Meet A Tree - Blog
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The Ginkgo Tree - Ginkgo Biloba - is the survivor of all arboreal survivors. There were Ginkgo trees when dinosaurs walked the Earth. The sole remnant of a group of plants even more primitive than Conifers. It is a living fossil, and fossils relating to the modern Ginkgos dating back 270 million years. They were wiped out completely in North America by the Glaciers,and thought to at one time be extinct in the wild the world over. They however thrived in China where the Buddhist monks tended to them in their gardens. When growing in the wild , they are found infrequently in deciduous forests and valleys with fine silty soil. It has long been cultivated in China and is now common in the southern third of that country. They were exported to England in 1754 and to the U.S. about 30 years later, cultivated in both countries for over 200 years it has failed to become significantly naturalized in either.
Ginkgos are also known as Maiden Hair trees, and sometimes referred to by a variation in spelling on the name - Gingko/Gingo/Ginko. They grow to be very tall, they average between 60-100ft, with some specimens in China reaching over 160 ft tall. The tree has an angular crown and long, somewhat erratic branches. This tree is deep rooted which makes it tolerant to wind and snow damage. They grow best in moist soil, but are known to be very tolerant. Young specimens are often tall, slender, and sparcely branched, but with age the crown broadens. In the fall the leaves will turn a bright yellow before they fall often within as short a span as 15 days. Their combination of disease resistance, insect resistant wood, and their ability to form aerial roots/sprouts make them very longed lived. Some specimens in China are claimed to be over 2500 years old.
Being Dioecious, Ginkgos are either male or female. Males produce small pollen cones. Females do not produce cones, instead two ovules are formed at the end of a stalk and after pollenation one or both develop into seeds. The seed is 1-2 cm long, the outer layer is a yellowy brown flesh that is soft and fruit-like. It is attractive in appearance but contains butanoic acid (or butyric acid). The males are generally preferred in urban landscapes because the fruits from the females tend to be messy when they fall onto sidewalks and have a peculiar odor from the butanoic acid (often compared to a strong cheese). The kernel/seed (or Silver Nut) inside the fruit is considered a delicacy in the Orient. The fertilization of a Ginkgo occurs via motile sperm (as in Cycads, ferns, or moss), the sperm have a very complex structure. They adapt well in urban enviroments, tolerating pollution as well as confined soil space, for this reason as well as just being a beautiful tree they are often planted in streetside setting.
Used in both culinary and medicinal settings, the Ginkgo is thought by some to have health benefits and is also considered by others to be an aphrodisiac. However when eaten in large quantities for a number of years (especially by children) the meat of the seed can cause poisoning. Others are sensitive to the chemical in the outer fleshy part of the fruit, having symptoms similar to poison ivy. The extract of Ginkgo leaves contains flavonoid glycosides and terpenoids and have been used pharmaceutically. Medical trials have shown Ginkgo to be moderately effective in improving symptons in dementia patients, but not in preventing the onset of Alzhemiers disease in the average person. Used primarily as a memory and concentration enhancer, and anti-vertigo agent, even though some studies differ in results about its effectiveness. Ginkgos are truely an amazing species of tree all on their own, surviving and adapting for hundred of millions of years.
|Posted on April 2, 2018 at 2:05 PM||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.
For more tree facts or to learn more about the trees in your area visit our website www.ArundelTreeService.com or follow our Meet A Tree Blog https://arundeltreeservice.meetatree.com/" target="_blank">https://arundeltreeservice.meetatree.com/
|Posted on November 6, 2017 at 11:40 AM||comments (2)|
Ever wonder how freshly ground wood chips can benefit your gardens at home. Check out this documentary on the benefits of using wood chips in your organic gardens. Not only to they help provide you with improved soil conditions but they help conserve water.
|Posted on December 25, 2016 at 2:30 PM||comments (1)|
The custom of the Christmas tree developed in early modern Germany with predecessors that can be traced to the 16th and possibly even the late 15th century. Customs of erecting decorated trees in wintertime can be traced to Christmas celebrations in Renaissance-era guilds in Northern Germany and Livonia. Fir trees have been traditionally used to celebrate winter festivals by both Pagan's and Christian's for thousands of years. Pagans used Fir branches to decorate their homes during the winter solstice, as it reminded them to think ahead to Spring. The Romans used Fir Trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia. Christians use it as a sign of everlasting life with God. A Christmas tree is a decorated tree, usually an evergreen conifer such as pine or fir, traditionally associated with the celebration of Christmas.
