The tree behind our house

There’s a tree behind our apartment building. There’s a bench beneath it, a good place to sit away from the main traffic through the park. It’s a nice enough tree during the summer.

Nut Tree

About two weeks ago, we noticed people in the park stooped around the tree, occasionally picking something off the ground. By last week, families were coming to fill their sacks.

Nut harvest

We’d seen people harvesting berries from other places in the park, so foraging in public park was not unusual behavior. Nevertheless, this tree was attracting quite a bit of attention. Will’s curiosity began Nut trunkto burn, and Anita got interested too. So today, we went down to take a look for ourselves.Nut grounds

The area was picked over, of course. We found whole nuts, but they were either from the bush nearby or the horse-chestnut tree a bit further. (The tree drops conkers, which we call buckeyes when they fall from the North American variant.)

Nut grounds

The soft shells aren’t familiar to us. The few hard shells look like walnuts to Anita.

Nut green
Nut pieces

Help! Can you help us identify this tree? This curiosity is starting to feel like an itch, and it seems a little creepy to stake out the park.

Nut branch
Nut leaves

17 Comments to “The tree behind our house”

  1. Barry Cade said...
    10 October 2009

    Is it a sausage?

  2. Ed Le Canard said...
    18 October 2009

    Is it a cucumber?

  3. Jimmy Knuckstumper said...
    18 October 2009

    I think it’s a nut.

  4. Sam Widge said...
    19 October 2009

    Is it a Saracen warrior’s scimitar?

  5. Chris Peeduck said...
    19 October 2009

    I think it’s a hamster.

  6. Bridget Oofar said...
    20 October 2009

    Have any of the contributors thought more widely? I don’t think so. Let’s look at the evidence: it’s a tree; people were collecting its fruit. So it’s likely to be an edible fruit (although conkers are collected in the UK by kids) What kind of fruit? Luxembourg is in northern Europe, so it’s unlikely to be citrus. It could have been an apple or pear, but the photo didn’t show a fruit that looked like either. The fruit looked like a nut. Not an almond. The fruit looks like a walnut. The tree looks like a walnut tree. I must be a walnut. What do others think?

  7. Mike Rofone said...
    23 October 2009

    It’s custard.

  8. Seymour Muff said...
    23 October 2009

    It’s cheese.

  9. Tom Bola said...
    25 October 2009

    Come on people. Wake up! It’s a freakin’ walnut like Bridget says.


  10. Noah Zark said...
    25 October 2009

    I’m pretty sure its a walnut too. When are we going to get the final verdict?!

  11. Anne Droid said...
    25 October 2009

    I’m a trained investigator with the Pennsylvania CSI. Now this oner really is a hard nut to crack. But come on, as Toma says, it’s a freakin’ walnut! Christ Almighty people.

  12. Matt Innay said...
    26 October 2009

    I think it’s a walnut. When are we going to get the answer?

  13. Chip Grizwald said...
    26 October 2009

    It’s squirrel food – that’s for sure!

  14. Hugh Bris said...
    27 October 2009

    I’m not so certain that it’s a nut. It’s a tricky one, but on the balance of probabilities I think it’s a walnut. It might be a toasted cheese sandwich though…

  15. Huw Rice said...
    3 November 2009

    I parachuted into Normandy on the night of 5 June 1944. My friends call me “spunky”. I’ll tell you why. It may shed some light on your conundrum.

    I was a young Leiutenant in the British Army’s 3rd Parachute Brigade at the time, aged 22, serving under the brilliant Lt-Col Otway. We were to destroy five bridges over the river Dives near Caen. I have never felt sicker in my life as we thundered across the Channel that night. We all had a swig of whisky before the drop to calm the nerves though!

    Soon after the whisky the ack-ack began, the pilot throwing the crate all over the sky as the red hot shrapnell exploded around the formation. Things were going badly. Everything was chaos, and I don’t remember how I got to the door for the jump. I learned later that our plane had been hit in the tail and the pilot was struggling to keep her strainght and level.

    The boys were scattered everywhere. As I floated down, I could see the German searchlights and tracers dancing across the blackness. The jump seemed to have calmed me, but I still felt sick in the pit of my stomach.

    The ground approached. I didn’t have much control of the ‘chute, and I could see that I was coming down into a copse near to a farm house. As the ground rushed up, I noticed the trees. I didn’t want to get tangled in one as I’d have been a sitting duck for the Germans. But try as I might I couldn’t avoid the final crunch. I hit the tree at what seemed like terrifying speed. And the searing pain glanced into my belly. I dropped out of the tree and landed on the soft grass with a thump. I threw up. Pulled myself together and could hear the fight going on around me. The rest, as they say, is history. We won the fight and I lost some brothers.

    It turned out that I had lost a testicle that night. Andy (Jock) Strap, my Scottish best friend in the Regiment hooked up with me and off we went. The pain subsided once we got into the thick of it. I was treated in the field hospital two days later and taken back to Blighty the day after that. But Jock was the one who branded me Spunky on the strength of my little accident.

    I suppose the point is, that your tree is definitely a Walnut. I’ve been back to Normandy many times and the Rospierre family are firm friends of the Rice’s. Jean-Luc Rospierre (he died in 1968) showed me great hospitality,and showed me around his land where my gang had landed. Indeed we found the very tree where I had come a cropper.

    Since those days I had 3 kids with my wife Dot and we have 9 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.

    I have never enjoyed walnuts since the 5 June 1944.

  16. Mike Roscopy said...
    7 November 2009

    Is it a Mongol horde?

  17. Mandy Bull said...
    14 November 2009

    Is it a walnut? Pleeeeaaase let us know. Huw told us he lost a testicle in a walnut tree. The least you could do is put us out of our misery and let us know.