From A Squirrel’s View – The Energetic Abruptness Protected by the Shades of Pin Oaks

squirrel view

According to the research published in Journal of Comparative Physiology A, gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) can differentiate green, red with other colors but not able to distinguish green with red. This symptom is called dichromatic color vision. (Reference: Are Squirrels Able to Enjoy the Changing Colors of the Fall?  C. Claiborne Ray, The New York Times)

That being said, the squirrels can not enjoy the fall colors of trees but can differentiate the trees with the environment. 

From our observation, the most active time for the gray squirrels around and on our pin oak trees are early morning (before 8 a.m.) and late afternoon (4-5 p.m.), when the sunlight is not that strong. On cloudy days, they will more likely to show up than very sunny days, which further proves their resistance to strong sunlight.

However, our pin oaks would prefer a full sun environment to grow, which means at least 6 hours of direct, unfiltered sun,  according to the tree guide by Arbor Day Foundation.

As we all know, the pin oaks can provide great sun shading, that blocks the sun for the gray squirrels. This is one of the reasons why these two are good friends in addition to the squirrels’ needs of collecting acorns from the trees.

Tree Public Art in Rotterdam

tree public art

Along the canal in Rotterdam, there are many public artworks. This one particularly about one tree definitely stands out, as it seems trying to tell us a story about the tree’s past by preserving it through support by its other fellows in other species.

I thought this could be a great inspiration for our potential public artwork about one tree, that the story behind a tree does not need to only about its current life, but its memory is also worthy to discover.


Defining the Symbiosis through Chasing Squirrels…Where should they go without these oaks ?

squirrel trace

There is a special relationship between the gray squirrels and the pin oaks. The squirrels rely on the pin oaks to live. But they can also hurt the oaks by the bark stripping activities. They are not only showing up on the trees but also play in the parking lot close to these trees. Where are their habitats? Which trees do you like the best? Beyond the trees. where will they show up? The goal is to reveal this symbiotic relationship further through “chasing” and “documenting”.. (To be continued)

Smart Pin Oak Reproduction Strategies


Pin oaks rely on animals to help them reproduce. The reason while their nuts are with think shells is because in this way squirrels would be more attracted to their fruits. These squirrels are not smart enough to remember where they hide their food, and then the survival of pink oak nuts will spread out to other places further than their “mother” is at, and the species gets the chance to move further.