Tree House Books in Ashland, Oregon, is one of the town’s many treasures. I first visited this sweet little children’s bookstore last year, around the holidays, while shopping for the little readers in my life. And I’m glad I did — it’s one of the most charming bookstores I’ve ever seen, and it’s fun to wander around inside even if you are a grown-up. There really is something for everyone here.
Tree House Books has been on the Plaza in Ashland since 1978 but has relatively new owners who curate a hand-picked selection of books for infants to young adults, as well as a small selection of their favorite books for grown-ups as well. The space is welcoming and inviting, and in addition to books there’s a wonderful selection of gifts, toys, and seasonal items that makes it worthwhile to stop in for a look whenever you’re walking by.
Tree House also has a book club for kids age 11 and older (if there’s anything better than a book club, it’s a book club for young readers) as well as many other events, including local author appearances. And be sure to check out Tree House’s October calendar, coming soon, for upcoming Halloweeny events.
Just a few yards from the Monterey Cypress (Tree of the Year 2004) is a statuesque Spanish Fir (Tree of the Year 2008), shown here:
The Spanish Fir is also known as Abies Pinsapo in its native country.
The picture doesn’t convey just how tall this tree is. If you’re visiting Ashland, I recommend a visit to the corner of Wimer and Scenic Drive, where you’ll find not one but two Trees of the Year.
Here’s a Google Map of this tree and others.
When I first heard of a tree called the Monkey Puzzle, I went straight to Wikipedia.
Thanks to Wikipedia, I now know that this tree is native to western Argentina and central and southern Chile (and is the national tree of Chile). It’s a very old species of tree, referred to as a “living fossil.” And its scientific name is Araucaria araucana, which means I’ll be sticking with calling it the Monkey Puzzle.
As you can see, this is a challenging tree to photograph It is located on a steep hill and I found that whenever I visited I was always shooting into a bright sky. It didn’t help much that I have no idea how to adjust the light settings on my camera. But you’ll have to trust me when I say the branches are green.
When I zoom in you can get a better sense for its branches — and it quickly becomes apparent how this tree earned its nickname.
You can find the Monkey Puzzle on this Google Map I’ve assembled.
During a break in the rain today we snuck outside and captured a few photos of Ashland’s Tree of the Year from 2004, the Monterey Cypress:
This tree has been around since the early 1900s and it appears close to outgrowing its yard.
Here is a closer view of the trunk:
You can see the full list of Ashland’s honorary trees here.
And here’s more information on the Monterey Cypress.
Arbor Day may be still a few weeks away but here in Oregon we like to get things started early.
This week is officially Arbor Week — a uniquely Oregonian tradition.
In the spirit of the week, I present Ashland’s Tree of the Year from 2006 — the Pacific Madrone:
The tree lives at the center of Ashland’s Mountain View Cemetery (the subject of a future blog post).
I’ll pull back a bit so you can look up at the Madrone:
And here’s a final photo from the distance:
You can see the full list of Ashland’s Trees of the Year here.
Happy Arbor Week!