Arundel Tree Service

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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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The Sweet Birch or Cherry Birch (Betula lenta)

Posted on September 14, 2017 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (1)

The Sweet Birch or Cherry Birch (Betula lenta) is most easily recognized by the combination of fine and sharply toothed leaf margins, winter green scent, scales on the conelike fruit and dark brown almost black bark. It is a deciduous tree that can reach heights up to 65 feet, but usually does not exceed 3.5 feet in diameter. The tree grows in an upright form with a generally single eract straight trunk and a rounded crown. The Sweet or Cherry Birch is native to the United States. It prefers rich, moist soil, cool forest areas, mountain slopes, Appalachian hardwood forests. It can be found naturally occuring from New York and Maine in the North to Northern Georgia, Alabama and Central Mississippi in the South. It is not often confused with the closely related Yellow Birch as the bark is significantly different in not only color but texture as well (Yellow Birch has a yellowish exfolliating bark).



The bark of the Sweet/Cherry Birch is a dark gray brown to brown black in color, it is smooth when young becoming furrowed with age. The twigs exude a winter green aroma and taste when scraped or injured. The leaves are alternate, simple, paperlike in texture, obvate and and heart shaped at the base. The leaf margins are finely and sharply toothed. The upper surface is a dark green while the lower surface is a more pale green. The flowers occur in make and female catkins, the male are reddish brown and 7-10 cm long, while the female are pale green and 1.5-2.5 m long both occur in the late Spring. The fruit is a winged samara born in a scaly erect egg shaped structure that matures in late Summer or early Fall.





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The Avocado - Persea americana

Posted on August 18, 2017 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (1)

The Avocado - Persea americana - tree is a very desirable ornamental, native only to the subtropical areas of Mexico and Central America. The growing conditions must be It's fruit is often included on the seemingly growing list of "super foods", it is very high in vitamin K & B and also contains C, D & Potassium. High Avocado intake was shown in one study to lower blood cholesterol levels.






With an average height of just 65 feet, it is a medium sized grower. When planted in pots it is necessary to re-pot quite often as they quickly outgrow small areas. The leaves are an elongated oval shape, deep green in color with a slight sheen on the top. The fruits are either pear or egg shaped with green skin that can range from mid green to almost a black-green and pale green inside. Avocado skin, bark and pits are harmful to many animals and have been recorded to cause severe reactions to dogs, cats, cattle and rabbits. The meat of the Avocado is smooth in texture and is often compared to butter in flavor. It is very often used in Vegetarian cuisine as a meat substitute because of it's high fat content. It is also commonly used in California Rolls, Guacamole, Sandwiches, Salads, Soups and Sauces. Commercially in the United States, Haas Avocados are the most known/marketed type even thought there are dozen of other cultivars grown worldwide.


Avocado fruits are climacteric, meaning they mature on the tree but don't ripen until taken off. They will only ripen if mature, so if picked early the ripening process will not occur. The Banana is another fruit in the climacteric category. Most Avocado crops produce the best crops bi-annually with poor yields in the off or in between years. Once off of the tree the fruit will ripen within a two week period, if left on the tree to long the fruit will eventually fall off on it's own. Avocados can be grown from seed, although it will take the new plantings 4-6 years to mature and bear fruit. Indoors you can also grow Avocados from the pits in water, holding them near the surface with toothpicks, once the stem reaches an inch or two you can transfer it to soil.


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Common Apple - Malus pumila

Posted on August 17, 2017 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Common Apple - Malus pumila - Trees are small deciduous trees in the Rosaceae family with a single erect trunk and low hanging branches that often reach the ground. Sometimes also called Paradise Apple, this is the Apple of commerce. Numerous cultivars have been selected from this genus for taste, size, shape and color. Fruits of wild plants are often of lesser quality then those that are tended to in orchards. Other varieties of Apples and Crab Apples have smaller fruit and thorny twigs.


The fragrant flowers are white with a hint of pink or sometimes all pink. Flower have 5 petals and appear with the new leaves in mid - late Spring. The leaves are alternate, simply shaped, oval or elliptic with a bluntly pointed tip. The upper leaf surface is a deep green hairy when young, becoming hairless with age. The fruit is round or slightly ellipsoid pome, green when young becoming red with maturity. The fruit matures in Summer to Early Fall annually.


Growing commonly in forest clearings, near streams in the Eastern United States (but not very far to the North or Gulf Coast region). Ornamental varieties are grown throughout the majority of the United States. It is believed that the Common Apple was originally introduced from Asia or Europe but has naturalized in many areas within it's hardiness zones.


