Archive for the ‘Nurse Tree’ Tag

2020, The Year Of The Nurse And Midwife   1 comment

Bluff Trail (1 of 1)-5-Nurse Tree-72A “Nurse Tree” In Sabino Canyon — Images by kenne

2020 is the Year of the Nurse and Midwife by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Health Assembly (WHA) as the year to honor nurses and midwives to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale who is considered the founder of modern nursing. Nurses and midwives are vital to providing health services to our communities. These people are devoting their lives to caring for mothers and children, giving lifesaving immunizations and health advice, looking after older people, and generally meeting everyday essential health needs. And they are often the first and only point of care, yet the world needs 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030.

The vital role of the nurse becomes a metaphor for those of us (Sabino Canyon Volunteer Nationalists) involved in teaching elementary school children about the importance and survival of saguaros in Sabino Canyon and the Sonoran Desert.

Debbie Leading Nature Walk-72-2SCVN member, Debbie Bird, telling third graders about the “Nurse Tree.”
(She also got the attention of an elderly couple visiting Sabino Canyon.)

Often, for young saguaros to survive, they are located near another faster-growing tree that shelters the slower-growing plant by providing shade, shelter from the wind and sun, or protection from animals that may feed on the young plant. Such a plant is called a nurse tree. A metaphor easily understood by the children in conveying the important relationship between the tree and the saguaro. They get it!

— kenne

See You On The Trail-72

“Even though they’re dead, they are not gone — trees find a way to help each other out postmortem.”

Allie WisniewskiAmerican Forests

 

Life Goes On   Leave a comment

phoneline-trail-0629-blog-framed“Life Goes On” — Image by kenne
(Note Small Saguaro Next to the Dead Saguaro)

A young saguaro cactus usually starts life under the protection of a mesquite or palo verde tree, call a nurse tree. When this two-foot saguaro next to the dead saguaro began life, at least 15 years ago, it was next to a stately saguaro along the Phoneline Trail in Sabino Canyon. Last year the elder saguaro died, leaving behind the young saguaro having provided a well-protected beginning to life.

— kenne

It’s A Tough Life   Leave a comment

Old Cactus (1 of 1)-2 Art_blog“It’s A Tough Life” — Image by kenne

The Good Fight

It is a tough life

In my second century

Giving the good fight.

— kenne

The Ultimate Sacrifice   2 comments

Tuesday Nature Walk HDR blog-“The Ultimate Sacrifice” — Image by kenne

It is common when leading nature walks in Sabino Canyon to talk about the signature cactus of the Sonoran desert, the saguaro. One of the common bits of information is to point out how the young saguaros are near trees that help provide protection to this very slow-growing Sonoran desert plant. These trees can be mesquite, palo verde or ironwood trees, and are referred to as “nurse trees.” The faster-growing nurse tree provides shade and shelter from the harsh desert elements, and as the saguaro grows, becoming more acclimated to the desert sun, the nurse tree may die, leaving the saguaro alone. As the saguaro grows larger it may compete for resources with its nurse tree, especially where several saguaros are receiving protection from the same tree, which may hasten its death. Even so, the faster-growing tree will not outlive the typical life of a saguaro cactus.

kenne

“Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to.” 

― Mitch Albom

A Nurse Tree By Any Other Name   2 comments

A Young Saguaro Cactus Has A Barrel Cactus As A Nurse Tree — Image by kenne

The Sonoran desert is the home of saguaro cacti. Often, for young saguaros to survive, they are located near another faster-growing tree that shelters the slower-growing plant by providing shade, shelter from the wind and sun, or protection from animals that may feed on the young plant. Such a plant is called a nurse tree. In the Sonoran desert, such trees are usually Palo Verde, Ironwood, or mesquite trees, which explains why young saguaros are often seen near trees. It is therefore unusual that a young saguaro would have a barrel cactus as its nurse tree. Let’s hope this quirk of nature works for both since both will be competing for resources, possibly hastening the death of the young slow-growing saguaro.

kenne

Saguaro Cactus That Have Out-Lived Their Nurse Tree — Image by kenne

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