By Katie Rummel on June 24, 2019
Meet Canopy volunteer, Christine Baker! Christine is a Palo Alto resident who has become very involved with Canopy since attending Community Forestry School in Fall 2018. She is one of Canopy’s amazing “Oak Spotters”, acting as a Survey Leader for our Great Oak Count and even helped lead our “Get to Know Your Native Oaks” workshop in May. We asked Christine a few questions to get to know her better.
Christine: I’ve loved trees ever since I was a little girl growing up in the Black Forest in southern Germany. There, my parents and siblings would go on long walks and hikes through the beautiful forest almost every weekend. When I moved to Palo Alto nine years ago, I was really impressed with the urban forest in Palo Alto. Having all these trees really improves the living quality. Then I learned about Canopy and the organization’s efforts to educate citizens about the health and benefits of the trees around us.
Christine: To me, the iconic image of California are rolling hills dotted with oak woodlands. It is such a beautiful sight and makes my heart jump every time. When I learned about how important oaks are to the ecology or our state, it made me even more interested. I wanted to learn more and more about this tree that comes in so many shapes and sizes, from little shrubs to magnificent giants.
Christine: It’s fun sharing my love of oaks with other people, especially young people that still have all this time to learn about their surroundings. I’m hoping to instill in them appreciation of native plants around us and how they benefit people and wildlife.
Christine: Oh, that is a very tough question, because there are so many different kind of trees I enjoy and appreciate. As a kid, I used to climb up and hang out in a large silver fir (abies alba). The tree felt like a friend and always lifted my spirits. I also enjoy apple trees. My family used to own an apple orchard, and I have the best memories harvesting the apples in the fall with my grandfather and father. Right this moment, I am really in love with the blue oak (quercus douglasii). It is a shapely tree with a rounded crown and the prettiest leaves that take on a bluish cast, especially in late summer.