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Pumpkin Ash - Fraxinus profunda

Posted on August 16, 2017 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Pumpkin Ash - Fraxinus profunda - The combination of buttressed trunk base, large pinnately compound leaves with 7-9 dark green leaflets and samara fruit make this species easily identifiable. Pumpkin Ash is a deciduous tree that reaches heights of 35-90 feet tall, growing in an erect form with a single straight or crooked trunk. It is native to swamps, old lake beds, freshwater tidal wetlands, floodplains and wet woodlands along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers from Michigan south through Louisiana and along the Eastern seaboard from New Jersey south through Florida. The Pumpkin Ash is often times confused with the Water Ashes in the Carolina Ash family.

Image Citation:" target="_blank"> : St Williams Nursery & Ecology Center, St.Williams, ON, Canada


Leaves are opposite, pinnately compounded with blades 20-45 cm long, rachis 8/15 cm long, 7-9 leaflets ovate in shape, narrowly oblong or elliptic. The upper leaflet surface is dark green and hairless, the lower surface is hairy. In the fall, the foliage turns bronze to reddish purple beforefalling off to make way for the next years foliage.  The bark is light gray with interlacing ridges. The swollen or "pumpkin" like trunk base is visibly apparent on some trees, especially those growing in deep swamp areas in the Southern growth range. The fruit is in the form of a samara 4-7 cm long and up to 14 mm broad. The fruit range in shape from narrowly linear to elliptic, with a wing arising from the base of the seed body. The fruit matures in early Autumn.

Best suited for hardiness zones 5-9, Pumpkin Ash prefers moist to slightly dry soil. It grows well in deep, loamy soil and swamp areas.  Birds and small mammals feed readily on the seeds produced by this tree. It also provides cover and habitat for birds and other wildlife. The larvae of the Emerald Ash Borer feed destructively and can kill this species. Flies and caterpillars also will feed on the foliage.


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The Swamp White Oak - Quercus bicolor

Posted on August 11, 2017 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

The Swamp White Oak - Quercus bicolor is an attractive deciduous shade tree. Even though it is named Swamp White Oak and is similar to the White Oaks, it is actually a member of the Chestnut Oak family. It has beautiful fall coloring that ranges from Orange, Gold and Yellow in mid-Autumn. With a broad open crown, rounded form and a short trunk it makes for a sturdy medium sized shade tree. It is considered one of the easiest Oaks to transplant and is tolerant to salt, drought, heat and poor drainage. It has good visual interest in Mid Winter, Early Summer and Fall.

Image Citation: T. Davis Sydnor, The Ohio State University,

The leaves are lobed and have an almost two toned appearance, during the early growing season they are a dark green on top and a silvery white on the underside becoming green all over by the summer months. The leaves grow alternately and are coarsely toothed/lobed with variable margins. The bark is a pale grey with networks of thick coarse blackish grey ridges, becoming a dark grey when mature. The acorns are 1 inch long and enclosed in a warty cap, this cap often remains attached to the stalk once the fruit is ripe and falls from the tree.

Image Citations (Above Photos Left: Leaves & Right: Acorns) : Paul Wray, Iowa State University,

It is recommended for zones 4-8 and is available at limited nurseries in it's growth zone. Be wary of soils with high pH as this tree does show signs of chlorosis (yellowing) with high pH.


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The Black Locust - Robinia pseudoacacia

Posted on August 8, 2017 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

The Black Locust - Robinia pseudoacacia, is most easily recognized by the combination of hanging clusters of creamy white flowers, pinnate leaves subtended by a pair of sharp pointed spines and coarse ridged or furrowed blackish or deep brown bark.




Image Citation: Chris Evans, University of Illinois,


Black Locust is established in the moist woods, stream margins, river bottoms and Mountains in most of the United States, the Southern most portions of Canada and some parts of Europe. Believed to have a native range from the Southern Appalachian to the Ozark Mountains. Similar in appearance to the Clammy Locust and Bristly Locust, with their only difference being flower colors of pink to rose-purple.




