In a previous post, I wrote about the amazing big leaf maple trees in my local park, Camp Long. Not only are they big in height, but also in girth, with a growth habit of multiple trunks.
But I just visited another gem of a city park, much larger than Camp Long and having an unmatched range of habitats, elevations and vegetation. I’m talking about Discovery Park, located across Elliott Bay from West Seattle. Within the park’s more than 500 acres, there are trails through open meadows, trails through woods, ponds, beach access, views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, and a lighthouse. It’s good bird habitat.
I went specifically to see if I could find a snow bunting that had been seen there for several days. I did not find it, but in the course of hiking all over the park, on trails I had never before taken, I encountered numerous startling large trees. Not only did they have multiple trunks, but they had more than I could count!
In Camp Long, I kind of made a game of counting the number of trunks on big leaf maples. I had decided that the average number was between six and eight. But in Discovery Park, the trees were more complicated.
In many instances, they had so many thin trunks reaching out that it was impossible to count them all. Why were they so different from trees growing in Camp Long? For one thing, trees in Discovery seem to have much more room to spread out and grow. They’re not as crowded. Maybe they spend more time growing out rather than up.
Whatever the reasons, the trees are magnificent and I’m glad they have been preserved. I snapped a few photos of the more impressive specimens along my walk.