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Meet A Tree - Blog

Our Blog includes many interesting tree facts, educational information, tree care tips and a "Meet A Tree" Section that features a different tree at least once a week.  We try to post daily to keep things fresh and inspire you to love trees as much as we do!


Thank you for visiting, we hope you will enjoy what you find here on these pages.


Arundel Tree Service



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Glossy Privet (Ligustrum lucidum)

Posted on May 17, 2018 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

The Glossy Privet (Ligustrum lucidum) is best recognized by it's shrubby growth habit and lustrous v shaped leaf blades, large inflorescence and clusters of blue to black drupes. The Glossy Privet is a large sized shrub or small tree that can reach heights of up to 20 feet tall. It generally has multiple trunks, a vase shape and arching or drooping branches. The Glossy Privet was introduced from Asia and established from cultivation throughout the Southeastern Coastal Plains from South Carolina to Central Florida, West through Eastern Texas.

 

 

 

The leaves of the Glossy Privet are opposite, simple, thick and leathery often v shaped with a narrowly elongated tapered point. The upper portions of the leaves are dark green and hairless, the lower surface is pale and slightly duller in sheen. The flower is small, white with a slightly greenish hint, tubular with four petals born in conspicuous branching panicles. The flowers are notably fragrant and are attractive to many pollinators. The fruit is a blue to black drupe 4-8 mm long that matures in late Summer to early Winter.

 

 

 

Privets grow at a fast rate, with height increases of more than 24" per year. They prefer full sun or partial shade, a minimum of 4 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day. The Privet grows in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silty loam and well-drained soils. The Japanese Privet is similar in appearance and is sometimes confused with the Glossy Privet. The easiest way to decipher between the two is the leaf size which is less then 10 cm on the Japanese Privet and greater then 10 cm on the Glossy Privet.

 

 

 

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The Golden Chain Tree - Laburnum anagyroides (Golden Rain)

Posted on May 16, 2018 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

The Golden Chain Tree - Laburnum anagyroides (Golden Rain) is a small deciduous ornamental tree that reaches heights of 30-35 feet tall at maturity. The Golden Chain grows in a erect, slender form with slightly dropping limbs. It was native to Europe but has been long cultivated in the United States, common in landscapes along the East Coast especially in Massachusetts, but much more widespread in the West. Laburnum, commonly called Golden Chain, is a genus of two species of small trees in the subfamily Faboideae of the pea family Fabaceae.

 

 

 

The leaves are alternate, palmately compound with either 3 ovate or broadly lanceolate leaflets. The flowers are bright yellow in color and are generally 1.5-2 cm long each growing in long, loose, pendant shaped clusters that can range from 10-40 cm long. The fruit is a slightly hairy plump brown legume that is constricted between the seed compartments.

 

 

 

The wood from the Laburnum family has been used in woodworking, cabinet making, instrument production. The heartwood is often used as an alternative to ebony or rosewood because of the dark yellow-chocolate coloring. All parts of the Golden Chain are poisonous, symptoms can include sleepiness, vomiting, convulsive movements, coma, slight frothing of the mouth and unequally dilated pupils. In some cases, diarrhea can be very severe.

 

 

 

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Smoketree - Cotinus coggygria

Posted on May 15, 2018 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Smoketree - Cotinus coggygria - is a small deciduous tree and a native of the wooded hills above the Mediterranean. Named for it's blooms of wispy filaments in either pink or cream that look like poofs of smoke radiating from the trees branches. In some areas the tree is nicknamed the Mist Tree, Cloud Tree or even Jupiter's Beard. It is a relatively low maintenance shrub/small tree classified as an ornamental. With a max height of 10-15 ' tall and a spread of 12 ', the Smoketree grows at a medium rate of just 12-24 inches per year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to it's smoky filaments this tree also produces flowers from June to September that are not very noticeable they are yellow-pink to plain pink in color and are often hidden by the wispy hairlike filaments. The leaves are small 1 1/4 to 4 inches long and a pretty blue green in color in season, changing yellow, purple and red in the fall. When crushed the branches and leaves have an almost citrus smell often compared to an orange.

