This is a treasure hunt to find trees.
Follow the clues to find them with ease.
Each clue has a hint to the tree’s location,
And a few facts for identification.
The numbers provided are GPS* clues,
Just in case our rhyming stumps you.
When you get to each tree you’re meant to find,
Read the message on the large brown sign.
*GPS coordinates give the general area and my not be exact. Use them to get in the vicinity, then look for a tree that fits the clues. (All trees can be found in adjacent gardens on the west side of the main island.) Don’t have a GPS device? You can use your iPhone or Android phone’s compass utility to follow the clues. Remember: leave any seeds you find for the critters that need food for winter!
Enter a Garden of native flowers and grasses;
Walk ’round the fence and try not to pass this.
It’s tall and stately, and rough is its bark;
Look up to see woody, small berries, which are dark.
If you go past the fliers, frozen midflight,
“backtrack” your footsteps to the tree that is “right.”
GPS: N 42˚08.899′, W 087˚47.510′
iPhone Compass: N 42˚ 08’54” W 87˚ 47’31”
If these trees were shorter, this clue’d be a hard one.
Follow the path through the Landscape Garden.
An evergreen trio are loaded with seeds;
They form narrow cones—look up high to see.
You may cross a stream discover these gems,
Enjoying the moisture, to the water they bend.
GPS: N 42˚08.879′, W087˚47.499′
iPhone Compass: N 42˚ 08’53” W 87˚ 47’31”
For those who love fall color it’s plain to see,
Edna Kanaley Graham would have loved this next tree.
Come into the garden, where spring bulbs sleep.
Look right in the entrance and take a quick peep.
This tree’s fruits (now all fallen) are small prickly balls,
Star-shaped leaves are what’s left now—orange and yellow in fall.
GPS: N 42˚08.890′, W 087˚47.566′
iPhone Compass: N 42˚ 08’53”, W 087˚ 47’34”
Near the Circle Garden and the whistling of trains,
A group of large trees makes nuts from sun, air, and rain.
Squirrels and critters think that these nuts are great;
It’s also a favorite of Ohio State!
Can’t find our trees on your wander? Look down:
This time of year, fruit and husks litter the ground.
GPS: N 42˚ 08.849′, W 087˚47.465′
iPhone Compass: N 42˚ 08’50”, W 087˚47’34”
From here, it’s off to the Enabling Garden you go;
Where a smattering of these trees you’ll find in a row.
This specimen grows very large heart-shaped leaves;
Long, narrow seed pods hang from its eaves.
Either side of the path they drip like fresh wax;
We hope from these clues you discover the facts.
GPS: N 42˚08.810′, W 087˚47.416′
iPhone Compass: N 42˚ 08’49”, W 087˚ 47’25”
Our ephemeral signs have now been removed from each site, but here are the answers:
- Hackberry (Celtis Occidentalis)
- Norway spruce (Picea abies ‘Acrocona’)
- Moraine sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Moraine’)
- Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia)
- Northern catalpa (Catalpa speciosa)
©2013 Chicago Botanic Garden and my.chicagobotanic.org
One thought on “Tree-O-Caching in Fall”
Great job! You stumped me with the Celtis; just don’t see it enough around here in the northern suburbs of Detroit. Thank you and keep up the good work! Hope to visit again soon.
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