Are Trees Socialists?

Are Trees Socialists?

A recent blog post over at Scientific American proposes that trees are unabashedly socialist. Is this really the case, though? Is there a classless, worker-owned utopia dwelling in the ground beneath our feet that takes from each according to its ability assigns to each according to its need? Probably not. Trip into a rhetorical pitfall and learn about a metaphor taken too far in this post.

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Types of vines

Types of vines

I spent this morning battling bindweed and trellising pea plants. I work on a farm. If you’ve spent anytime working on a farm, you’re probably familiar these tasks. Manual labor gives one ample time to think, and today I was thinking about all the vines on farms. There are many; crop plants like peas, beans, cucumbers, squash and tomatoes, as well as weed plants like bindweed, honeysuckle and poison ivy

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How Plants Beat the Heat: Lessons from a Hairy Cactus

How Plants Beat the Heat: Lessons from a Hairy Cactus

It's summer time, and that means temperatures are heating up. While humans are migrating to swimming pools or air-conditioned movie theaters, plants are still stuck outside without the luxury of beach umbrellas or some mediocre fiction to keep them entertained. While there's not much they can do about boredom, plants have evolved plenty of innovative ways to keep cool in harsh environments, and that's the topic of this new series. 

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Plants are Jerks: False Advertising

Plants are Jerks: False Advertising

Many plants rely on animals to pollinate them. In exchange for ensuring another generation, those pollinators are frequently rewarded with food. Some plants, however, have decided that rewarding pollinators is for chumps. In this post, learn about the con men of the plant world and how they fool pollinators. 

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Plants are Jerks: The Kamikaze of the Outback

Plants are Jerks: The Kamikaze of the Outback

Plants provide many things: shelter, food, and beauty. Some, however, are best enjoyed from a distance. This series exists to celebrate those plants who just don't seem to care much about what we think about them and choose to go about life in uniquely sadistic ways. Today, discover what happens when you cross a tree with a firebug.

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It's hard to be a street tree

It's hard to be a street tree

In October of 2006 a lake effect storm, called 'Aphid' raged through the actual city of Buffalo (whereas, this years storm was actually south of the city). As part of the plant community, I know a narrow selection of Buffalonians, but those I know are quite passionate - they still talk of the devastation to the trees that this storm caused.

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Can I eat this? What makes something edible

Can I eat this? What makes something edible

This year I learned that I could be part of the foraging wildlife. 

Throughout Buffalo berries on Amelachier bushes are ripening to a deep red. As I walk through the city and pass a bush, I take a few berries and contemplate the idea of edibility. How can I eat an Amelachier berry, but not the leaves? Why can we eat lettuce leaves, but not grass or maple leaves? 

What makes something edible? 

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How to kill a plant: death by light

How to kill a plant: death by light

This method of killing a plant is one I have personally failed at - so far.

Every windowsill is a unique space that provides a certain environment to plants. All plants require light since it is the key driver of growth, but not all plants require the same amount of light. Keeping a plant in the wrong light environment will first lead to poor growth and ultimately leads to death.

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