Mariton: Lean On Me

February 3, 2017

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

This gracefully arching rhododendron (Rhododendron maxiamum) is located along the Main Trail just past the intersection with the Woods Trail.  (You can see the photo was taken on a cold day, because the leaves are rolled up to conserve water.)  It is a magnificent specimen, and around 100 years old.  Over the years this tree has sagged lower and lower.

I can’t bear to cut it yet. I prop it up because the tractor’s roll bar is about a foot higher than the bough. I often travel this way with the tractor to perform trail maintenance.  Without the prop for elevation, the roll bar would rub off the bark.  The prop doesn’t harm the tree, and has been a good compromise between the two of us.  I really hope this rhodie is still at Mariton long after I am gone.  (On the other hand, I hope it falls of its own volition before something else happens.  I don’t want to be the one that has to cut it.)