Boston Common /

Rich tree-y goodness

02/13/05


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My Boston goes on an Appalachian Mountain Club trek through the Middlesex Fells:

... We learned the difference between white oaks and red oaks (smooth lobes versus pointy ones) and looked at six million pine trees (did you know that their needles grow in bunches and depending on how many are in a bunch, you can tell what pine tree it is?). Under the motto "If in doubt - smell it" we discovered that you can tell many trees by rubbing off a little bit or bark and take a whiff - black birch for example smells like wintergreen gum! You can distill its leaves and its bark to extract the flavoring. Beer can also be made from black birch, I might have to inquire some more about this. Cherry trees smell like either stale cigars or almond oil, Sassafras smells like lemon verbena - there was no end to it! ...
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