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.
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!