The ever awesome Emily Francois borrowed a car yesterday and drove me over to Bed-Stuy in order pick up our free tree from NYRP. Originally, I registered for a white pine (Pinus strobus), but ended up with a Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria) instead. BUMMER!!!! Or so I though. It’s most certainly not native to the North Eastern United States, and native plantings are a goal to this garden project. BUT, through the gift of Google, I learned some interesting factoids about these conifers which makes me excited to give this little organism a forever home in Crown Heights.
Cryptomeria, or Jomon Sugi (縄文杉), is the national tree of Japan. Commonly planted around temples and shrines, Cryptomeria are associated with the pure, calm, true appreciation of nature. The practice of planting around temples began in the early 17th century when a feudal lord (Daimyo) was too poor to donate a stone lantern to the funeral of the famed Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. As a compromise, the Daimyo asked to plant a Sugi tree instead so as to protect all future visitors from the sun’s harsh rays.
So that’s nice :)