Japanese Maple

One of the first ornamental trees we planted when we moved here was a Japanese maple – two, actually. One has stayed tiny and red, the other has become a giant (for the diminutive maple). Both Dad and I have always liked the delicate leaves and interesting forms of these trees.

Japanese Maple by E. Colin Williams

Japanese Maple by E. Colin Williams

While Dad has been sketching away in his studio, I’ve been a regular at the library, checking out various books about trees including a couple by Thomas Pakenham. In the book, Meetings with Remarkable Trees I found lots of odd information about trees with strong personalities. The photos and artwork in the book are inspiring and do, indeed, capture something of the individual nature of trees. What was perhaps the coolest thing, though, was the way a previous patron had pressed leaves between many of the pages.

Leaves, mostly maple, have been carefully pressed between the pages of this library book about trees...

Leaves, mostly maple, have been carefully pressed between the pages of this library book about trees…

So what should I do, librarian friends? Do I leave the leaves alone and let someone else have the pleasure of finding them? Or do I remove them because maybe it isn’t such a good idea to have fauna lurking inside library books?

4 responses to “Japanese Maple

  1. Leave the leaves. They are a special surprise.


  2. Sadly, I have to recommend removing them. Bugs. Need I say more. Not only that, but I believe when you’re pressing leaves in books, you’re supposed to put tissue or something between the leaf and the book page, as the ink from the book page might transfer, and the moisture from the leaf will obviously do the same. If you’re pressing leaves in your own book, take note. If the leaves are really worth saving, or special types, you can try asking the branch if they can trace the previous patron to see if they want the leaves back, but frankly, you’ll be letting the person in for a lecture about organic substances in books, and they may not thank you. And your Dad’s done another beauty!


    • I suspected as much… They mostly seem to be quite lovely maples but nothing extra special…. And, no tissue or anything like that, so I shall rove them before the book goes back. A bit sadly, though – they were a delightful surprise and a physical connection to some other book-loving, tree-loving, library-using person out there somewhere…


  3. I’m sad to read the advice of sailorssmallfarm, because it is sensible and no doubt correct. Had I not seen it I would have said leave them, and even consider adding a couple more.


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