What Is Atlantic White Cedar?
Atlas cedars are the tallest evergreen trees in North America. They grow from sea level to over 12,000 feet (3,200 meters). Atlas cedars have been found all across North America, but they’re most common in Alaska and Canada. At their tallest, they reach heights of up to 18 feet (5 m) tall and weigh up to 20 tons!
Atlas cedars are native to the eastern United States and Canada. They were introduced into Florida in the late 1800’s. Since then, they’ve spread throughout much of the southern half of the country. Atlas cedars are one of only two species of trees that can live above 10,000 feet (3,048 meters). The other is Norway spruce.
The name “atlas” comes from their shape; it means “elephant trunk.” Atlas cedars are named after the Greek god of travelers, Atlas.
Why Are They So Tall?
Atlas cedar trees’ thick trunks provide them with strength and stability. Their dense bark protects them from wind damage and keeps out insects. And because they’re so tall, they get sunlight during the day while others don’t. That’s why they’re called “tall oaks.”
How Do You Grow Them?
You can grow atlases in USDA growing zones 3 to 10. They need full sunlight and wet soil to thrive. After about three years, they’ll grow 8-12 inches (20-30 centimeters) a year, but only up to about 4,000 feet (1,219 meters). At higher elevations the growth is slower. You won’t have to water them because they get enough moisture from the soil and their leaves. (It’s a good idea, however, to water your Atlas cedars if there’s no rain). Because they grow so fast and are so large, you can prune their roots by 25% when they’re young to control their size.
You may get rodents and even deer eating your atlases. You can protect them with wire mesh or fencing. If you do that, you have to monitor it for holes because eventually the rodents and deer will find them.
If you need to move your atlases, do it in the spring. If you have to transplant them in the fall, mulch heavily.
What Kinds Are There?
Most atlases are the Sitka variety, which grow straight and tall. They can get up to 300 feet (91 m) tall! They have blue-green needles that turn bright green in the summer and gold in the fall. They’re susceptible to bark beetles.
Other atlases are the western atlases, which don’t grow as tall or straight. They have flexible, blue-green to yellowish-green needles. They’re hardy and grow in a variety of soils.
There’s also the hardy atlases, which grow in zones 2 to 7. They’re one of the more cold-resistant atlases and do well in pots. They have short, stiff needles.
Most atlases grow best in zones 4 to
8. They have flexible, blue-green to yellowish-green needles and grow in a vase shape.
They can also grow in pots.
What Do They Taste Like?
You can eat all types of atlases. Their needles are sweet and pine-like. Start harvesting in the summer when the needles are two years old. Cut them in 1-2 foot (.3-.6 m) lengths. Sauté them in oil, cook them in soups, or grind them up into a powder to use in recipes.
How Can You Use Them?
Atlases are popular Christmas trees. They have a pleasant scent and soft, slender tips that don’t prick you. Make sure you water them, though.
You can also plant atlases in large groups to prevent soil erosion. Their roots help hold the soil together and keep it from washing away in heavy rain or snow.
Where Can You Find Them?
You can find atlases in parks and plantations. If you don’t have any in your area, ask the garden center staff if they can get them for you.
What Do They Smell Like?
Sitka atlases have a pleasant, sweet scent. It might remind you of Christmas!
Have You Heard The One About The Tree?
A man walks into a bar and sees a huge Sitka atlas in there. He turns to the bartender and says, “I’ll have what he’s having.”
You can buy atlases soaps, oils, candles, incense, bath salts, moisturizers, and air fresheners from several online retailers.
There are atlas Christmas ornaments and tree stands. You can also get needlework designs, wind chimes, coasters, jewelry, and other decorative items.
Hobbyists craft with atlases as well. You can get painting sets, model building materials, and wreaths.
You can also buy wooden atlas products online. There are cutting boards, chess sets, bowls, utensil handles, and other furniture pieces.
Some websites sell atlases garden seeds. They’ll help you grow them in your backyard!
There are banks, too. You can find atlases in the flora and fauna sections. They’re good to put in your yard or garden or give as gifts.
You can purchase atlases scented candles, soaps, oils, or handmade items.
Atlas tree oil is poisonous and can cause paralysis. Don’t use the needles, sap, seeds, or fruit.
Atlases can help reduce stress. They contain cineole, which is a mild sedative. It affects the heart, lungs, nervous system, and your digestive tract.
Atlases are good for your lymphatic system. They contain catechins and flavonoids, both of which fight free radicals and can prevent tumor growth.
The oil is also a diuretic and can increase your heart rate and cholesterol levels.
They’re a natural pain reliever, can prevent nausea and vomiting, and can kill bacteria. They can also treat respiratory issues like asthma.
Atlas needles are good for treating cystitis, preventing hemorrhoids, and speeding up wound healing.