 

 

 

 

 

Image Citation:(1&2) The Dow Gardens Archive, Dow Gardens, Bugwood.org

 

 

 

Introduced in the America's in the mid 1600's, this tree makes for an interesting addition to any home/commercial landscape and is recommended for hardiness zones 5-8. It is not particular when it comes to soil types and can handle both wet soil and semi drought conditions with ease. This variety has been naturalized in ranges North of the American Smoketree from Illinois, Ohio, Maryland on North through Ontario and Vermont. It is cultivated in the South as a specimen tree and is often found more often then the American Smoketree in this application.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nannyberry - Viburnum lentago

Posted on May 9, 2018 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

The Nannyberry is a small tree or large shrub native to the Northern United States and Southern portions of Canada. Generally found growing naturally along woods edges and within woodland settings. Nannyberry is in the Elderberry family and is also called Nannyberry viburnum or Sheepberry. This variety is best suited for zones 3-7 and grows well in alkaline, moist, dry or well drained soils. The growth habit of the Nannyberry is clumping, thicket forming, arching or multi stemmed. The Nannyberry is a fast grower and is adaptable from full sun to partial shade.


Image Citation: Missouri Botanical Gardens - http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/FullImageDisplay.aspx?documentid=1040

 

 

 

The Nannyberry can reach heights of up to 25 feet and prefers full to partial shade. Nannyberry is known for its dark, lustrous green leaves which turn a maroon to deep red in the fall. The leaves are finely toothed, short to long pointed, hairless and somewhat egg shaped, leafstalks are winged. The leaves are 2-5 inches long. The twigs are long and flexible, with a rough granular texture on the surface. Buds are brown or gray in color, long and slender with rough-granular scales. Flowers are white in color and appear on the "old wood" portions of the tree, not new growth. The berry like fruit (drupe form) starting out yellow and red and maturing to blue or black. Birds are attracted to the fruit that ripens in the fall and often persists into December. This plant is a caterpillar and larva host to the spring azure butterfly.

 

 

 

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Devil's Walking Stick -Aralia spinosa

Posted on May 7, 2018 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (0)

The Devil's Walking Stick -Aralia spinosa is best known for it's prickly trunk, umbrella form, and bi-pinnate or tri-pinnate leaves. It is a deciduous shrub or small tree that only reaches heights of only 30 feet tall. It is a member of the Ginseng family (Araliaceae). The main trunk is erect with a single trunk with little or very few ascending branches, the leaves are spreading and grouped near the top of the plant. It is considered to be invasive or annoying by many landowners and gardeners as the plant "pops" up at will and is often hard to kill without grinding out the root system. The Devil's Walking Stick propagates with a rhizomatous root system that extends just below the ground to create a cluster of plants in loose congregation. The individual stems are ramets, or clones, of the singular parent. It is often times also called Hercules Club, Prickly Ash, Angelica Tree, Toothache Tree, Prickly Elder, Pigeon Tree, Pick Tree, Mississippi Hoe Handle, or Shotbush depending on the region.

 

 

 

 

 

Image Citation: Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

 

 

 

Devil's Walking Stick was also for medicinal purposes by the Native Americans and Colonial Americans. A decoction of the bark was used to break a fever by increasing perspiration and for intestinal discomfort because of its emetic and purgative properties. The roots were mashed and cooked down to make a topical treatment that was used to treat boils and other skin irritations. Colonial Americans, notably those of African descent, used a similar topical treatment after a snakebite. The water used to boil the roots to craft topical treatments was also retained to treat eye irritations. Devil's Walking Stick is mildly toxic if ingested in sufficient quantities. The toxins are concentrated in the seeds of the berries and can cause gastrointestinal disturbances both mild and severe depending on amounts ingested. There is some theory that Devil's Walking Stick has been the cause of livestock poisoning. In spite of the soft and weak properties of the wood, it has been used to craft small boxes, picture frames, pens, and rocking chairs arms. The stems if cut in the early Spring can be stripped of their thorny external skin and made into plant stakes and ironically walking sticks. It was planted as an ornamental in English gardens during the late 19th Century as a contrarious gesture to conformity as it has a natural appearance that is in no way formal. Today it is not sold or marketed as an ornamental as it is not an ideal planting for any landscape other then a natural one, if planted it is used mainly in reforestation areas.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