Image Citation: Norbert Frank, University of West Hungary,


The Black Locust is a deciduous tree that can reach heights of 75 feet tall in ideal conditions. Generally forming a single straight trunk, open irregular crown and ascending branches. Occasionally taking on a spreading form when grown out in the open. The bark is dark in color ranging from gray to dark gray-brown or dark brown to black, with coarse ridges or deep furrows. The leaves are alternate, pinnate, with blades ranging from 20-36 cm long and 4-12 cm broad. The petiole averages about 3 cm long and is subtended by a pair of sharp pointed spines (thorns). Leaflets occur in numbers of 7-25 generally in odd numbers, thin and elliptic in shape with a rounded or bluntly wedge shaped base, and tipped with small teeth. The leaf surfaces are medium green to yellow green. Flowers are bisexual, fragrant and white to creamy white in color with small dull yellow patch on each. The Calyx is 6-9 mm long, corolla is 1.5-2.5 cm long, produced from the leaf axils in an elongate drooping raceme. The flowers occur in Spring to early Summer annually. The fruit is an oblong, flat legume 5-10 cm long and about 1 cm broad. Fruit matures in late Summer to early Summer annually.


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The Elderberries - Sambucus

Posted on August 2, 2017 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

The Elderberries - Sambucus are a small genus made up of only 10 species of which only 2 are commonly found in North America the American Elderberry- Sambucus nigra and the Red Elderberry- Sambucus racemosa, a third Danewort/Dwarf Elderberry- Sambucus ebulus is reported to be naturalized in the Northeast portions of the United States. They are deciduous shrubs, small trees or herbs with very soft wood and conspicuous pith.



Image Citation: (Common Elderberry) Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service,


The leaves are opposite and compound usually pinnate but occasionally bi-pinnate. The leaflets are lanceolate or ovate with distinctly toothed margins. The flowers are small, white or cream in color and generally made up 3-5 petals and 5 stamens. When crushed the flowers produce a sweet yet rancid odor. The fruit is a fleshy round berry like drupe, red or black in color depending on the species, these berries generally occur in bunches.



Image Citation: (Elderberry Flowers) Ohio State Weed Lab , The Ohio State University,


The Elderberries are mostly found in moist to wet areas, roadsides, ditches, wetland and woodland margins at elevations ranging from 3-3000 m. It is a dominant under story species in riparian woodlands where it persists despite the competition from other species, it does not however grow well in closed story forests. American Elderberries are found from the central portion of the US (Wisconsin to Texas) all the way to the East Coast and as far North as Nova Scotia. The Red Elderberries are found in a more limited area on either coast of the US, from Alaska in the North and Northern California in the South on the Pacific Coast, Sporadically from Northern Idaho to Arizona and New Mexico in the central portion of the country, and from Wisconsin to Nova Scotia in the North East and West Virginia, Northern Virginia, Maryland and Delaware in the Mid-Atlantic/South.



Image Citation: (Red Elderberry) Gil Wojciech, Polish Forest Research Institute,


American Elderberry is best distinguished by the black fruit, whereas the Red Elderberry has red fruit. Similar species include Box Elder and Ash, which have similar leaves however neither have fleshy fruits as the Elderberries do. The fleshy fruit is edible and has been used by various cultures including Native Americans, Spaniards, Cahuillas, French, Austrians, and Germans for many different purposes. The berries can be used to make wine, jams, jelly, syrup and pies. When dried they can be cooked down to form a sauce (sometimes called sauco by the Cahuillas) that does not require any type of sweetening. The flowers are sometimes added to batters, eaten raw, added to teas, or even fried for a sweet snack. The twigs can be used to tap Maple trees for Syrup collection, basket weaving, flute and clapper stick making, tinder and even homemade squirt guns (when hollowed out).



Image Citation: (Dwarf Elderberry) Jan Samanek, Phytosanitary Administration,


Many Elderberries are planted for their ornamental value offering visual interest with both the flowers and the berries, others are planted for the wildlife value as they attract birds, small mammals, rodents, deer and butterflies. They are very a productive, adaptable and easy to establish species. Elderberries also are a very useful ground cover for stabilizing stream banks and other sites that are prone to erosion. Elderberries grow best from seed and are most often sown in the Fall season, cutting from this species are not very successful. This species is recommended for hardiness zones 3-8 and can be found at many nurseries for planting in your own garden.


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The "American Elm" - Ulmus americana

Posted on July 27, 2017 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (0)

The "American Elm" - Ulmus americana" is a medium to large sized deciduous tree that is native to Eastern North America. Found naturally from Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Ontario, Southern Saskatchewan, Montana and Wyoming in the North continuing South through to Florida and Texas. It is an extremely hardy tree and can withstand temperatures as low as -44 degrees F. It's numbers have significantly decreased over the last century due to Dutch Elm disease. The Elm family is made up of about 45 species and are found from Northern and Central Eurasia and Eastern North America South through Panama. Elms are not found in the Rocky Mountains or on the West Coast of North America.