Image Citation : Amy Gilliss, Arundel Tree Service
Each year, 33 to 36 million Christmas trees are produced in America, and 50 to 60 million are produced in Europe. In 1998, there were about 15,000 growers in America (a third of them are "choose and cut" farms, which allow buyers to select their tree before cutting it down). In that same year, it was estimated that Americans spent $1.5 billion on Christmas trees. Some trees referred to as living Christmas trees, are sold live with roots and soil, often from a nursery, to be stored in planters or planted later outdoors and enjoyed (and often decorated) for years or decades to come. In the past, Christmas trees were often harvested from wild forests, but now almost all are commercially grown on tree farms. Almost all Christmas trees in the United States are grown on Christmas tree farms where they are cut after about ten years of growth and then new trees are planted to begin the cycle again. Christmas trees are a large attraction for small mammals, birds and spiders as they provide nesting and shelter.
Though the why of decorating a Christmas tree may remain the same, the ways to go about doing it are limitless. Today you are not just limited to a classic evergreens with white or multi colored lights. Artificial trees have become very popular over the last few decades and are considered by most to be more enviromentally friendly (until they end up in landfills at least...). You can now purchase thousands of different sizes, colors, styles, themes and materials of artificial trees some even come with built in lights. For those of us who are a bit more tech savvy, lights can even be programmed to music and come in colors beyond the basic rainbow. The options are as endless as our imaginations, maybe this year your family will out-decorate the Griswold family! ;-)
More Cool Tree Facts www.ArundelTreeService.com or follow our blog www.MeetATree.com
|Posted on November 30, 2016 at 12:55 AM||comments (0)|
The Quaking Aspen - Populus tremuloides - is also called the Trembling Aspen, Golden Aspen or Mountain Aspen. With the smallest of breezes the leaves will flutter hence it's name. When fluttering the leaves even making an audible sound which would explain why the Onondagas called it the "nut-kie-e" which means noisy leaf. This tree has a very remarkable native range covering a majority of the Northern portion of the continent, ranging from New Foundland South to Delaware in the East and along the Coast of Alaska and British Columbia running South through the Rocky Mountains. Although it is not found in the South it does have one of the widest distributions of any tree in North America. It can be grown throughout hardiness zones 1-7. It is often times one of the first trees to appear after a Forest Fire. It is a fast grower often gaining 24 inches in a single season. Aspen wood Is used to make a variety of items such as wooden toys, tongue depressors, popsicle sticks, clothes pins, crates and even for paper pulp.
Image Citation (Stand): Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service (retired), Bugwood.org
The leaves are rounded triangles with small teeth along the margins. The leaves are a glossy green above and dull below, during the Spring they change to a vivid Yellow or very rarely Red. They are arrranged alternately on the branches. Catkins are long and silvery and appear between April and May. In the late Spring, it's tiny seeds which are enclosed in cottony tufts are dispersed by the wind. The bark is a Greenish-White to Grey in color, it is often marked with black knots or horizontal scars.
Image Citation (Fall Foliage): Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org
The Aspen is a favorited food and shelter source for many different type of wildlife. The leaves and bark are eaten by Deer, Elk and Hare/Rabbits. The Buds are an important food source for Grouse during Winter. Beavers not only feed from the Aspen, they also use it's lumber as a building material. Many different birds and butterflies make their homes in these stands.
The Aspen holds the the title of largest living organisms on Earth, growing in clones/stand that reproduce primarily by sending up sprouts from their roots. For the most part each clone within a stand is connected to the next one through it's root system. One clone/stand in Utah (where it is the State tree) has been determined to have over 47,000 stems, this stand is estimated to weigh over 6,000 tons! While individually each stem lives 100-150 years, Aspen stands are one of the longest living organisms. One clone in Minnesota is estimated to be 8,000 years old, making it one of the longest living organism on Earth.