The Devils Walking Stick is native to woodland areas, undisturbed lands, thickets, bogs and pine margins from Maine to Central Florida in the East and Missouri to Eastern Texas in the West. It is generally found between 0-1500 meters in elevation. There are only two non-native tree sized species of Aralia that are naturalized in North America, The Japanese Angelica Tree and The Chinese Angelica Tree, both are similar in appearance but not necessarily in size. The bark of the Devils Walking Stick is brown, smooth with slightly rough sections that bear obvious prickles that are very painful when making contact with the skin. The branches are stout, prickly and often have large encircling leaf scars. The leaves are alternate, bi-pinnate or tri-pinnate, compound, with triangular blades, numerous leaflets and a short stalk. The leaves are dark green on the upper surface and pale green on the lower, in the fall the leaves change to a rust or bronze color. The flowers are made up of tiny white petals and sepals, five of each, inflorescence and a large terminal compound panicle. The flowers appear in the early Summer. The fruit is round, 5 stoned purple-black, or lavender drupe that is 5-8 mm long and matures in the Fall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September Elm - Ulmus serotina

Posted on April 27, 2018 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

September Elm - Ulmus serotina, is most easily recognized by the combination of alternate simple, double toothed leaves, mature branches with corky wings and Autumn flowering and fruiting. It is a deciduous tree that can reach heights of up to 65 feet tall, it grows in an erect form with a single trunk and spreading crown. It is native to the limestone bluffs, bottomlands and hillsides of Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas and Illinois but is rare even within it's native growth range. The September Elm can hybridize with the Cedar Elm though the offspring are difficult to assign to species.

 

 

 

The leaves are alternate, simply shaped, with an abruptly pointed short point. The upper leaf surface is a yellow-green color, hairless, with parallel veins and distinctively forked margins. The lower leaf surface is a yellowish gold color with soft hairs. The flowers have 5-6 sepals and occur from Summer to Autumn each year. The fruit is ovoid to elliptic with 1 seed, light brown samara, 1 - 1 1/2 cm long with a notched apex, maturing in Autumn.

 

 

 

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Paper Mulberry - Broussonetia papyrifera

Posted on April 6, 2018 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (0)

The Paper Mulberry - Broussonetia papyrifera, is a deciduous fast growing tree that reaches heights of only about 30-60 feet tall. Paper Mulberry grows in an erect fashion with a single or multiple trunk, often producing root sprouts and branching low to the ground, the crown is broad and rounded. Originally introduced from Asia in the mid 1700's it is cultivated and established in the Eastern united States from Delaware to Southern Illinois on South from Florida to eastern Texas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Citation: Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org

 

 

 

The bark of the Paper Mulberry is smooth, tan in color and occasionally furrowed. The twigs are brown with scattered, slightly raised lenticels and long spreading transparent hairs. The leaves are alternate, opposite and whorled, simple, ovate, with a rounded base, and flattened heart shaped or broad wedge shape, toothed along edges. Upper leaf surfaces are dark brown green in color becoming deep green with age. The lower surface is hairy, velvety at maturity. The flowers are unisex, tiny, with male and female produced on separate trees, female inflorence occur in a rounded cluster, the male are elongated cylindric catkin 3-8 cm long occurring in Spring. The fruit matures in Summer and is rounded in a ball like cluster of fleshy calyces that are 2-3 cm in diameter, each calyx encloses a red or orange achene that visibly protrudes on ripe fruit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Citation: Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

 

 

 