The American Elm is the largest and most widespread of all the Elms in the North America. It grows in a beautiful upright vase shape, and was often used as a focal point or large Ornamental planting along Main Streets and Park areas throughout it's hardiness zones. However, in more recent decades it has been destroyed in many areas by Dutch Elm disease. The leaves are broad and flat, with a simple shape and fine teeth along the edges. They are bright green in color during the growing season and yellow-green to yellow in the Fall. The wood is grained in a fine wavy pattern that is remarkably durable when wet. Elm logs were hollowed out and used during Roman times as water pipes, some have even been unearthed in good condition. The wood wears well and takes well to polish. It has traditionally been used in making coffin boards, stair treads, chairs and paneling. The flowers are perect in form and contain both sexes on one flower. They grow in bunches or on long slender stalks in racemes.




Dutch Elm disease was introduced to the US in 1930 and has been devestating to the American Elm ever since. Dutch Elm disease is recorded in 41 states across the US. The disease is generally characterized by a gradual wilting and yellowing of the foliage, followed by death of the branches and eventually the whole tree. American Elm is also attacked by hundreds of insect species including defoliators, bark beetles, borers, leaf rollers, leaf miners, twig girdlers, and sucking insects. Both birds and mammals feed on fruit and buds, and mammals will chew the bark and twigs of younger trees. Animals and insects are not nearly as damaging to this species as Dutch Elm disease is.




The Buckley Elm of Michigan, a National Tree Champion was killed by Dutch Elm in 2001, it was estimated to be over 100 feet tall with a diameter of 8 feet.


The Oklahoma Survivor Tree is a very notable American Elm tree. Standing on the site of the Oklahoma City Bombings it has witnessed and withstood the unimaginable. You can learn more about it by checking out one of my previous blogs:


The tallest American Elm on record in New England "Herbie", was located in Yarmouth, Maine. It stood in this location until it too was killed by Dutch Elm disease and had to be removed in January of 2010. Herbie was estimated to be 110 feet tall and 217 years old.


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The Shumard Oak / Buckley Oak

Posted on July 20, 2017 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

The Shumard Oak / Buckley Oak - Quercus shumardii, is a deciduous tree that can reach heights of up to 120 feet tall in ideal growing conditions. It grows in an erect form with a single trunk that is sometimes fluted or buttressed near the base. Generally the Shumard Oak is high branching with the trunk remaining branchless until the canopy. The crown is open and spreading with ascending and broad spreading branch habit.




Image Citation: Chris Evans, University of Illinois,


It is most easily identified by a combination of deeply cut leaves, hairless terminal buds and a shallow acorn nut that encloses less than 1/3 of the nut. The bark is pale gray in color, smooth when young, becoming finely ridged and deeply furrowed with age. The twigs are gray or light brown in color, slender in form and hairless. Terminal buds are generally egg shaped and range in size from 4-8 mm long. The leaves are alternate, simple in form, elliptic or obvate with a wide angled flattened base. Upper leaf surface is a pale yellow-green color, lustrous, hairless, the lower surface is similar in color to the upper. The leaves turn brownish with small purple spots in Autumn. The leaf blades 7-20 cm long and 6-15 cm broad. The fruit is in the form of an acorn with a cup 7-12 mm deep, enclosing 1/3 or less of the light brown nut.





Image Citation: Chris Evans, University of Illinois,


The Shumard Oak is among one of the largest Red Oaks in the Southeastern United States. Under ideal conditions they are fast growing, tolerant of harsh and dry conditions and varying soils. It is considered a poplar landscape tree in the South and is used frequently in medians, parking lots, roadsides and larger suburban lawns. In natural settings it does not form pure stands but instead occurs induvidually within the forest canopy, it is often found growing along side American Elm, Winged Elm, Green Ash, White Ash, Cherrybark Oak, Southern Red Oak, Water Oak and White Oak.




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



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The Maple Leaf Oak - Quercus acerfolia

Posted on July 18, 2017 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

The Maple Leaf Oak - Quercus acerfolia is a very unique member of the Oak - Quercus Species, Red Oak- Fagaceae family . The leaves are Maple like in shape and are broader then they are long, which is unusual for an Oak tree. The Maple Leaf Oak also has a very tiny growth range, made up of only a few counties in Eastern and Central Arkansas. It prefers dry slopes and ridges between 500-800 m and is deciduous in habit. As a member of the Red Oak- Fagaceae family, it also is relatively small reaching maximum heights of only 50 feet tall (which is large in comparison with many other families but not the Oaks).