Meet More Trees www.ArundelTreeService.com or follow our blog www.MeetaTree.com
|Posted on November 21, 2016 at 9:55 AM||comments (0)|
Oak wilt effects all Oak species, but has different results and signs with each group. Ceratocystis fagacearum is the fungal pathogen that causes Oak Wilt. It is a vascular disease, meaning the fungus is only found in the outermost xylem of the tree. This fungus is thought to be native of the Eastern US but the problems identifying and isolating it delayed the recognition of the true effects of the fungus until the 1980's. Oak wilt is a very aggressive disease, currently it is one of the most serious tree related diseases in the Eastern US-killing thousands of Oaks each year in both forest and landscape settings.
Oaks in the Red Oak family- such as Black, Northern Red, Northern Pin and others with pointed edged leaves are particularly susceptible and when infected usually die over the course of a single season-some declining to the point of complete defoliation in a matter of weeks. Infected Red Oaks will begin wilting from the top of the tree down, the leaves will gradually become bronze in color and fall off of the tree.
Oaks in the White Oak family- such as White, Swamp, Bur, or others with rounded edged leaves are less susceptible to Oak wilt and when infected can live for several years, losing only a few branches each season also from the top down. Symptoms in White Oaks are very similar to that of the Red Oaks.
The Live Oak however is not so predictable, it's infection level and timeline is effected by many other variables in the environment. Usually however, Live Oaks infected will die within a six month period from the first sign of decline. Lives Oaks foliar symptoms differ from those of the Red and White Oak. An infected Live Oaks leaves will develop chlorotic veins that eventually turn necrotic prior to falling from the tree.
Oak Wilt fungus spreads in two basic ways. Spores can be transferred from an infected tree to a healthy tree by insect movement or The fungus can move from the roots of an infected tree to those of a healthy tree through root grafts
Oak Wilt is very similar to Dutch Elm disease but considered to be more controllable. On good factor to consider is the nitidulid Beetles that carry the Oak Wilt Fungus do not have chewing mouth parts, so in turn would need another creature or a damaged portion of the tree to make the transfer. This is different from the Beetles that carried Dutch Elm disease, they do have chewing mouth parts and are able to enter any tree without help.
When an Oak has died from Oak Wilt, trees should be chipped and then burned or covered with plastic sheeting to speed composting. The heat from the chips composting should destroy or severely enervate the fungus. Logs from infected trees should never be moved to unaffected areas, even for use as firewood.
More at www.ArundelTreeService.com or www.MeetATree.com
Downloadable Oak Wilt fact sheets:
Joseph O'Brien, USDA Forest Service, bugwood.org (Photos# 1,3,4,6,7, &
Forestthreats.org with Google Earth overlay (Photo #2)
Wikipedia (Photo #5)
|Posted on October 29, 2016 at 12:20 AM||comments (0)|
In the quaint village of Nashville, Indiana near the Brown County State Park lies the Yellowwood State Forest. The Yellowwood State forest was organized in 1940 when federal lands were leased to the state of Indiana, this land was eventually deeded to the state in 1956. Over the years more then 2000 acres of abandoned and eroded lands within the Parks footprint have been planted with various Pines (jack, red, shortleaf, white and scotch), Black Locust, Black Walnut, White and Red Oaks. The Yellowwood Lake which covers 133 acres and is 30 feet deep at it's deepest point was completed in 1939, there are two other lakes within the park though much smaller in size (Bear Lake and Crooked Creek Lake). Over the years the Yellowwood State Forest has increased in size by gaining parcels of land through the Heritage Trust Program. Their are many activities to enjoy while visiting the Park including Fishing (a boat launch is located in the South end of the main lake), Hunting (Whitetail Deer, Ruffed Grouse, Turkey, Squirrel, Fox, Woodcock and Raccoon-valid Indiana Hunting license required), Primitive Camping, Horsemen's Camping (many miles of horse trails within the park), Gold Panning (must have permit), Hiking, Kayak/Canoe Rental and Picnicking. Today the Forest covers 23,326 acres, made up of 17 different areas all located within Brown County.