Broussonetia is a genus of only 4 species all are from East Asia or the Pacific Islands. Paper Mulberry is recommended for hardiness zones 4-8. Meet more trees on our website www.ArundelTreeService.com or follow our blog https://arundeltreeservice.meetatree.com/" target="_blank">https://arundeltreeservice.meetatree.com/

The Silktree / Mimosa - Albizia julibrissin

Posted on April 5, 2018 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

The Silktree - Albizia julibrissin is most commonly known as the Mimosa. It is most easily recognized by the combination of bipinnate leaves and pinkish inflorescence. It is a deciduous tree that can reach heights of up to 50 feet tall and generally has a single erect trunk that lead to several low large ascending branches with an umbrella like spreading crown.

 

 

 

 

 

Image Citation: Lesley Ingram, Bugwood.org

 

 

 

The bark is light grey in color and either smooth or slightly rough. The leaves are alternate, bipinnate, with 5-15 evenly paired segments with 13-35 pairs per segment. The upper surface of the leaves are a yellow green in color, with the under size is paler and lightly hairy. The flowers on the Silktree are bisexual, radially symmetric and produced in a showy head that is 4-6 cm in diameter. The center of each flower is surrounded by long filaments of pink and white which make up the showy portions of the inflorence. The fruit is a flattened legume, yellow to brown in color about 15 cm long with evident flat seeds. The fruit matures in late summer through Fall.

 

 

 

 

 

Image Citation: Lesley Ingram, Bugwood.org

 

 

 

Image Citation: Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org

 

 

 

Originally from Asia, the Silktree (Mimosa) is now established across much of the Eastern United States from New York in the North through Florida in the South, West through Missouri and in portions of California. It is considered to be invasive in many areas of the United States because of it's tolerance level and ability to grow in not very ideal locations.

 

 

 

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Fatwood (Lightwood, Pine Knot, Rich Lighter or Fat Lighter)

Posted on April 2, 2018 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Fatwood is also known as Lightwood, Pine Knot, Rich Lighter or Fat Lighter originates from the heartwood of Pine trees (Coniferous tree sap). Stumps and Tap root remaining after a tree has fallen or been removed is a good primary source of Fatwood. The heartwood of Pines is impregnated with resins that make them rot resistant and hard. In woods settings Fatwood can also be harvested from the limb intersections and can be used as a firestarter. Most resinous Pines in the United States can produce Fatwood it is most commonly associated with Pinus palustris Longleaf Pine.

 

 

 

Terpene is one of the main components of Fatwood (Coniferous tree sap), it is a viscous liquid and a volatile hydrocarbon. Terpene is highly flammable and is used for both kindling and as a fire starter, even in wet conditions it will burn and maintain a high enough heat to light even larger pieces of wood. When using Fatwood to create tinder one would shave small curls and use them to light larger pieces of tinder, gradually working up to larger pieces of wood until a hot rolling fire is created. It is recommended that Fatwood not be used for cooking as the pitch soaked wood produces an oily sooty smoke that can transfer to foods.

 

 

 

Worldwide there are 100-125 species that can be classified as resinous pine trees around the world. Distributed around the world in various forms, some of those forms include Scots Pine, Siberian Dwarf Pine, Sumatran Pine, Jack Pine, Loblolly Pine and Caribbean Pine. The area with the most naturally distributed diversity in the genus is between Mexico and California. Fatwood can be found anywhere there is a pine tree or even an old pine stump, it is most concentrated and best preserved in stumps.

 

 

 

There are many uses for Fatwood and other resins outside of firestarting. Fatwood is used industrially in the production of turpentine, when fatwood is cooked down in a fire kiln. Steam that vaporizes from the cooking process and becomes a liquid, that liquid becomes turpentine. Cutler's resin is used in the production of knife handles. Resin is used as an ingredient in most nail polishes. Turpentine and Pine Oil are used in many common household chemicals.

