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The Secret Sex Life of Trees

The male flowers of a striped maple, encircled with stamens, which produce pollen. (Photo: Jennifer Blake-Mahmud/Special to

The Record's Jim O'Neill has a cool article on the sex life of trees (who knew?).

Here's a sample:

The trees — those dormant, looming trees that have looked so dead and bare and gray for so long — those trees are about to wake up.

Then, they’re going to have sex.

And — as botanists will tell you — the sex life of trees can be downright bizarre.

One quick example. Remember those Nor’easters that slammed North Jersey in March, and snapped countless tree limbs? Because of that, the damaged branches of one tree species — striped maples — may be transforming themselves from male into female.

You can read Jim's story online here. (He took the above photo, too.)

A couple of amazing sidebars are here and here.