The wood is insect repellant. It’s also resistant to termites and wood-boring beetles.
Scientific research shows that atlases have several cancer-fighting properties.
They’re a good source of antioxidants and vitamin C. You can also get vitamin A, iron, magnesium, and selenium from atlases.
Atlases can help with respiratory issues like asthma and bronchitis because they contain cineole and terpenes. These two chemicals can open your airways and make it easier for you to breathe.
They can also increase your heart rate and treat menstrual cramps because of their motile effects on the uterus and cervix.
How to Care
You can plant atlases anytime between fall and spring.
You can remove the needles any time of the year. Just be careful not to break the branches.
If you don’t want to plant them in your yard, you can put them in pots or decorative urns on your porch or near your front door.
You can also put them in a tree as long as they have enough room and won’t be damaged by the elements or squirrels.
Make sure you use a pot that has drainage holes in the bottom. The roots rot easily, so you need to make sure excess water can run out.
Water your atlases thoroughly and allow the soil to dry out before watering again.
Leaves and branches can be attacked by pests like aphids and scales. You can get an insecticide from your local garden supply center and apply it according to the directions on the bottle.
Pruning can prevent damage from high winds. It can also improve the overall appearance of your tree, much like pruning a rose bush.
Protect your tree from rabbits, rodents, and deer that may eat the leaves and tender shoots. A fence will work, or you can apply an animal repellent.
Here are some tips from the Extension office about planting atlases in your yard:
Choose a location in full sun, at least six hours of sun a day.
Select a location that’s protected from high winds. Atlases have shallow root systems, and the wind can uproot them.
Plant atlases at the same depth that they were in the container. Add a 2- to 5-gallon bucket of mulch (be sure it’s organic so you don’t introduce pest or disease) around the base of the tree to conserve moisture and keep down weeds.
Water your atlases deeply until you see water coming out of the bottom of the hole. This encourages root growth along the edge of the hole.
Apply a layer of 3 inches of gravel around the edges of the planting hole. This will prevent grass and weeds from growing around the edges of the hole.
Fertilize your tree in early spring with a 10-10-10 fertilizer. Follow the directions on the package for how much to apply.
Prune your atlases as needed. They typically grow toward the sun, so you may not need to do any formal pruning. If your tree is getting too tall, you can prune the top portion to the desired height.
Don’t place any structure or furniture underneath your atlases that could be damaged by falling leaves or branches. Atlases drop lots of leaves and acorns, and their branches can droop down due to their heavy foliage.
How did you enjoy this week’s installment of All Things Plants?
Let me know in the comment section. Make sure to tune in next week!
THIS IS THE PAST WEEK’S EDITION! SEPTEMBER 17 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 23
Call the Midwife: The Real Story by Jennifer Worth (August 30)
Jennifer Worth was a young, fresh-faced midwife with a lot to learn when she began her career in 1950s London. She saw more than her share of heartbreaking and heartwarming events in the slums of East London.
In this installment of All Things Plants, we’ll look at some important plants that make up the setting and plot of the popular drama television series Call the Midwife.
The show is set in London’s East End, in the working class neighborhoods of Docklands, Whitechapel, Bow, Poplar, and Bethnal Green. The area had only recently began to recover from the ravages of World War II, and many citizens were living in post-war poverty. The tenements and prefabs, or temporary housing units, that many of the characters called home were built to accommodate the massive bomb damage in the areas during WWII.
The show is centered on the work that midwives did in the slums, delivering babies in sometimes less-than-ideal conditions. Although the midwives we see on Call the Midwife are fictional, Jennifer Worth worked as a midwife in East London, and her experiences heavily influenced the show.
Call the Midwife is a dramatization of the work of real midwives in East London during this time, but some events and characters have been fictionalized for dramatic effect.
Some important plants that you might see while watching the show include:
Primroses. In season two, episode one, we briefly see a primrose as Trixie visits Jenny’s grave. Primroses are native to Europe and western Asia. They grow in woodlands, often in moist areas and near streams. They usually bloom between February and April.
Roses. Throughout the show we see roses incorporated into different characters’ lives. There’s Jenny’s full name which is Jennifer Rose, Canon and Barbara’s wedding that has roses all over the church, and even a few characters have rose petals thrown at them (or in their case, trod upon accidentally). Roses are often used to symbolize love.
Sweet Peas. In the first episode when Chummy is running through the street and vaults over a fence, you can see a few sweet peas growing over the fence in the background. Sweet peas are often grown up trellises or fences and arched over walkways like in this case.
Thyme. A shrubby herb that is often used as a groundcover, it is native to the Mediterranean region and thrives in dry, rocky hillsides. In season two, episode three, Trixie is picking thyme as a gift for Cynthia.
