Outdoors Magazine

My Purple Tree on a Lovely Day in the Park

Posted on the 14 August 2020 by Hollis
My Purple Tree on a Lovely Day in the ParkLast month, an afternoon thunderstorm kept me from visiting the chokecherry tree I'm following. So when I saw it yesterday, I was really surprised. It's purple!

My Purple Tree on a Lovely Day in the Park

June

My Purple Tree on a Lovely Day in the Park

August

In the wild, chokecherries have green leaves. But there are purple-leaf cultivars that turn from green to purple over the summer. They're said to turn gradually, but having skipped July, I missed the transition.
My Purple Tree on a Lovely Day in the Park

My Purple Tree on a Lovely Day in the Park

I especially like the trunk.

In June, I visited shortly after a heavy wet snow fell. With trees already leafed out, the town was a mess of downed branches. This tree suffered a broken branch, a major one. But it stayed in place, and the vascular cambium (main growth tissue, under the bark) continues to function—plenty of leaves and cherries.

My Purple Tree on a Lovely Day in the Park

June

My Purple Tree on a Lovely Day in the Park

August

My Purple Tree on a Lovely Day in the Park

The damaged branch droops, but is covered with leaves and cherries.

Chokecherries (Prunus virginiana) are native to North America, from Canada to northern Mexico. "Choke" refers to the astringency of the berries. Indeed, it takes a lot of sweetener to convert chokecherry juice into syrup, jelly or wine. I'm happy to leave them on the tree for birds to harvest.
My Purple Tree on a Lovely Day in the Park
LaBonte Lake, known to locals as Stink Lake, was emitting no foul odors despite our consistently warm weather—highs in the mid 80s F (~30º C). Through binoculars (for birding) I could see that the City's aerator was working, bubbling away. It was such a lovely day in the park. So I stayed awhile.
My Purple Tree on a Lovely Day in the Park

My Purple Tree on a Lovely Day in the Park
This is my monthly contribution to the virtual gathering of tree-followers kindly hosted by The Squirrel Basket. Consider joining us—it's interesting, fun, and stress-free! More information here.

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