The Maple Leaf Oak earned it's name because of the unique leaf shape, they are broadly elliptic to round and shaped like a Maple leaf. The blades f the leaves are 7-14 cm long and 10-15 cm broad. The yellowish green foliage appears in April, changing to a lovely Red in the Fall. The flowers are insignificant in size and are yellow green in color. The fruit is an acorn (like other Oaks) 4-7 mm deep, enclosing less than 1/3 of the egg shaped nut. The grayish bark is smooth in early years, but acquires dark ridging on the trunk with maturity.




Recommended for hardiness zones 5-8 Maple Leaf Oak is considered to be easily grown, drought tolerant and have minimal problems (though like most other Oaks it is susceptible to damage by many insects). Maple Leaf Oak is closely related to the Shumard Oak - Quercus Shumardii and was for a long time thought to be a variant of that species, in that case it is referred to as Quercus Shumardii var. acerfolia. Originally recorded in 1926 by Palmer, it was not until recent years that the tree was given it's own full species status because of the difference in not only the leaves but the acorn morphology. It is ideally planted as a specimen tree or focal point in any garden residential or commercially. Due to it's rarity however, it may be hard to find on the commercial market.



Image Citations (photos 1, 2 & 3): Missouri Botanical Gardens:



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Red Maple - Acer rubrum

Posted on July 17, 2017 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

The Red Maple - Acer rubrum, is also called Scarlet Maple, Swamp Maple, Water Maple, White Maple or Soft Maple in different regions. It is one of the most abundant trees in the forests of the Eastern United States, and can be found growing from Florida in the South to Canada in the North.  Red Maple is harvested and marketed as soft Maple, it is valued on a limited basis for Maple Syrup production, but is most valued as a strong and durable urban tree.  A medium to large sized deciduous tree with the potential of reaching 60-90 feet tall in ideal conditions, The Red Maple is a fast grower with beautiful fall foliage and the ability to thrive in even poor or degraded soil conditions.  

Image Citation: David Stephens,

Image Citation: Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service,

Red Maple can pose a challenge when it comes to identification as the features and characteristics of the tree change as the tree ages.  When small the bark is thin, smooth, and light gray in color, becoming thicker and a gray-brown with age and developing flaky thick bark from the trunk up to the limbs, smooth patches generally remain high in the branches into maturity and in patches on the trunk during the transitional period.  Slender and young branch tips are often bright red in color and the forked trunks and limbs that grow from the trunk usually have sharp V shaped crotches.  The leaves are oppositeand simple in form, 2.5 - 4 inches in length and width, with wide, pointed, toothed lobes.  Generally the leaves all contain three large lobes, and occasionally two additional smaller lobes.  The leaves are Green on the upper surface with a whitish underside, and become a vabrant scarlet, yellow or orange in the fall.  The sinuses between lobes generally form sharp V shaped notches.  The flowers are unisexual and tiny red or orange in color with 4-5 sepals and petals each, generally male and female flowers occur os separate trees. only occasionally on the same tree.  The furit occurs in paired Samaras (lovingly called "helicopters" by many) 1.5-3 cm long often bright red in color, maturing or sheeding before or with leaf emergence.  

Image Citation: John Ruter, University of Georgia,

Image Citation: David Stephens,

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Wax Myrtle - Morella cerifera or Myrica cerifera

Posted on July 14, 2017 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

The Wax Myrtle / Southern Wax Myrtle - Myrica cerifera or Morella cerifera is a small evergreen shrub or small tree, that reaches heights of only 36 feet tall on average.  The Wax Myrtle most often forms in colonies from underground rhizomes.  Growing in an erect, leaning, or ascending form with multiple trucks and low branching habit that usually begins close to the ground.  The crown is dense and branches grow in upright or ascending. Native to a wide variety of habitats including bogs, fresh water banks, bracish water ponds, inlets, swamps, hammocks, swales and mixed upland woods.  Found mostly in the Southeastern coastal plains from Maryland and Delaware throughout south Florida, west through southern Arkansas and eastern Texas.  

