My Favorite Little Christmas Tree. . .

isn’t a tree at all, but a Club Moss called Northern Tree Club Moss, Lycopodium dendroideum. I *love* this little plant. Thanks to Mon@rch for reminding me of this little plant. It grows 12-16″ tall, resides in moist, shaded woods, northern hardwood woods, edges of wetlands, and bogs. It has 6-8 leaves in a whorl.
Lycopodium_dendroideum

Here’s a photo showing its’ roots – I got these two photos from the Internet:

lycopodium_dendroideum 2

In New York State, Northern Tree Clubmoss is labelled as exploitably vulnerable – meaning it is threatened and endangered. This is *very* important to me. So important that when I was taking a class in Silverculture and the old man professor said they sprayed a general herbicide on the forest floor to get rid of all of the plant life so the young trees could grow, and the forest floor I was standing in was literally covered with rare clubmoss and ferns, I wasn’t happy. I asked the professor about the rare plants to which he replied, hmmm, good point, and then I dropped the class when I got back on campus. I know, I know, the point in a silverculture class is the culture of trees and not all of that “unimportant” understory stuff. My first clue to the fact that these forestry students I was taking this class with didn’t care about the understory was when I saw them stomping all over the clubmosses and ferns. I really couldn’t take it. Here is one of the many photos they took on that day. We were in Heiberg Memorial Forest on August 31, 2005, it was raining very hard all day – this was during Huricane Katrina. This was an awesome, man planted forest. I loved being in this forest, but, well, it wasn’t meant to be.
FOR534-HeibergMemorialForest-31Aug2005

I’m the one in the white hardhat, yellow jacket and blue pants – soaked to the skin even with all of the rain gear.

I hope everyone has a very Happy Day!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mon@rch
    Dec 25, 2006 @ 10:20:02

    Happy Holidays to you and I am honored that I inspired you to do this blog! Tree Clubmoss is a wonderful little Lycopodium and a fave of mine also! It doesn’t surprise me that the professor wanted to spray herbicide to open the forest floor up! Diversity helps the health of the forest and if they only knew that by doing that, it reduces habitat. This results in less birds, which feed on the many insects that can cause problems to the trees! No wonder this earth has all these problems!! I would have stayed with the class to challenged the professor with science and let all the students think for themselves. But, probably would have failed the class!

    Reply

  2. Pam
    Dec 25, 2006 @ 11:23:10

    Thank you Mon@rch, and Happy Holidays to you, too! I could *not* believe what I was hearing from the professor, that’s why I had to bring it up in front of everyone and I know I embarassed him but he represents a school with Environment in its name. I wasn’t impressed. There were other issues with the whole school that I didn’t like which is why I decided to drop the whole thing, for now.

    Reply

  3. Susan Gets Native
    Dec 26, 2006 @ 00:24:16

    Jeez…that’s like saying “let’s get rid of all the screech owls so that the kestrels have more to eat”. Dumb.

    (I had to do a raptor reference..it’s all raptors, all the time)

    Bad herbicides. Bad, bad.

    Reply

  4. Pam
    Dec 26, 2006 @ 09:43:56

    Excellent analogy Susan. It’s very dumb isn’t it? I had another old man professor who would say herbicides don’t hurt the birds, insects, animals, humans, etc. More stupidity.

    Reply

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