Shady Oasis
Nope, no explosions here. Boom is the Dutch word for tree. Unfortunately, it’s not pronounced the same as it is in English (more like bome), but it’s still a fun word. I’ve always liked trees. I’m not weird about it or anything, as Tom Waits would say; I just like the way they change depending on the season. Bright and colorful in spring and autumn; cool and green in summer; stark and majestic in winter.
The thing is, with only a few exceptions, I rarely know the name of any given tree. I’m an admirer of nature, but on a superficial level. I know nothing about where different types of plants and trees grow or any other important information. Sometimes I wish I knew a bit more of the technical info, but that urge usually passes quickly.
Spring Colors
Fortunately, if I want to know about any tree here in Utrecht, there’s an app for that! (Well, there’s a website.) It turns out the Gemeente has put together a bomenkaart (tree map), with information about every tree they’ve planted here in the city, including its scientific name, its location, and even the year planted! I know that some of the trees in Zocherpark on Lucasbolwerk have little plaques with some of their information listed, but not every tree. I imagine if you’ve got some tree allergies, this information could be quite useful.
For the record, only the first photo I posted here was actually taken in Utrecht, or even in the Netherlands. The rest of the photos were taken either in our neighborhood in Greensboro, North Carolina, or in the mountains near Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’ve been feeling a bit homesick for North Carolina in the spring, with all the azaleas and dogwoods, and even the stinky Bradford pear trees. Hey! Look at that! I do know some plant/tree names!
Fall Palette
Twists and Turns
White Towers
More of our tree
Cotton Ball Tree
dogwood blooms

9 thoughts on “Boom

  1. A boomkaart? And there’s even an app for that? ๐Ÿ˜€ Ahh great!!
    Beautiful photos. I can see why you’re feeling a bit homesick, I’m sure it must be really pretty there in the spring!

    • We had about an acre of land with trees on three sides and tons of azalea bushes and a couple of dogwoods and Bradford pear trees, so when spring started, it was stunning! By summer, it was like a jungle sometimes!

  2. Beautiful images. I never really get tired of looking tree photos especially when there is so much variety. Don’t worry about tree names. I can’t tell either and I actually worked in landscape design for a short while! :S

    • I don’t feel so bad about not knowing the tree names now! ๐Ÿ˜€ There really is so much beauty in trees — always something to look at and ponder.

  3. I’d say the Bomenkaart is part of the bureaucracy surrounding the trees in our cities. Nearly every tree in the public area is recorded and checked if a member of the public has a request. Whether it be a report of it being near dead due to illness, or the rootsystem is causing havoc, the council will send out people to inspect it.

    If said tree surgeon/inspector agrees, a stipulation will be added when removal has been granted. Usually the tree(s) will need to be replaced by the same kind and amount. And this info will be recorded and made public.

    Don’t be fooled that when a tree is your yard that you can have free reign! The owner usually must check with the local council whether or not he/she needs a permit.

    These laws are in place to protect the bits of nature, because otherwise most trees would have been chopped down to widen roads, homes etc etc.

    I guess Utrecht thought they might as well share that detailed map, I mean the info is there anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    PS. I happen to know this because our local paper also publicizes all applications to the council, be it cutting down a tree to building permits.

    • I’m not that surprised to find out other cities do it, as well. It does make sense! We had an idea of the care they take after seeing some of the renovation they did of the nearby park last year, including how the removal and addition of trees was marked in the information we received. It is nice that they make it so readily available on the gemeente website, though. Might as well!

  4. ok this is getting slightly weird… I’ve been looking through your posts (from the first and making may way to the last chronologically) and notice that you take photos like I do. I mean the angles, subjects, composition, etc have a lot in common with my photography of the city. I love rooftops and old buildings/spires/gables against stormy skies, water reflections and now trees as well! Weird, but a lot of your photos strongly resemble mine.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s