Neighborhood Nature

Our Family's Nature Blog

Weeping Willow Update April 10, 2009

Filed under: Animals,Birds,Plants,Seasons,Spring,Trees,Winter — saltthesandbox @ 4:29 pm
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We’ve been watching the Weeping Willow twigs at Columbus Park, from the depths of winter through the spring. On February 24th, the twigs looked like this:

Weeping Willow twigs and buds at Columbus Park in February.

Weeping Willow twigs and buds at Columbus Park in February.

On March 29th, the buds were just starting to open:

Weeping Willow buds beginning to open in late March.

Weeping Willow buds beginning to open in late March. Fuzzy "pussy toes" peeked out under the bud scales

A few days ago, on April 9th, the buds were open, and greenish catkins were growing along with tiny leaves:

Each opening bud produced one catkin and a couple leaves.

Each opening bud produced one catkin and several leaves.

Close up, the catkins looked like tiny corn cobs:

Looking closer, the catkins are still green, not ripe with pollen or developing seeds.

The catkins were still green and hard -- not yet ripe.

So, now we wait to see what the catkins produce. Pollen? Seeds? We’ll keep watching. Since willows’ male and female flowers appear on separate trees, it will be one and not the other.

Meanwhile, here’s something we’ve noticed about Columbus Park Willows. Black-crowned Night-Herons returned to Columbus Park a week ago. As their name suggests, Night-Herons feed when darkness falls, then try to sleep in lagoon-side trees during the day. This spring we’ve seen them sleeping in Weeping Willows — with their dense twigs and newly opened buds, the Willows are the best hiding tree in the Park.

 

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