 

 

 

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Moringa oleifera - Miracle Tree

Posted on January 9, 2018 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (4)

Moringa oleifera is the most common of all of the Moringa genus. The Moringa are the only members of the Moringaceae family. Moringa oleifera has many common names such as the Miracle Tree (for the high nutrient content and said healing powers), Horseradish Tree (for the root flavor, often compared to horseradish), Drumstick Tree (for the slender seedpods) , Benoil and Benzoil Tree (for the oils derived from the seeds).

 

 

 

According to tradition in parts of Africa (especially Ghana), the "Miracle Tree" and it's products have been used for generations. The leaves are extremely high in nutrient value and are said to have natural healing powers. The seed pods and leaves are eaten as a vegetable in many native areas and are used as an ingredient in herbal medicines. Not only does the Moringa oleifera's products contain high nutrient values it can also be used for water purification purposes.

 

 

 

This fast growing deciduous tree can reach a height of 32-40 feet with a diameter of just 1.5 feet. The whitish-grey bark is surrounded by a thick cork. The young shoots have purplish or greenish-white hairy bark. The open crown contains drooping, fragile branches and leathery tripinnate leaves. The fragrant flowers are bisexual and contain five unequal yellow-white petals. In cooler regions the flowers only appear once a year in April-June, however in warmer regions with high rainfall they can appear twice a year or even year round. They appear on hairy stalks in spreading clusters that are 10-25 cm long. The fruit occurs in brown three sided capsules containing dark brown seeds winged seeds that are dispersed by wind and water. When cultivated as a crop it is cut back annually to allow the pods and leaved to remain within reach.

 

 

 

The Moringa oleifera is the main focus of Moringa Connect, a program that provides registered farmers with seeds and resulting manure for crop expansion and harvesting purposes. It is also planted as part of the Feed The Future program, Feed The Future is a United States Government Global Hunger & Food Security Initiative that is currently focused in 19 countries. These programs along with the help of volunteers (including Peace Corp Members, Private and Corporate Sectors) allow areas that are otherwise void of reliable / nutritional food sources to be planted with a resource that will continually produce and reproduce to provide nutritional food for generations to come.

 

 

 

To learn more about how you can volunteer or donate to these amazing programs (Moringa Connect or Feed The Future) visit http://moringaconnect.com/ or http://www.feedthefuture.gov/

 

 

 

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Sugarberry - Celtis laevigata

Posted on January 2, 2018 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

The Sugarberry - Celtis laevigata is a small deciduous tree that grows upwards of 95 feet, they often flower and fruit when young. The Sugarberry grows in an upright erect form with an open spreading crown. The simple bark is grey in color and smooth when young, becoming marred with cork or wart like ridges / growths. The bark marking is often caused by bird excavating the bark to access the sweet sap, this in turn attracts insects to the wounds. The leaves are simple and alternate usually thin and paper like in texture, lanceolate or ocassionally ovate with a rounded, flattened or asymmetric tip. The upper surface is pale green and hairless, smooth surfaced with visible veins.

 

 

 

 

 

Image Citation: Brian Lockhart, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

 

 

 

The Sugarberry is a member of the Cannabaeceae (Hemp) family. Sugarberry is usually found growing in sandy loam or rocky soils along streams, bottom lands, and in woodlands. The Cannabaceae Family is made up of 11 genera and 180 species of shrubs, trees, herbs and vines - 14 species are found in North America only 9 are native others are naturalized. The woody members of this family are most easily identified by their alternate simple leaves with 3 primary veins from the base and inconspicuous flowers, and were originally classified as members of the Elm family (Ulmaceae) but recent studies suggest they should actually be included with the Cannabaeceae family.

 

 

 

 

 

Image Citation: Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org

 

 

 

Sugarberry has long been used for many purposes by a variety of Native American tribes. The Houma used a concentrate made from the bark to treat sore throats and ground up shells to treat venereal diseases. The Comanche would beat the fruits to a pulp and then mixed with animal fat, rolled into balls, and roasted in the fire as food. The Acoma, Navajo, and Tewa all consumed raw Sugarberries for food. The leaves and branches were boiled by the Navajo to make dark brown and red dye for wool.

