Why the fuss about ancient trees? For me, the answer lies in their genetics and their gifts to their offspring. In long lived trees such as the maple, oak, beech and hickory, longevity is a desirable genetic trait. Longevity of these trees shows adaptability to a changing world. An ability to adapt to changing weather and climate, degrading air quality (pollution) and pollutants such as road side salts.
This particular silver maple is on a 300 acre farm purchased by Colonel JB McLean of the present day McLean publications. Even by 1930, Colonel McLean could see most of this area had been clear cut and, ‘the land was devoid of most songbirds.’ This silver maple was, somehow, spared from the ax and grew to its massive size beside the historic stone bank barn.
It was a thrill to see, this spring, the silver maple loaded with monstrous amounts of maple keys. Today, we are germinating, approximately, 200 seedlings from this ancient tree. And her genetics will live on.
Article and photos provided by Marion Robertson.