Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Edible Fig - Ficus carica

The Edible Fig - Ficus carica, is a deciduous large shrub or tree that reaches heights of 10-32 feet tall.  It grows in and erect upright fashion with multiple trunks and a spreading crown.  Introduced originally from Asia it has been naturalized from Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.  This is the only Fig growing in the United States with lobed or palmate leaves.

Image Citation: Lesley Ingram, Bugwood.org

The leaves are alternate, simply shaped, ovate or circular, with 3-5 broad lobes, flattened base and bluntly pointed and toothed tip.  The upper leaf surface is dark or medium green in color, the lower is paler in color, both are rough to the touch.  The fruit is a hairy pear shaped, leathery Fig that is green, yellow, reddish brown in color and 3-8 cm long and matures in the Fall each year.  The bark is gray-brown in color, smooth or slightly textured.  

Image Citation: David Karp, Bugwood.org

Fig plants are considered to be easily propagated through many different methods.  The edible fig is one of the first plants that was cultivated by humans with fossil evidence being found as far back as 9400-9200 BC, predating wheat, barley and legumes.  Fig plants can be found at specialty nurseries and but not readily available at smaller local nurseries.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Wild Tamarind- Tamarindus indica

The Wild Tamarind- Tamarindus indicais most easily recognized by the combination of twigs and branches that are zig-zag, whitish bark, flat pods and white inflorescence.  It is an evergreen or semi-deciduous tree that reaches heights of 30-65 feet tall on average.  It is native to Hammocks, coastal Pinelands and disturbed woodland sites in South Florida.  Even though it is native to Florida it is considered to grow with a weedy habit often encroaching onto coastal pinelands.  


Image Citation: Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

The leaves are alternate, bi-pinnate, with blades up to 5 cm long and 13 cm broad, each leaf is made up of 8-30 pairs of leaflets per segment.  The upper leaf surface is a yellow-green color while the lower is paler.  The branches often zigzag and do not grow in a uniform upright or spreading fashion.  The flowers are tiny, tubular with 5 petals and 5 sepals each fused at the base, the head is shaped like a pin cushion and is 1.5-2 cm in diameter.  The fruit is a flat legume that often becomes twisted, it lacks visible seed compartments and becomes black with maturity.  The fruit occurs in Autumn but remains attached to the tree throughout most of the year. 

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Mahaleb Cherry - Prunus Mahaleb

The Mahaleb Cherry - Prunus Mahaleb, is the only Cherry that grows in the Eastern portion of North America with primarily rounded or circular leaves.  It is a small deciduous tree that only reaches heights of 25-35 feet tall.  It was originally introduced from Eurasia and has become naturalized along roadsides, fields and vacant lots from 0-1000 m.  Found in the Eastern portion of the United States from Massachusetts, New York and Ontario in the North, South through North Carolina and and Oklahoma.  It is also found established in scattered areas in the West.  


Image Citation: Jan Samanek, Phytosanitary Administration, Bugwood.org

The leaves are alternate, simply shape, oval to nearly circular in shape, the base rounded and tip pinched to a sharp point.  The upper leaf surface is lustrous and dark green in color, while the lower is paler and hairy at the mid-vein. The flower averages 18 mm in diameter with 5 petals, white in color, circular in shape.  The fruit is black or red-black in color, a rounded drupe that averages 8 mm in diameter.  


Image Citation: Robert Vid├ęki, Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org


Friday, November 9, 2018

Lilac Chasetree - Vitex agnus-castus

The Lilac Chasetree - Vitex agnus-castus was originally introduced from Eurasia but has naturalized through the South and Middle to South Eastern United States.  It is found from Southeastern Pennsylvania and Kentucky in the North to Florida and Texas on West through California in the West.  It is distinguished by the combination of palmately compound, 5 parted leaves, and lavender flowers.   It is a deciduous strongly aromatic shrub or small tree that reaches heights of 10-25 feet on average and grows in an erect form.  Generally a single trunk but sometimes found with multiple stems, a rounded crown that is dense in shape.

