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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Treat Me to a Tree!

~photo by Suzanne * April 29, 2013

When on the road, I keep my eyes open at all times, trying to take in all that's out there for me!  And, you know, I'm always searching for cool and unusual things to photog and write about. 

I spotted this strange tree, I guess, a little over a week ago on my way home from work-the sun was gleaming on the burgundy leaves and the fuzzy stuff was glowing.

  I said, as usual, "What the...?"  "What did I just see, is my vision out of focus...did I just imagine fuzzy stuff  on top of a red tree?"

Well, I've been stewing about this tree ever since, and, continue to glance at it as I drive by.  I finally decided I should take my camera with me to work one day, then stop by and get some shots of this masterpiece.  And, maybe the homeowners would come outside and visit with me about it.

Needless to say, it was a bright sunny day when I made my detour onto the street beside this property, and, when I got to the yard, I noticed a 'BEWARE OF DOG SIGN'.  Bah, Humbug!!!

The yard is completely fenced in, but I managed to get my shots, with the wind blowing to 'beat the band'.  I worried that the pics would be out of focus.   No sign of a dog anywhere, so you see, to get this top photo closeup, I leaned totally over the fence!  No one came out of the house, and I chose not to enter the yard to knock on the door.  

  Then I did  a little homework- I typed in 'fuzzy tree', trees with red leaves and fuzzy flowers, and fuzzy red trees, in order to find out what it is!  Turns out to be a "Smoke Tree"!

This tree blooms in the spring with the fluffy plumes surrounding it like 'puffs of smoke'.  Some folks refer to it as a 'poodle tree'...that's funny! 


~photo by Suzanne
~here is the full length view of the tree
(as I straddled the fence, lol!) 
Oh, and I'm still bewaring of the dog while I snap the photo!

Smoke Tree Stats

* It's a tough landscape plant that can tolerate dry conditions (a plus in Texas) 
* It's capable of growing 12-15ft. with a 12ft. spread
* It's indigenous in zones 5-8 ranging from Iowa to Texas (of course!) 
* Thrives in full to partial sun (Texas Ahoy!)
* Resistant to insects and other damaging pathogens
* Can survive in various soils:  acidic, alkaline, sandy, clay

And, I found that it is available in other colors too! You have a golden smoke tree that turns lime green in the summer and orange to red in the fall.
And, not only is there a purple smoke tree, there is also a pink one, that also turns red and orange.

So, if any of you folks have a hankerin' for a 'smoke tree', it looks as though it could be a worthwhile project!  This tree appears to be young yet, but, I think it's a fine specimen...don't you?

Thank you so much for stopping by-it is 43° in Fort Worth, Texas this evening...a drop from the 80's yesterday, and, I understand it has snowed in Kansas City this afternoon!   I will have to take some plants in tonite, as it is expected to drop to around 34° by morning.  
I love it!

I gathered some of my info from:

Hugs to you all!
Have a wonderful safe!
See you next time!♥