An American Elm and Winter at Longwood Gardens

IMG_20140204_113708This photo at Longwood Gardens last year is more than a pleasant winter scene—the large tree on the right is one of the few remaining American elms. They worked hard over the years to preserve it. It is the first thing you see as you step through the main entrance, but it is easily missed because the open vistas draw your attention into the distance.  Look for it next time you are there, and show it to your grandchildren.  Point out its characteristic shape said to resemble that of a goblet.  They may never see another.

A green-and-white information sign at its base once gave more detail.  The sign has since disappeared, but perhaps it will return. You can check the small brass identification tag that is on all Longwood trees.  They are always on the north side, opposite from the side shown in the photo, at eye level (eye-level of whoever attached it).  This tall elm has a lightening rod protecting it.  You will see the heavy, braided ground cable coming down the side.

After a snowfall, some of the paths are temporarily blocked off until they can be cleared, as the one seen here going off to the right.  But the clearing goes quickly, and those visiting Longwood at these times will be rewarded with special scenery.  The important paths leading to the main conservatory, the cafeteria, and the House are the first to be cleared.

Visit and you will not be alone.  Several chartered buses arrive each day in almost any weather, and many locals come out especially to enjoy the winter views.


About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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