 

 

 

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The Blue Ash - Fraxinus quadrangulata

Posted on January 2, 2018 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

The Blue Ash - Fraxinus quadrangulata is a medium sized deciduous ash tree that is native to the Midwestern portion of the the United States. It is most commonly found from Oklahoma North through Michigan, into the Bluegrass regions of Kentucky and lower Nashville basin of Tennesee. There are also small isolated populations growing in small areas of the Appalachian Mountians, Alabama and Southern Ontario. On average the height at maturity can range from 30 - 85 feet depending on the terrain, location and soil type the tree is growing in.

 

 

 

The twigs of the Blue Ash are unique having four corky ridges that gives them an almost squared appearance when a cross section is cut. The leaves most often are made up of 7 leaflets and average 7 1/2 - 15 inches long, with individual leaflets ranging in size from 2 - 5 inches each. The green leaves are coarsely serrated along the margins with short and distinct petiolules, they become more yellow in the fall. The small purplish flowers occur in the early spring before the leaves appear. The fruit is a Samara that is 1-2 inches long and 1/4 to 1/2 inch broad including the attached wing.

 

 

 

The various products of the Blue Ash have many uses. A blue dye can be extracted from the inner layer of the tree through water immersion. Pioneers used this dye to color yarn and other textiles used for sewing, crocheting, knitting and weaving. The wood can be used to make flooring, baseball bats, tool handles, crates and furniture. The name Blue Ash was also adopted by the City of Blue Ash in Ohio because of the number of trees growing in the area and the great use of the lumber in early buildings throughout the area.

 

 

The Blue Ash has not been as greatly impacted by the Emerald Ash Borer as the other North American Ash species. The beetle has spread throughout most of this trees natural range. When infestation occurs in an area 60-70% of these trees survive, where other Ash trees may on have a survival rate of 1-2%.

 

 

 

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Dawn Redwood - Metasequoia glyptostrobboides

Posted on December 31, 2017 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Thought to once be extinct until it's rediscovery in 1944, the Dawn Redwood - Metasequoia glyptostrobboides - is the smallest of all Redwoods. Reaching a max recorded height of 200 feet at maturity - it is still a giant tree by normal standards. It is native only to the Hubei province of China, but is now planted widely as an ornamental in both residential and commercial landscape settings. Seeds collected from an expedition performed by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University were sent in 1948 to all of the botanical institutions that were active at the time. These seeds were planted in 1948-50 and many remain growing in botanical gardens and parks today. The largest specimens remaining from this mass seed planting are (1) at The Bailey Arboretum on Long Island, (2) at James Blair Hall in Willamsburg, VA, (2) near Carnegie Lake in Princeton, NJ, (1) at Willow Wood, NJ, (1) Washington Arboretum in Seattle, (1) at the Los Angeles State and County Arboretum, CA.

 

 

 

Fossils have shown that during the Paleocene and Eocene periods there were vast forests of Dawn Redwood ( and other metasequoia varieties) throughout the northern portion of North America. In Badlands National Park large petrified trunks and stumps of the Metasequoia occidentalis a very similar tree in this same family that is now extinct, make up the major portion of Tertiary fossil plant material in the badlands of western North Dakota. Upon rediscovery the Dawn Redwood was hailed as a living fossil as the taxon was believed to have become extinct during the late Miocene period. This tree is very unique in the fact that it lived along side the Dinosaurs and has survived, a feat that is limited to very living things.

