An oak leaf cluster. In the immediate aftermath of Irene passing through my East Village neighborhood, I seized the opportunity to gather samples of leaves from fallen branches, getting them before the sanitation and parks department bagged them up for mulch or whatever. I’m doing a tree identification project and close up details of the leaves attached to the branches, and their arrangements are critical to species identification. And most of the samples come from branches high-up and into the wind, normally inaccessible to my camera. Unfortunately, I could have used an intern or two to take note of location and individually bag the samples, but no, I stuffed them into a single bag and will have to go all forensic to match them back to their tree. Full resolution
London Planetrees are common in New York and I saw many large planetree branches fallen. Their distinctive mottled bark makes them easy to identify. They provide good shade and their branches form dramatic shapes. But from below, their leaves always look shabby and unhealthy. It must be their heavy venation, on the reverse of the leaves, and their ragged outline that gives that effect. Up-close they are quite beautiful and interesting. Planetrees are known for being able to deal well with soot and in general the stress of city life.