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

The bark is reddish brown or brown in color, smooth when young becoming finely fissured and scaly with age.  The leaves are opposite, palmately compound, with 3-9 leaflet but usually 5, lanceolate tapering to a sharp tip.  The upper leaf surface is dull green in color and hairless moderately lustrous, the lower surface is grayish green in color.  The flowers are about 1 cm long,  5 petals, lavender, blue or white in color.  The flowers are born in erect terminal clusters that are 12-18 cm long.  The flowers occur in the Summer before the fruit which appears in late summer to early fall. The fruit is round, dry, hard drupe that contains a 4 parted stone.  
 
Image Citation:  Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

The Vitex - Chasetrees are a family of more then 250 species distributed in mostly tropical or subtropical regions of the world.  Several are grown as ornamental and other are used for lumber production.  Only 4 of the Vitex have naturalized in the East.  There are both deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs.



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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Burning bush - Euonymus alatus

This one is a common site this time of year, with lovely red fire like coloring the Burning bush - Euonymus alatus is a well loved addition to many fall landscapes.

Image Citation: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org

Recognized by the combination of opposite leaves, paired purple fruits, bushy form and winged stems. The Burning Bush is a deciduous shrub or rarely small tree that can reach heights of up to 14 feet tall, though usually grown in shrub form. Naturally it grows mainly in a bushy form with multiple trunks and a broad crown. Burning bush was introduced to the United States but has become established in areas from New Hampshire to Ontario in the North, Missouri and Oklahoma in the West, and Georgia in the South. This variety is even considered to be invasive in the Southeast.

Image Citation: Richard Gardner, UMES, Bugwood.org

The bark is light gray at first becoming dark gray with age. The leaves are opposite, simple in shape, thin, elliptic, wedge shaped at the base, and medium to dark green in color. In the fall the leaves turn a beautiful crimson or purple-red in color. From a distance many say it appears to be burning, hence the common name "Burning bush". The flowers are green-yellow in color and approximately 9 mm in diameter with 4 petals. The fruit is red-brown or purple in color and in the form of a 10-13 mm in diameter capsule. The fruit appears in late Autumn or early winter and has a bright red outer layer.

Image Citation: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org

Image Citation: Paul Wray, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org

Burning bush can be found at most local nurseries and makes a lovely addition to any landscape. The Burning bush is recommended for hardiness zones 4-8. The Burning bush prefers full sun to full shade and can be planted in a variety of soil types including sand, loam and clay. It prefers moist, well drained soils and does not adapt well to poorly drained locations.
Meet more trees and shrubs on our website www.ArundelTreeService.com or follow our blog at https://arundeltreeservice.meetatree.com/

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Benefits of natural wood chips for your gardens!

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.   


We offer free local wood chip delivery year round when working in your area, call our office today to be added to our delivery list. We service Anne Arundel, Howard, and Southwestern Baltimore Counties in Maryland.

410-439-1900 - Arundel Tree Service

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Sour Orange - Citrus x aurantium

The Sour Orange - Citrus x aurantium is a small evergreen shrub or small tree that reaches heights of only 10-30 feet tall. The Sour Orange has been naturalized in Florida, Georgia and Texas, but originated in southeastern Asia and South Sea Islands (Fiji, Samoa, and Guam). Sour Orange is grown in orchards settings only in the Orient/various other parts of the world where its special products are of commercial importance, including southern Europe and some offshore islands of North Africa, the Middle East, Madras, India, West Tropical Africa, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Brazil and Paraguay.

Image Citation:  NCSC Herbarium, Citrus ID, USDA APHIS ITP, Bugwood.org

The leaves of the Sour Orange are simply shaped ovate or elliptic, lustrous and deep green in color. The flowers are small, white in color and usually have 4 or 5 petals. The fruit is orange in color, round in shape with a thick almost leathery rind. Inside of the fruit is several separate sections or cells, each having at least a single seed. The fruit is fragrant, however it is generally too sour to be eaten on it's own. The primary use of Sour Orange is for the production of marmalade. The fruits are largely exported to England and Scotland for making marmalade.

Image Citation: NCSC Herbarium, Citrus ID, USDA APHIS ITP, Bugwood.org

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