 

 

 

The Dawn Redwood is a fast growing deciduous tree that can grow up to 4 feet in a single year. The leaves are small and feathery and similar in appearance to the Bald Cypress, they are green on top in the Spring changing to and orange to reddish brown in the Fall. It differs from the Bald Cypress in the leaves and shoots being opposite one another, the crown being more open and the individual leaves being larger, broader and opening two months earlier in most areas. Although it is closely related to the Giant Redwoods it is deciduous like the Bald Cypress and often compared to both. It is recommended to be planted in zones 5-8. They make for a great shade tree but be aware when planting that they grow very tall and average 75-100 feet with a spread on average of 25 feet, in most settings. They enjoy full sunlight and grow in a pyramidal shape. Their branches provide great habitat and winter protection for many varities of animal & birds. They are available at some larger nurseries, if you can not find one locally they can also be purchased directly from The Arbor Day Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Arborvitae - Thuja occidentalis

Posted on December 20, 2017 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (1)

Arborvitae - Thuja occidentalis is monoecious evergreen tree that generally reaches heights of 40-50 feet tall, although it has the potential to grow much taller. It is a native northern Cypress with scale like leaves, flattened twigs that are grouped in fan shaped sprays with bilaterally symmetric cones. Found mostly on limestone - derived soils, in swamp areas, riparian areas on cliff and talus from 0-900 m. It is common from Ontario and New Brunswick in the north, south through the Appalachians of North Carolina and Tennessee. It is also commonly called Northern White Cedar, American Arborvitae, Eastern Arborvitae, or Cedar Blanc.



Image Citation: Richard Webb, Bugwood.org

 

The bark of the Arborvitae is Red-Brown in color and becomes gray with age. The bark is thin and fibrous becoming fissured and forming long strips with age. The pollen cones are 1-2 mm long reddish in color. The seed cones are ovoid 9-14 mm long, green maturing to brown with 2 pairs of woody, fertile scales, each one is longer then it is wide. The leaves are scale like, flattened 1-4 mm long, 1-2 mm wide, pointed and dull yellow-green on the upper and lower surface with visible glands and lateral leaves near twig tips.


Image Citation: Franklin Bonner, USFS (ret.), Bugwood.org


It is written that in 1536 an extract from the foliage of the Arborvitae saved the lives of Jacques Cartier and his crew who were suffering from scurvy during their second discovery voyage to Canada, they in turn named the tree Arborvitae which is Latin for "tree of life". They brought the tree home with them to Europe, making it the first North American tree to be introduced to Europe. Since that time, there have been more then 120 cultivars discovered and named. This sheer number makes it one of the most popular trees in horticulture today. Arborvitae is one of the longest lived trees in Eastern North America, it can live up to 1890 years.


Image Citation: Rob Routledge, Sault College, Bugwood.org


Arborvitae is a very common planting in both residential and commercial settings. It is recommended for hardiness zones 3-7 and holds it foliage year round. This tree adapts very well to both shearing and shaping and naturally grows in a pyramidal shape.


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"Southern Magnolia" - Magnolia grandiflora

Posted on November 27, 2017 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

The "Southern Magnolia" - Magnolia grandiflora - is a medium sized evergreen tree. It is also called the Bull Bay, Big Laurel, Evergreen Magnolia or Large Flower Magnolia. The native range of the Southern Magnolia goes from North Carolina south down the Atlantic Coast and through Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Central Texas. Averaging 60-80 feet tall in ideal locations, they usually reach maturity at 80-120 years. It typically grows in an oval pyramidal shape.

 

Featuring leathery leaves 5–10" in length, with a lustrous dark green top and soft, rusty underside. The large White fragrant flowers appear April-June and are almost perfect in form. The fleshy cone shaped fruit mature in late fall. The fruit are 5-8 inches long and attract a wide range of wildlife including Squirrels, Rabbits and Birds.

 

Recommended for zones 6-10 this variety can be grown as far North as Maine and is found planted over most of the country with the exception of the North-Central Region. Air-layering, stem cuttings and grafting are all sucessful means of propagation. It can be found at most nurseries in it's growth range. It is best planted as a landscape tree versus a street tree as the leaf, flower and fruit debris are often considered messy.

 

The name Magnolia honors French Botanist Pierre Magnol, who was so impressed with the tree he transplanted one near his home in Europe over 300 years ago. One of these trees grows on the White House grounds, it was transplanted by President Andrew Jackson from his home in Nashville, Tennessee. This tree was transplanted to honor his late wife Rachel's memory.

 

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