Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Notched Branches

When I came across this notched branch towards the end of last month I thought that someone must have taken a jacknife and cut, or notched it; for it seemed to have a rawness around the cut below the bud. But then, when examining the branch closer I noticed that other parts of the branch showed the same 'cut-like' appearance Then seeing that all the branches had the same back to back,'notched' patterns, I knew that I had stumbled upon, yet again, another of Nature's unique, fascinating designs.
I guess then these branches would perhaps be part of a bush, or a shrub? There is no main trunk so I don't think I could call it a tree. The snow covering is too deep as yet to examine their base but there are many branches, all of uniform size, and they appear to grow near the ground, in a clump. And they are taller than me. Perhaps I will discover that these are the commonest of shubberies and I had just never noticed them before. But no matter of its commonality; I think they are outstanding and would really appreciate any comments anyone might have to share as to its identification.
Editing note: identification update: March 16th
I received an email this morning identifying these notched branches as those of an Acer negundo, a Boxelder. A photo here looks the same as the ones which I had posted. This photo originates from the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity at the University of Wisconsin.
It was also pointed out that the part of the stem, or branch that appears to be cut, or notched is where the end of last year's leaf was.
Thank you Dave M. for your input. It is much appreciated.


Mary said...

I'll be looking forward to finding out what they are! They have sort of a bamboo appearance. Nice progression of shots. When does the snow go away where you live?

me and my camera said...

I think most years the snow would be probably gone by now. This year has been an exceptional winter, for our winters have actually been quite mild the past few. I think this winter is being tagged as being the worst winter in the past 25 years! I believe it!

Sandpiper said...

They remind me of bamboo. I would love to know what they are!

NW Nature Nut said...

They look kind of like the sucker of a plant. You'll have to post some more photos later as they leaf out.

me and my camera said...

It does have a look of bamboo doesn't it?

nw nature nut:
I do plan on following up on its progress; with a leaf to look at it might make the id a bit easier.

Thank you all for your comments.

Stacey Huston said...

Great photos. I really like the sharpy on the title picture. Oportunistic little bugger, Love the look on it's face LOL

me and my camera said...

I dropped by your blog for a visit; you have wonderful photos posted there.

Anonymous said...

Hello there,
Based on your photos, I'm guessing that the in your pictures are Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum. All the best, Marieka

me and my camera said...

Thank you so much for the suggestion that these 'notched looking' stems might be Japanese Knotweed. I have googled that name after reading your comment, and although there are not pictures that I could find of just the bare branches themselves, I did see similar looking stems through the vegation in photos of Japanese Knotweed plants. I shall track the development of these stems, or branches, and take photos of its developmental progress throughout its seasonal growth. Thank you once again, I appreciate your input.

Island Rambles Blog said...

I love people who find patterns and texture in nature and photo it...I could spend all day just looking at natural patterns. I have no idea what the plant is but it looks nice...hope to see it in the spring again.

me and my camera said...

I shall be keeping track of this plant and will be sure to post an update. It will become a seasonal project for me as it in a location which I pass each day on my daily walks during the spring and summer season. I love patterns too. So glad that you enjoyed; thank you for your comments.

Texas Travelers said...

Good luck on following the progression of the Boxelder. Keep us posted. Again, very nice discovery. I also love patterns in Nature. I have been interested lately in cloud types and their patterns. Troy

me and my camera said...

texas travelers:
I will continue to update this with photos as the clues keep surfacing on these attractive patterned branches. Thanks for sharing your interest in them too.

Daniel Spurgeon said...

Great observation! I enjoy curiosity!

Some Native American tribes also used the tree to make flutes: (You can even download a sample song played with a Box Elder flute)

me and my camera said...

Your mention of the Box Elder being used to make flutes is very meaningful to me. When I was a child, sometimes when on a walk to the river, my father would stop and fashion a 'whistle' for me from a branch. He would cut it about 4 or 5 inches long, and then tap in gently until he could slide the sleeve of the bark off, then carve, in both the bark and the woody part, before putting the bark sleeve on again. I wonder if it was a Box Elder that he used for this? I had wondered about that when I had first found these notched branches.