The Climbing Tree - The Magic Onions

The Climbing Tree

There is a tree at the LA Arboretum that we call ‘The Climbing Tree’. It is a child’s delight! A maze of gorgeous branches going this way and that. It’s branches span about 30 meters but it’s not very tall… perfect for climbing. It’s usually the first place we visit when we are at the Arboretum, and then, of course, the last place too. A Good Man and I spread a blanket on the carpet of leaves beneath this highway of branches and lie in the shade together while our children climb to their hearts content.

Alas, I have forgotten it’s name :-(. It is from (of all places) South Africa and I want to tell you it’s a ‘Karob’ tree, but Google won’t confirm it for me, so I’ll have to be happy with telling you I ‘think’ its called a Karob tree (of course, if you know that it’s not, please let me know and I’ll correct it here :-)

If you haven’t found it at the LA Arboretum yet, it’s well worth the search… it’s near the South African aloe section, off a little path, hidden in a cathedral of leaves.

The LA Arboretum is in the throws of early spring. Trees are blossoming, bees are hard at work as are the hummingbirds. 

 It’s a joy to run in the wide open spaces and fresh air.

We play hide-and-seek in the shady bamboo forests.

And inspect fallen blossoms for a perfect bloom to put in our hair.

We sing to the ducks.

We notice nature in all her glory.

 The Magnolia trees are in full bloom.

And the fruit trees.

Even the Daffodils are smiling.

 LA recently experienced a wind storm of gigantic magnitude. Our Arboretum was terribly hard hit. Over 300 trees fell down in the high winds, many of them hundreds of years old. Yesterday, it was sobering to see so many huge stumps, freshly cut. And, sad to think that, while we loved our visit before this one, we didn’t quite grasp the gift of walking among the majestic trees for the last time. I couldn’t help feel that I wish I had said thank you to them before they disappeared forever… thank you for sharing your majesty with us. Oh well, just one more reason to be thankful for what we have right now. Live in the moment, friends, drink in life and joy and laughter… and of course, go the the LA Arboretum :-)

Blessings and magic,

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Donni Webber is the mom behind the popular natural living Waldorf website and blog, The Magic Onions - where the magic of nature and the wonder of childhood collide to make each moment a precious gift. She is a photographer, writer, crafter, wife and mother of two inspiring young children. Her work has been featured in many popular publications, including HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens, Disney and Apartment Therapy.

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  1. Is it a baobab tree?

  2. Or… Maybe a carob, though those are North African, not South…

  3. I love trees and this is a wonderful post. I just finished reading PoeTTree by Ilan Shamir. Wonderful! His name means ‘protector of trees’. Thanks for sharing these photos. so sorry to hear about all the old trees blowing down. I’ve seen that in several places over the years, and it’s just part of Mother Nature.

  4. What a wonderful place! Too bad about the wind storm, though. :-(

  5. We love the Arboretum & I was sad to hear of all the destruction caused by the storm. We’ll have to check out your favorite tree next time we visit. I have a feeling my boys would love it, too!

  6. That is just beautiful! I am so missing the first inklings of spring…it will be awhile before we see that here in Alaska. We are still buried in snow at the moment, with a blizzard whipping around the house as I type. Your post made me smile tonight. Thanks.


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