Pstrobus is an internet handle I’ve used since getting my Masters of Forestry. It is the short name for Pinus strobus – the Eastern White Pine which grows so plentifully in New England where I was raised. Technically, it should be in italics and have a period like so: P.strobus but most internet providers balk at a name like that.

Other favorite trees are:

A. rubrum the swamp or red maple whose flowers were the first to turn the muddy march landscape from grey and brown to color. They covered the bottom lands of home with a fine rose hue of hope. These so-delicate-they-almost-aren’t-there blooms are the first flowers of spring for me.

F. grandifolia the North American Beech whose old leaves flutter all winter like a prayer for spring and then drop all at once when the buds break.

P. ponderosa the Ponderosa pine, the reason to become a tree hugger. Do not believe me? Go, hug one, breathe deeply of the cinnamon/butterscotch bark smell and tell me that looking silly hugging a tree is not worth it.

P. edulis the two-leaf piñon pine, state tree of New Mexico, the state where I was born and setting of many glorious summer days (see also: Philmont Scout ranch).

But wait, I live in the land of P. menziesii how can I not list that? They are beautiful in their own way, they are also a reminder of why the  Scandahoovian fairy tales warn of going into the Dark Forest where the trolls and wolves are waiting to eat you. They are tall, majestic, drop their branches everywhere and will fall on you if you look at them funny. I like them, but they are not conjurors of dreams the way the others are.


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