Grant Park South Milwaukee

Continuing on changes in Grant Park, you see a previously mowed field being left to regeneration. I noticed what I thought were red flowers, but a closer look showed that they are little maple trees. Evidently Grant Park solved the problem with deer over-population, else the deer would have killed them by now. I am a little surprised to see the maples thriving in near full sunlight. I suppose it might be harder for them later in summer and/or if it gets droughty.

An unhappy development is the near total destruction of the ash trees by the emerald ash borer. You can see a couple of dead ash trees in picture #3. Ash have an important place in the ecosystem as a pioneer tree, taking over abandoned fields. They are joined in this (in Milwaukee) by box elder and cottonwood, but each behaves a little differently. The ash often grows individually and in the open looks like a bush. The box elder forms a low branching tree and the cottonwood tends not to have many low branches at all, even when young. It is a serious loss to take out the ash.

The last picture show a loss, but a normal one. They much have had a big windstorm. I saw several broken trees. This one was a beech tree. It was rotten in the middle and the wind took it down.