Tree-dimensional Tacoma: Northern Red Oak
“I recently happened upon an incredible northern red oak, Quercus rubra, on Viewpoint Street near North Visscher in Tacoma’s West End. The stretched out canopy of this oak is simply beautiful,” says Sarah Low, the executive Director of the Tacoma Tree Foundation. “Oaks, red oaks especially, support hundreds of species — some say thousands of species — such as insects, birds, amphibians, and mammals. The insects include the caterpillars that migratory songbirds depend on in order to recover from their journey and to have energy to make a nest for chicks. I have felt a lot of gratitude for the birds this spring, which always leads me to feel grateful for the caterpillars, and the sunshine, and the rain, and, of course, the trees. All living beings are interconnected and oaks are a beautiful reminder.”
This red oak close to Vassault Park is this week’s Tree-dimensional Tacoma, Peaks & Pints’ weekly Tacoma tree column. Inspired by our house beer, Kulshan Brewing Tree-dimensional IPA, Peaks & Pints branches out for a weekly look at terrific trees of Tacoma, in conjunction with our friends at Tacoma Tree Foundation.
The word Quercus likely comes from a Celtic word, which meant “beautiful tree.” The “red” in the name is likely due to the red fall color of the leaves, as well as reddish petioles (what connects leaves to twigs) and reddish color of the interior wood. There are two main sub-groups of oak trees in the world: red and white. The main distinction between these groups is a single-leaf characteristic. Specifically, the red oak group has pointed lobes with tiny bristles at the tip of each lobe. White oak trees have more rounded lobes without bristles. Also, red oak acorns take two years to mature on a tree while white oak acorns mature in a single year.
Check out this northern red oak, and then head for a growler fill of Tree-dimensional IPA (6.8%) at Peaks & Pints. Kulshan Brewing collaborated with the Tacoma craft beer lodge on their house beer. Paying homage to the outdoor enthusiasts who join Peaks daily in Tacoma’s Proctor District, Tree-dimensional IPA is the perfect beer to toast the powder, currents or trails, as well as reveal the sprains. Tree-dimensional IPA, or Tree-D, continues Peaks & Pints’ love affair with old school piney IPAs, this time brewed with Simcoe, Idaho 7, CTZ, Centennial, and whole leaf Cascade in the hop back for all the pine, a little citrus, with a creamy mouthfeel and bitter finish.
Tacoma Tree Foundation is dedicated to educating, empowering, and supporting community members in neighborhood-based greening. In other words, the Tacoma organization strives for a greener, healthier, more connected Tacoma — which plants well with Peaks and Pints. We will host TTF fundraisers during Tree-dimensional IPA’s reign as our house beer, which pours through October 2020.