrote for The New York Times Metropolitan Diary column which was published today.