Oddly grafted downtown tree probably doctored by seed-carrying critter



Esther Short — Frankenstein’s tree? Mark Ullman and Kathi King spotted a strange one on the southwest corner of the intersection at West 11th and Esther streets: a catalpa with what looks like a mountain ash branch grafted onto it. Vancouver Urban Forester Charles Ray agreed with those identifications — an ash branch on a catalpa trunk — but concluded that the mad scientist must be a squirrel or bird. “In all likelihood, some little critter dropped a mountain ash seed inside the cavity of the catalpa, and it sprouted. It’s actually quite common to see plants growing in or on trees in this way,” Ray said. “No treatment is needed in this case. The mountain ash branch is basically growing straight up, acting just like a graft and doesn’t appear to be causing any harm.”