Yellowwood State Forest Map, Image Citation: Yellowwood State Park
The park was named for a tree common in the mid-south but rare in the area that is found growing in the park. The Yellowwood Tree - Cladrastis kentukea is a medium sized deciduous member of the legume family. With it's smooth elephant grey bark, pendulous fragrant flowers, and red/brown stems it offers beauty to any landscape year round. It is native to the Eastern United States, most notably two very small areas, one runs along the Kentucky and Tennessee border, and the other between Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. It is commonly planted in landscapes from New England south to Washington DC & Virginia. Yellowwood is hardy from zones 4a to 8b and can be purchased from most large nurseries in the Eastern US. The leaves are composed of widely spaced leaflets that are alternate not opposite one another. There are usually 9-11 leaflets per leaf. The leaves are a yellow green in Spring, bright green by Summer and then Yellow in the Fall. The wood of this tree contains a Yellow dye which stains the heartwood, hence the name Yellowwood. The flowers of the Yellowwood are very similar to Wisteria, they grow in a pendulous form and feature white fragrant flowers. The flowers are small and grow on open panicles ranging from 10-15 inches long. They are considered to be highly fragrant and appear in May. The flowers give way to long brown seed pods as the Spring Summer season changes. When mature this tree can reach heights of 30-50 feet and a spread of 40-55 feet wide. It is considered to be virtually pest free and quite hardy in it's native range. This tree is easily transplanted in B&B or bare root up to 2 inches in caliper. The Society of Municipal Arborist's named this tree the "2015 Urban Tree Of The Year", this selection was made based on it's adaptability and strong ornamental traits. Within the park there are less than 200 acres that can support the Yellowwood tree, these can be found on North facing slopes and deep ravines near Crooked Creek Lake. A specimen can also be found planted at the Forest Office on Yellowwood Lake Road.
Within the Yellowwood Forest there are some unique features. One of which is the Tecumseh Trail, named in honor of the Shawnee Chief who in the early 1800's attempted to ally several smaller tribes into one large confederacy. The trail spans the native lands of these tribes and has 5 trail heads within the forest. The trail covers various types of terrain and offers beautiful views of the Forest and Lakes. The second and most unusual is the 4 large sandstone boulders that are found not on the ground but in the canopies of Oak trees. It is said that the first boulder was originally discovered by a hunter and three more were discovered by hikers. The largest sandstone slab is 4 foot by 1 foot and thought to weigh as much as 400 lbs. Theories the boulders in trees phenomena range from natural things such as flooding or a tornado to the more extreme (or maybe unbelievable) including UFO's, Acoustic Levitation (where a rock becomes weightless), or even a good old Fraternity Prankster using heavy machinery, we may never know! No evidence of disturbance was found at any of the tree locations that would support the heavy machinery or tornado theories.
You can find the Yellowwood State Forest at:
772 South Yellowwood Road
Nashville, IN 47448
|Posted on May 30, 2016 at 9:05 AM||comments (1)|
The Kentucky Coffeetree -(Gymnocladus dioicus) - is a deciduous medium sized tree with large, coarse, wide hanging pods that are red-brown when ripe. It is best distinguished by it's large leaflets, large flowers, scaly bark and inflated fruit. At maturity it can reach 18-30 m tall and grows in an erect single trunked, with a low branching habit. The crown of the Kentucky Coffeetree is usually narrow or broad, pyramidal or rounded in shape. It is a member of the Fabaceae (Bean) Family and included in the very small Gymnoclaudus genus which only contains 2 species (the other is native to China).
The leaves are large up to 30 inches long, divided into pairs of opposite side stalks with 6-14 oval leaflets on each stalk. The flowers are greenish-white growing in large upright clusters at the ends of each twig. The bark is a reddish brown that becomes gray and irregularly fissured with age. The twigs are stout and reddish brown in color and hairy only when immature. The fruit is a tough, hard, inflated, red to brown woody legume that ranges in size from 15-25 cm long and 4-5 cm broad. Each woody legume contains 4-7 seeds that are hard coated and nearly round in shape.
The Kentucky Coffeetree grows in moist places, floodplains, riverbanks, bases of ravines and valleys. It is found in the Central and Eastern United States from New York and Massachusetts in the North, North Dakota in the West, Georgia, Alabama and Eastern Texas in the South. It is naturalized and planted as an ornamental further East. It grows best in rich, light soils. This species is unusually free of fungus, parasites and insect infestations. It is recorded that early settlers roasted the fruit of the Coffeetree for use as a coffee substitute, this is believed to be a possible origin of it's common name.