Salal. A small understory tree that grows in the Pacific North-west. Salal berries are a key ingredient in jelly, syrup, wine, and other food items. In season three, episode four, Shelagh is making salal jelly.
Wisteria. In season one, episode six, Cynthia and Chummy are sitting on a bench outside the church grounds. In the background you’ll notice a wisteria vine growing up a trellis. Wisteria is a woody, twining climber that can reach sizes of 200 feet long. They are native to China and Japan, but are also grown in the US.
Rhododendrons. In season one’s finale, there is a spectacular overhead shot looking down at the doctors and nurses standing in a semi-circle around a woman who has given birth. Behind them is a row of rhododendrons bordering the edge of the golf course. Rhododendrons are members of the Ericaceae family and are native to Asia, but are widely naturalized in other regions. There are over 1000 different species of rhododendron.
The flowers are often used in decorations for weddings and can have many different meanings such as ‘purity’, ‘love’, and ‘gratitude’.
Clematis. In season two’s finale, Shelagh is seen sitting on the Peckhams’ couch reading a letter. Hanging down from the porch roof behind her are several purple clematis vines. Clematis are commonly grown in North America as a popular vine because of the beauty of their flowers. In season three, episode six, when Shelagh is waiting for a train in the Underground, she passes a large trellis of purple clematis.
Honeysuckle. In season three, episode five, Chummy is in the greenhouse collecting honeysuckle to prepare a tincture for Mr. Holland’s cough. Honeysuckle is a woody vine that is native to North America. The flowers are often used in tea and as a sweetener.
Waxwork Figures. In the wax museum in London you’ll find figures of many different people displayed; Queen Victoria, Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (who wrote the Sherlock Holmes stories), and many others.
The University College in London is mentioned as where Doctor Turner works. It was founded in 1826 as an institution of higher education for the arts and sciences. In 1860 the college began offering a degree in medicine, which is still one of its primary focuses today.
The Victoria Underground Station is named after Queen Victoria. The station was opened in 1969 and is served by the Circle, District, and Hammersmith and City lines.
St Bartholomew’s Hospital and the Royal London Hospital are real hospitals in London. St. Barts is located on Smithfield Road in Smithfield, London EC1A and the Royal London is located on Whitechapel Road in Whitechapel, London E1.
The series is filmed almost entirely on location in London, England. Most of the exteriors were filmed on location in the city. The only episode in which a significant portion was filmed indoors was season three’s “To Die Game,” in which Chummy fights a reclusive crime lord at his mansion. Portions of this fight scene were filmed at a studio in Islington, North London.
The name of the street on which the clinic is located is Aldgate High Street. The name of the area is Aldgate, which is the easternmost district of London and was once home to a thriving leather trade. Today it is home to a large number of Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis and has been nicknamed “Little India.”
In the pilot episode, Drake and Carey’s apartment is located at 87 Great Dover Street in Southwark, London SE1.
In the pilot, when Drake and Chummy are on their way to the train station and pass streets named Old Kent Road and New Kent Road, they are actually walking along a section of those roads which are located in South London.
The hospital and police station exteriors were filmed at the old King Edward Memorial Hospital in Midhurst, West Sussex, England. The hospital has since been converted into a residential care home.
The grounds of the old St. Mary’s Church in Horndean, Hampshire, England, served as the location for the hospital grounds. The church itself was used for the interiors of the hospital until it burned down in 2008 and production had to be moved to a studio for the remainder of the series. It has since been rebuilt.
The exterior of the “Green Man” pub is really the “King’s Arms” pub in Southill, Bedfordshire, England. The building has since been converted into a private residence.
The train station exteriors were filmed at the West Sussex village of Warnham’s Miniature Railway and Village Museum in Warnham, West Sussex, England.
The police station interiors were filmed at a studio in London.
The series was filmed in High Definition (HD) from its inception, and was broadcast in HD on the British television channel ITV1. In America it was broadcast on the PBS member station WGBH 44 in Boston, Massachusetts. From 2010 to 2015, it was broadcast on COZI TV, a national American digital network.
The series was filmed almost entirely on location in London and its surrounding counties, mostly in the West and Southwest of England, with some location filming in Brighton on the South Coast. In season four the cast went on a road trip to the Isle of Man for several episodes.
Much like British shows “The League of Gentlemen” and “The Office”, characters occasionally break the fourth wall by looking into the camera to address the audience or by providing their thoughts on a particular situation.
The first season is the shortest, with six episodes, and each subsequent season has had a minimum of eight. There are a total of 80 episodes and 7 seasons.
The series has won several BAFTA awards.
A feature film is planned but no release date has been announced.
The show was created by Ashley Pharoah and he also wrote or co-wrote many of the episodes. Other notable writers include Russel Friend and Garrett Lerner who have both gone on to create their own shows, “The Middle” and “Better With You” respectively.
