Pioneer Trees

The tree directly in front is a gray birch, with its characteristic “chevrons” appearing below each branch.  Next to the gray birch are several smooth barked poplars.  Both these trees are “pioneer” species; they are the first to move into an open or disturbed area.  Their motto is “live fast, die young.”  These trees take advantage of being first to arrive by soaking up lots of sun, putting on a lot of wood, and getting tall fast.  This means their wood is not as strong and they have weaker roots (the “die young” part).  They will be replaced by “grow slow, live long” species such as the oaks and maples.
Poplar and Grey Birch
Poplar Catkins

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