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Roadside Trees

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Japanese trees

Along some of Japan's most celebrated streets you can find some trees lining the sidewalks.

In Tokyo, along Omote Sando street, there are are some Keyaki trees which are also known as Japanese zelkova trees. They create a nice atmosphere to walk during the different seasons.

In this blog by Japanese teacher Yatabe sensei, she talks about this topic and introduces some vocabulary that is useful to learn.

街路樹
Roadside Trees

yatabe

By YATABE Kumiko

trees

私の住んでいるマンションは国道のそばにあります。この道の歩道には、約17キロメートルにわたり、ケヤキの木(埼玉の県木)が植えられており、日本一長いケヤキ並木なのだそうです。初夏新緑がとてもきれいです。

しかし、もともと幅の広くない歩道にケヤキが植えられているため、さらに道幅が狭くなっています。また、地下で木の根が育ったせいでケヤキの周りのコンクリートが盛り上がってしまっていて、歩きにくいところもあります。

こんなに背の高い木なのだから、根もかなり深くまで張っているのだろうと、思っていました。でも、インターネットで木の根の深さについて調べてみて、意外なことを知りました。木の根というのは、水平方向にはよく伸びるけれども、垂直方向にはそれほど伸びないものなのだそうです。街路樹は根の周りをコンクリートで囲まれて、自由に根を伸ばせなくてかわいそうだなと思ってしまいます。もしも木に生まれ変わるなら、街路樹ではなく森の中の木になりたいものです。

To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video.

街路樹(がいろじゅ)

私(わたし)の住(す)んでいるマンションは国道(こくどう)のそばにあります。この道(みち)の歩道(ほどう)には、約(やく)17キロメートルにわたり、ケヤキの木(埼玉(さいたま)の県木(けんぼく))が植(う)えられており、日本一(にほんいち)長(なが)いケヤキ並木(なみき)なのだそうです。初夏(しょか)新緑(しんりょく)がとてもきれいです。

しかし、もともと幅(はば)の広(ひろ)くない歩道(ほどう)にケヤキが植えられているため、さらに道幅(みちはば)が狭(せま)くなっています。また、地下(ちか)で木(き)の根(ね)が育(そだ)ったせいでケヤキの周(まわ)りのコンクリートが盛(も)り上(あ)がってしまっていて、歩(ある)きにくいところもあります。

こんなに背(せ)の高(たか)い木なのだから、根もかなり深(ふか)くまで張(は)っているのだろうと、思(おも)っていました。でも、インターネットで木の根の深さについて調べてみて、意外(いがい)なことを知(し)りました。木の根というのは、水平方向(すいへいほうこう)にはよく伸(の)びるけれども、垂直方向(すいちょくほうこう)にはそれほど伸びないものなのだそうです。街路樹(がいろじゅ)は根の周りをコンクリートで囲(かこ)まれて、自由(じゆう)に根を伸ばせなくてかわいそうだなと思ってしまいます。もしも木に生(う)まれ変(か)わるなら、街路樹ではなく森(もり)の中(なか)の木になりたいものです。

Roadside Trees

The apartment where I live is situated next to a National route. Along the sidewalk on this road, for a distance of about 17 kilometers there are some Japanese zelkova trees planted and it is the longest line of trees in Japan. At the start of summer, the green leaves are very beautiful.

However, since these Japanese zelkova have been planted here, the sidewalk (which wasn't that wide in the first place), has become even narrower. And also the tree roots have been growing underground and the concrete around these Japanese zelkova is coming up and there are some places that are difficult to walk along.

With trees this tall, I guessed that their roots must have grown quite deep. But when I searched it on the Internet, I found an unexpected fact. Tree roots often grow out horizontally, but they do not usually grow very far down vertically. Still I pity trees that line the roads that are surrounded by concrete and cannot grow freely. If I am reborn, I want to come back as a tree in a forest and don't want to be a tree in a roadside tree.

街路樹(がいろじゅ) roadside tree

国道(こくどう) National Route

歩道(ほどう) sidewalk

並木(なみき) line of trees

新緑(しんりょく) green leaves

盛り上がる(もりあがる) 

意外(いがい)な unexpected

水平方向(すいへいほうこう) horizontal direction

垂直方向(すいちょくほうこう) vertical direction

生(う)まれ変(か)わる be reborn

yatabe

Konnichiwa. My name is Kumiko Yatabe. I live in Saitama, just North of Tokyo.

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