Image Citation: Chris Evans, University of Illinois,

The leaves are alterante and simple in form, aromatic when crushed, tapered at the base, blunt or rounded, margins along the entire length of the leaves and toothed at least near the tip.  The upper surface dark green, while the underside is paler in color.  The flowers male and female on separate plants, petals and sepals are absent, inflorence occur erect at the leaf axil.  The fruit is rounded whitish gray in color, in a waxy nutlike drupe, 2-4 mm in diameter, maturing between Summer and Autumn each year.  

Image Citation: Chris Evans, University of Illinois,

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The Purpleosier Willow - Salix purpurea

Posted on July 13, 2017 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

The Purpleosier Willow - Salix purpurea, is a deciduous clone forming shrub or shrubby tree that reaches heights of 4-20 feet tall. Growing in an erect, upright form or arching, usually with numerous branches and multiple trunks. Originally introduced from Europe, it has been cultivated and is now naturalized in various wetlands throughout much of the Eastern United States as far South as Georgia, west to Minnesota and Iowa and sporadic in the West.





The leaves of the Purpleosier Willow are alternate or opposite, simply shaped, narrowly oblong and often widest around the base of each leaf. The upper leaf surface is dull or slightly lustrous, dark green in color and hairless. The lower leaf surface is bluish-white in color and hairless. Each leaf blade os 2-10 cm long and 1.5- 3 cm broad. The flowers are unisexual, with male and female occuring in catkins on separate plants. Male catkins are 25-33 mm long and 6-10 mm in diameter, while the female are 13-35 mm long and 3-7 mm in diameter. Flower occur each Spring prior to the appearance of the new leaves. The fruit is an egg shaped capsule that ranges in size from 2-5 mm long.






Image Citations (Photos 1-3): Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft.,


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Silver Maple - Acer saccharinum

Posted on July 12, 2017 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Silver Maple - Acer saccharinum, is a medium to large tree that matures at 50-80 feet in height and 2-3 feet in diameter. Usually forking near the ground with two or three main trunks supporting an openly spreading crown. The Silver Maple is most easily identified by it's sharply forked form, thin, flat edge curling bark, widely spaced branches and large often partially exposed (runner) roots. When split the fissures in the bark often expose a pink color below the brown-gray upper bark.Image Citation: Paul Wray, Iowa State University,


The leaves are opposite, 6-8 inches long with prominent, pointed, coarsely toothed lobes and narrow, rounded sinuses. The lower leaf surfaces are a silver color while the upper are a crisp green. Silver Maple logs are harvested and sold often combined with Red Maple and other soft Maples. The buds are often eaten by Squirrels when other foods are not available.



Silver Maple can be found growing almost anywhere in the Eastern Untied States. Preferring moist, deep, well drained soils where it can get sufficient moisture, for this reason it is often times found growing near stream or river banks.

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The Bitternut Hickory - Carya cordiformis

Posted on July 11, 2017 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The Bitternut Hickory - Carya cordiformis also called the Bitternut or Swamp Hickory, is a deciduous tree that can reach heights upwards of 100 feet tall and 2-3 feet in diameter. It is able self prune by quickly forming a long limb free bowl, that leads up to a large rounded crown. Bitternut Hickory is named for the nuts which are so bitter that almost nothing will eat them, Squirrels will even ignore them unless nothing else is available. Bitternut Hickory can be found growing throughout the Eastern United States with the exception of the New England states and Northern portions of the Great Lakes area.

Image Citation (Leaves): Paul Wray, Iowa State University,


The leaves on the Bitternut Hickory are 6-10 inches long with seven to eleven narrow leaflets ranging in size from 4-6 inches long. The leaflets are bright green on top and paler in color with a light fuzz below. The leaflet margins are fine to coarsely toothed . Throughout all seasons the buds at the branch tips are bright sulfur yellow in color. The nuts are encased in an almost round shaped husk that has four ridges and is speckled with tiny yellow scales.  The bark on young trees is smooth, gradually becoming tight and interlacing as the tree ages.  The thin bark changes from a network of interlaced ridges to long, flat ridges and shallow fissures towards the crown area.

Image Citation (Bud): Chris Evans, University of Illinois,

Image Citation (Bark): Vern Wilkins, Indiana University,

The wood from the Bitternut Hickory is used commercially in manufacturing where products require tough and resilient wood.  Butternut Hickory lumber is also a popular wood choice for smoking meats and open fire cooking applications.  Pioneers extracted the oil from the nuts to use as fuel for oil lamps.  The Butternut Hickory has been used in some Urban settings because of it's ability to withstand vigors of construction on wooded lots. 

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