Image Citations (photos 1, 2 & 3): Jason Sharman, Vitalitree, Bugwood.org (Node Affiliation: International Society of Arboriculture)
|Posted on April 27, 2016 at 1:30 PM||comments (4)|
The Water Tupelo (Nyssa aquatica), is best identified by it's combination of wetland habitat and and large very long stalked leaves. They can reach heights upwards of 100 feet tall and are deciduous in their native range. The Water Tupelo grows in a erect and upright form with usually only one single trunk.
Image Citation: Brian Lockhart, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
The bark of the Water Tupelo is grey and color and young twigs appear to have more of a reddish tone. The leaves are alternate, simple and ovate or oblong, wedge shaped or even heart shaped in some cases. The male and female flowers generally occur on separate trees and appear in compact clusters in the Spring. The fruit is oblong and dark blue to purple in color, borne singly on a conspicuous stalk, it matures in late Summer to early Fall.
Image Citation: Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
The Water Tupelo is native to river swamps, floodplains, and lake margins from Virginia south to Northern Florida, West through Illinois and Southeast through Missouri, Arkansas and Eastern Texas.
The most similar species to the Water Tupelo is the Ogeechee Tupelo (Nyssa ogeche).
|Posted on April 20, 2016 at 2:35 PM||comments (0)|
It is that time of year again where those mysterious little tents seem to form in our trees overnight. Have you ever wondered what they are and what they are doing in there?
Tent Caterpillars (Malacosoma) are a mid sized genus in the Moth (Lasiocampidae) family. There are species found in both North America and Eurasia. There are thought to be 26 different species (some having many subspecies), 6 of which occur in North America. They are considered by many to be pest as they have a nasty habit of defoliating trees. Tent caterpillars are considered to be one of the most social of all caterpillars often developing together within the same tent system. They are not only social but most often very colorful and are easily recognized by their silk tents built within the branches of host trees. Tent mates are often decided based on the foraging ability of each caterpillar. The Eastern Tent Caterpillar is the most common of the genus. Tent caterpillars hatch from their eggs in the early spring at the time the leaves of their host trees are just unfolding.
Image Citation: Robert L. Anderson, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Some species of Tent Caterpillar build one large tent that houses them throughout the larval stages, while others build a series of smaller tents that are abandoned sequentially throughout the stages. Tent caterpillars establish their tents soon after they eclose. They always make their tents within the nodes and branches of trees in a location that catches the rays of the morning sun. Positioning of each tent is very critical as the caterpillar must bask in the sun during the early morning hours to elevate their body temperatures. If their body temperatures dip below 59 degrees farenheit their bodies are not able to perform the simply process of digestion. Each tent is made up of layers of silk that are separated by gaps, each individual compartment temperature can vary noticeably. The caterpillar can move between compartments to alter it's body temperature as needed.
Image Citation: Lacy L. Hyche, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
Tent Caterpillars are foragers searching out food and feeding to the point of repletion, once it has reached that level it returns to it's tent. Along the way each caterpillar leaves a trail for other tent mates to follow to a good food source. The chemical trail left behind in often compared to that of the ant or termite. Their development is greatly in tune with that of their host trees, once the leaves of the host tree reach maturity they are no longer to feed from them. They feed multiple times a day based on the needs of that level of the larval development. They often leave the tent in mass, and move together to feeding sites.
Image Citation: Lacy L. Hyche, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
Caterpillars grow at a very rapid pace and complete their entire larval process in a short 6-8 week period. Once they leave their tents they find a suitable location (often a protected area on the ground or a structure) to spin their cocoons. About two weeks after spinning their cocoons they emerge as adults moths. Shortly after this point the female moth excretes a pheromone attracting a male to her for the purpose of mating. After mating the eggs are then placed around branches and covered with spumaline, this material prevents the eggs from drying and protects them from parasites. Once the eggs are laid the female dies. The cycle of a female moths adult life may only last a short 24 hours while a male can live for a week or more. Within three weeks of egg laying, small larvae can be identified within each egg mass, these larvae will remain encased within their shells until the following Spring.