Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Christmas Stick

Claymont has its Christmas Weed. Now my neighborhood has started a new holiday tradition with the Christmas Stick.
Even decked with the requisite blinking, colored lights, the stick would make Charlie Brown's sad tree look positively vibrant by comparison. Though I suppose that even the most humble, even lifeless, piece of wood can be pressed into service in the War on Christmas.

Neighbors and their dogs stop by to admire the sight and read this sign explaining the origins of this odd species of street tree:
Genus: Holdenescus
Species: Stickitana uprightus

This rare tree, found mainly in the cities of North America, grows and reproduces through osmosis, using no leaves or flowers. At sapling stage it is pruned dramatically. This unique adaptation keeps birds from roosting and allows insects access to the tree's core. The Stickitana uprightus is often found in urban areas where under observant gardeners reside.

Heartfelt thanks to the Delaware Center for Horticulture for making it possible to observe this rare species in its native habitat.
Attentive readers may dimly remember the loss of the beloved pear tree outside my window back in September, 2005. Through a unfortunate series of events, including the planting of one tree that proved to be dead on arrival, this spot in an otherwise lovely neighborhood has remained untroubled by leaves or any sign of plant life for the last two years and three months.

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