Winter Tree Architecture

Winter is the best time of year to see and appreciate the beauty and complex architecture found in the structure of trees. Over thousands, if not millions of years, each tree species has evolved a unique architecture in an attempt to efficiently utilize their leaves to produce energy, their limbs to store and transfer energy, and their trunks and roots to store energy and support their entire canopies while adapting to changing climates and weather patterns.

While some trees strategize to grow tall and narrow to win the race to the top, others may choose to stay low and wide and hold their ground, and still yet others change their growth habits based on the amount of competition for sunlight and resources they have from surrounding plants. It is interesting to compare the architecture of young specimens of a particular species to those well-established mature trees who are starting to grow old.
There is beauty at each and every point in a tree’s life.

There is more to be seen when we take the time to look beyond the broad brush strokes of color toward more subtle details and allow our minds to calibrate to a more muted pallet.

Winter is a time for rest for these beautiful pieces of living architecture that grace Crown Hill Cemetery. They have much to prepare for with spring around the corner. While the weather may not be the kindest to human comforts and the lush green of spring and summer are currently put to bed, there is much to be observed and appreciated during our winter leaf off season at the arboretum.

– Carrie Tauscher, Arboretum Director