by Lily Glaeser
When I worked for the City Of Portland, Urban Forestry, I was part of a team, including many, many volunteers, identifying all the public right-of-way trees in the city. It was a fantastic summer, walking every street, identifying, measuring, and taking pictures of trees. In the fall, my sister, Rose, visited me. My co-workers, Rose, and I piled into a van to go out to eat. One of my co-workers was driving and constantly getting backseat directions, but we still reached our destination. By the end of the drive, Rose burst out laughing. You see, we hadn’t said the name of a single street, we gave directions such as “turn left after the elm tree,” or “after the line of cottonwoods, keep right,” and “park in front of those red maples.” Rose was amazed and amused at how we knew the city. It hadn’t occurred to me until that moment just how far I had come -- even in the middle of a bustling city, we could only see the trees!
Lily (left) with her friend, Karen Baumann (right), in Portland, OR with a Heritage Tree Camperdown elm (Ulmus glabra `Camperdownii').
Lily Glaeser is a plant ecologist, currently working and living in Nevada.