Ashley Pharoah left after the third season and was replaced as showrunner by creator Jon Brown. After he left, Matthew Bouch and Ben Cavell took over for the fifth season.
The theme song is “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd.
The show has been sold to several different countries and has had great success in Ireland, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Brazil, and India. In America it airs on the Ovation Channel.
The DVD’s have been released in the US and UK.
The first season was released on Region 2 in 2009 by Critical Vision Entertainment. The second and third seasons were released in 2011, also by Critical Vision. The fourth season was released in 2012 and the fifth season was released in 2014. As of 2018, they are currently not available on any streaming service and cannot be obtained except from private sellers or online auctions.
The region 1 releases have been handled by Acorn Media.
Acorn released the first two seasons in 2008 and 2009, then ceased distribution of the show for unknown reasons. They resumed distribution in 2012 and released the remaining three seasons. In 2016, they released a complete series set.
The show was quite popular in Brazil, where it was broadcast by the TV Cultura channel. It then was picked up by the recently created pay TV channel “Acion”. After the sixth season, the show was cancelled in that country.
In India, the show is broadcast on the Movies OK channel and is one of its top rated shows.
In the United States, it began airing on the Ovation Channel in 2011. It plays on both Ovation and the Get TV channel.
In Canada, it began airing on the LOGO channel in 2013.
In Australia, it began airing on the SBS channel in 2010.
In New Zealand, it began airing on the TV3 channel in 2016.
In the United Kingdom, it initially aired on the showcase channel from 2008 to 2013. It now airs on the Spike channel.
In Ireland, it began airing in 2008.
The opening credits for each season greet the new viewer and are a reminder to the die-hard fans as they list the characters that have left the series.
The title sequence remains the same, a simple shot of a desert highway that leads to a series of interlocking highways that gradually speeds up until the show’s logo comes into view with the “Motor City” theme song playing in the background. The sequence has not changed since season one, with the exception of the Dodge Charger and Ford Mustang tail lights being swapped for the Ford Galaxie in season three.
The show has always had a unique credits sequence. The regular cast members have a picture of themselves in the upper right hand corner of the screen with their names under it. The real stars of the sequence are the guest stars and the pictures and names of the writers, directors, and producers move across the screen from right to left.
After the title sequence, the show begins with a two-and-a-half minute intro in which there is no dialogue. The intro is almost a mini-episode as it tells the story of two small-time thieves, Jake Van Dorn and Lola Scagliano who pull off a bank robbery in the fictional town of Delta, Oklahoma. They make off with a small amount of money and are soon pursued by a persistent detective, Martin Sensmeier, who is killed by Jake in a gunfight. The second part of the opening sequence is the arrival of Lucky and Lee in Las Vegas. The two are picked up in a Yellow Cab driven by the character of Hank the taxi driver (played by Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs).
The transition to the series occurs when Lucky and Lee blow up the cab. This action is seen in reverse as the explosion that destroys the cab is followed by the explosion over Lake Mead, which gives way to the Hoover Dam and the Colorado River. The final scene is Lucky and Lee running from the bank with their ill-gotten gains.
The first season started off slowly, but soon picked up steam as it realized its potential. The second and third seasons were the most successful as they benefited from the addition of Billy Van (who played an excellent con artist named Kansas Calhoun) and the wonderful Samantha Smith (who played a wonderful character named Sage Cook, a young girl who was taken in by the couple and became their moral center).
The fourth season suffered the most from the loss of its head writer and the lead actors. The departure of Van and Smith deprived the series of its heart, and although the addition of Maryann Plunkett as a sharpshooter named Janey York added some sizzle to the series, it never quite regained its previous heights.
The fifth season went in a completely different direction as it was set mostly in Australia with a new cast of characters. Although the series maintained a small but loyal fan base, it never quite regained its previous heights and was cancelled after only ten episodes.
The DVD release may give the show the exposure that it needs and deserves as it is certainly one of the more original shows to ever grace network television.
Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that the series also inspired a successful and popular video game. In the third level of the 1979 Atari video game, “Lethal Weapon”, a robbery of a bank in a small town called Elam happens much like it does on the show. The robber is pursued by a persistent detective who looks like Mel Gibson.
(This was an original piece by Paul Miles, but I posted it here because I don’t have enough posts to start my own topic) Last edited by davesnothere; 01-12-2008 at 05:26 AM .
Sources & references used in this article:
A new face on the countryside: Indians, colonists, and slaves in South Atlantic forests, 1500-1800 by RP Feynman, R Leighton – 2001 – WW Norton & Company
Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten: how Hollywood and popular art shape what we know about the Civil War by T Silver – 1990 – books.google.com
What do the hydrocarbons from trees contribute to air pollution? by HM Stanley – 1889 – Sampson, Low