It was a beautiful day in the beginning of September when I was introduced to the magnificent Kousa Dogwood tree in front of Stern. Dickinson’s arborist, Mark Scott, was kind enough to elaborate on some of the specifics of the tree, and I was enlightened by how much one tree could have an impact on our small community. I decided to give this tree a name — KD. She is approximately 20 years old, so I am only a year older than her! KD is 15 feet tall, which is an average height for her type. Most Kousa Dogwoods are anywhere from 15-20 feet tall. She is a small deciduous tree, meaning she loses her leaves seasonally, or in this case her fruit. This Kousa Dogwood tree grows fruit during the fall, which is a pinkish-red in color. KD is actually native to Asia, but she can also (clearly) be found in the Northeastern part of the United States.
Something that I find interesting is the amount of people that walk in and out of Stern every day, or that walk by Stern towards the intersection of North West Street and West LoutherStreet, without even noticing that this tree exists. The fact is that there are likely a handful of different species in Carlisle that actually depend on this tree for several things, such as shelter or food.
In Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac, he discusses types of tree species that he is drawn to. He says, “I like the red dogwood because he feeds October robins… I like the hazel because his October purple feeds my eye, and because his November catkins feed my deer and grouse” (72). I believe that based off of these attractions, Leopold would like the Kousa Dogwood tree. Not only is it another type of dogwood tree, but it also blooms (white) flowers that are pleasing to the eye. It grows fruit when in season, which will feed many different species in its surrounding neighborhood. Just as his oak trees feed the grouse in his backyard, the Kousa Dogwood is a food source for other species as well. KD is such an important resource.
Leopold, Aldo. A Sand County Almanac. New York: Oxford UP, 1949. Print.