There is a tree at our school bus stop (a few houses down from our house).
It is an awesome bus stop tree. It not only serves as a shade from the sun, fairly efficient umbrella protection from light rain, but is a great climbing tree, and serves as a landmark for the kids to not go further into the neighbor’s property while waiting for the bus.
For the past three springs, the bus stop tree has been almost completely defoliated by winter moth inch worms. This year I was blown away and totally intrigued by the canopy it produced – a huge, thick, lush canopy.
The first thing I noticed this spring was how thick the greenery came in after the years of very very light and eaten away vegetation. The second thing I noticed was that the tree made two different kinds of leaves! TWO KINDS OF LEAVES! Two different colored and shaped leaves. I thought the lighter thinner leaves that came in second would turn into something else, but they have stayed leaves.
And then! The tree got even more interesting when it made these bud shoots that if you are into data structures, look like ternary trees, and if you aren’t into data structures, look like the possibly start of fractals, and if you aren’t into fractals, they just look really cool. The tree just gets more amazing and interesting.
It took me a while searching around to identify what kind of tree this is, but it appears to be an American Linden Tree, also called a basswood, and part of the Tilia family.
This was my last year of being required to stand out at the bus stop with my children. This was the first year the two trees in our front year were eaten bare by inchworms in the spring, but I’m really glad they moved on and I got to meet the Bus Stop tree in full spring glory this season! Very cool.