Nov 29, 2011

Do pines drop their leaves?

Pine trees are generally thought of as evergreens. But there are some species that lose leaves annually, like the one pictured below, with needles that turn orange in the fall before dropping to the ground. I'm not remembering the species right now (is this a dawn redwood?), but I know we have several of these trees in the Panhandle. A pair of them stands off the south path near Central. This picture was taken on Sunday in the Golden Gate Park Rhododendron Dell, where there are several, including several that are much, much bigger, taller and older. They are a couple of weeks ahead in their annual cycle compared to the trees in  the Panhandle, which are still green.

Be careful out there tomorrow when the winds start blowing.

Nov 12, 2011

Saturday's accomplishments

Thanks to all who turned out for our Saturday volunteer work day at the Panhandle! Here's a quick look at the people who showed up and the projects that Guillermo had ready for us.  

The "four corners" eucalyptus trees just east of Masonic received a blanket of compost and mulch to keep them comfortable for the coming winter rains. We had a big group, bolstered by families from the Kindergarten class of the Day School, so some played in the meadow while other folks dug into the pile of compost, which released steam into the cool morning air. 

Nearby, we spread compost and removed weeds from several trees located south of the pathway.

The trees in this area make up the Panhandle's cluster of olive trees. Despite growing beneath towering eucalyptus, they have a decent southern exposure from the Oak Street side to feed them solar energy. 

Along a bank of aloe plants, we raked leaf litter, amended soil, and put some small plants from the Rec & Park nursery in the ground. I'm not sure what they are, so hope that some grow large enough to help us identify them.
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Nov 11, 2011

Did anyone else notice?

Sometimes, a pet peeve just goes away and you hardly notice. In the Panhandle, many, many years ago wooden poles were lodged deep in the ground in several locations around the basketball courts, apparently to create some kind of mount for a garbage can. The Park moved on to a new design, but the poles were left behind, despite being an eyesore and tripping hazard. Well, they're finally gone, removed from the park by gardening and maintenance staff.

Having the posts removed means one less detail to tend to during the upcoming refurbishing of the area between the basketball courts and the restrooms. Thanks SF!

What the heck, one more shot for old time's sake:
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Nov 9, 2011

Fall Panhandle work days - starting this Saturday!

Young male and mature female catkins on an Italian Alder
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November is a great time to visit the Panhandle, with trees finishing their growth season and leaves beginning to fall.  Our next community work day is coming up this Saturday, November 12, starting at 9 a.m. We'll be continuing our work which involves mulching, weeding, pruning, and sometimes, planting.

We got a third of an inch of rain over the weekend, and more is called for tomorrow, so there's some boggy spots. Definitely wear some shoes that you won't mind getting muddy. Tools are provided.  Expect to be joined by families of the kindergarten class of the San Francisco Day School.