Friday, November 24, 2017

The Java Plum - Syzygium cumini

The Java Plum -  Syzygium cumini, Is a fast growing evergreen tree that reaches heights of 30-80 feet tall depending on the location/conditions planted.  It is considered a tropical tree and is a member of the flowering plant family Myrtaceae.  It grows in an erect single trunk they could be straight or crooked in form with a rounded crown.  The tree was introduced to Florida in 1911 by the USDA, it originated from Asia, specifically India and Burma.  It has become established in Maritime hammocks, lake margins, flatwoods and rockland throughout Central and Southern Florida.  It is similar to the Malabar Plum Syzygium jambos but can be distinguished by the different sized leaves and fruit.  It is treated by the state of Florida as an invasive species. It can be found growing from Sea Level to 6000 feet above in the tropics. It grows best in areas with very high rain or humidity levels.
Image Citation: Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org

The leaves of the Java Plum are opposite, simple, thick, leathery, elliptic or oblong in shape with a rounded base and tip.  The upper surface of the leaves are lustrous and dark green in color with visible yellow lateral veins, the lower surface is a yellow-green in color and duller in sheen. Leaf blades are 7-18 cm long and 3-10 cm broad with a light yellow petiole of 5-25 mm long.  The leaves are said to smell similar to turpentine when crushed. The flowers are individually small in size only reaching 7 mm long, with 4 petals, fused in a rounded cap that opens and exposes a mass of white or pink threadlike stamens.  The flowers are produced in clusters 5-6cm long on the wood of the previous year.  Flowers on the Java Plum occur year round.  The fruit is fleshy with a single seed, it occurs as a oblong or ellipsoid berry that is 1-2.5 cm long and 2 cm in diameter.  When young the fruit is green becoming pink, red and then a purple-black.  The fruit matures year round the same as the flowers.  The pulp ranges from purple to white and is very juicy, with a sweet flavor in high quality varieties to astringent flavor in poorer varieties.


Image Citation: Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org

The products of the Java Plum are used for various purposes.  The fruit is used to make wine and vinegar, they are also a high source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C.  The fruit seeds are used in alternate healing processes, Unani and Chinese Medicine (digestive ailments) and Ayurveda (diabetes control).

Meet more trees on our website www.ArundelTreeService.com  or follow our blog http://arundeltreeservice.meetatree.com/






Thursday, November 23, 2017

Santa Maria - Calophyllum antillanum

Santa Maria - Calophyllum antillanum, is most easily recognized by the combination of oval leaves  with numerous closely set parallel veins and deeply pitted, diamond-patterned bark.  It is an evergreen tree, salt tolerant tree that originated in the West Indies but has become naturalized in South Florida.  This plant is considered to be invasive to mangrove forests and inland hammocks.  It is similar to the Alexandrian Laurel which is also naturalized in Florida but is distinguished by it's bisexual flowers with 200-300 stamens and fruit that is 2.5 - 4 cm long.  It is a member of the Clusianceae / Garcinia Family.

The Santa Maria grows in an erect fashion, generally with a single trunk occasionally with multiple low branches.  The bark is dark gray or nearly black, deeply ridged or furrowed.  The leaves are simple, opposite, thick, elliptic or oval in shape with a rounded (occasionally notched) tip.  The 5-8 cm long leaf surface is lustrous and dark green in color with numerous visible veins that are located very close to one another.  The fruit occurs as a rounded drupe that is 2-2.5 cm long and yellow or brown at maturity.  The flower is uni-sexual averaging 2.5 cm in diameter, fragrant with four white lobes and 40-50 stamens each.  

The wood of the Santa Maria is used in tropics (not in the United States), the heartwood varies from yellow-pink to red-brown in color, the sapwood is lighter in color.  The grain interlocks and has gravity ranges from .51 to .57.  The wood is considered to be easy to work with and is considered above average when rated for shaping and sanding but not for turning and boring.  Santa Maria wood can be used for general construction, flooring, furniture, cabinet making, poles, cross ties and handles.   


Meet more trees on our website www.ArundelTreeService.com  or follow our blog http://arundeltreeservice.meetatree.com/

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Common Hackberry - celtis occidentalis

The Common Hackberry - celtis occidentalis, is a deciduous tree or sometimes large shrub.  It grows primarily in an erect upright fashion with a single trunk and low branching, rounded, broad crown.  The branching habit of the Hackberry can range from slender and horizontal to zig-zag or irregular.  It is native to stream banks, flood plains, wooded hillsides and often found in areas that are moist from 0-1800 m.  In the North they can be found from Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Maine, in the South from North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, West through Wyoming, Colorado, Arkansas, Northern Oklahoma and Northern Texas.  

Most easily recognized by the combination of alternate, simply shaped leaves that are 3-14 cm long and coarsely toothed and the hard rounded single stoned drupe.  The bark is light brown ans silvery gray, divided into narrow ridges with corky wart like growths.  The leaves are alternate, simple, thin, leathery and either broadly ovate, ovate-lanceolate or triangular in shape.  The leaf tips are usually abruptly pointed and the edges are coarsely toothed from mid-blade to the tip.  The upper leaf surface is light green or blue-green and the lower is a paler green.  The flower is greenish in color and tiny, 5 sepals and absent of petals, found in the Spring growing solitary on the axils of the upper leaves.  The fruit is an ellipsoid or rounded single stoned orange-red or purple drupe, with a cream colored stone, maturing in the Fall and shriveling but persisting through winter.



T. Davis Sydnor, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org


The Hackberry is recommended for hardiness zones 3-9 and is considered both a shade tree and an ornamental.  On average the Hackberry reaches heights of 40-60 feet tall and the same broad, maximum recorded heights are upwards of 115 feet tall.  It is a fast grower and can gain 12-24 inches in height per year.  Hackberry fruit is a popular food for Winter Birds including the Cedar Waxwing, Mockingbird and Robin.  The tree also is very attractive to many butterfly species including, Comma, Hackberry, Mourning Cloak, Tawny Emperor, Question Mark, and American Snout.




Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Chokecherry - Prunus virginiana

Chokecherry - Prunus virginiana is most easily identified by the combination of bi-color bud scales and broad elliptic leaves with sharply toothed margins.  It is a deciduous shrub or tree that reaches heights of 15-30 feet tall with a narrow irregular crown and an erect or leaning form.  Native to open woods, and roadsides on rich or moist soils from 0-2600 m.  Found from Canada in the North to Georgia in the South, continuing on to the West Coast but absent from the Southeastern coastal plains.  Similar in appearance to the Black Cherry and Pin Cherry but can be distinguished by leaf size and shape.  

Image Citation: Rob Routledge, Sault College, Bugwood.org
The bark of the Chokecherry is smooth, dark brown in color when young becoming black and fissured with age.  The leaves are alternate, simple, thin (almost papery), obvate, oblong or oval, sharply toothed, dark green upper surface, lower surface paler in color.  The leaves become yellow in the fall.  The flowers are 8-12 mm in diameter, 5 petals, 15-20 stamens, occuring in mid Spring to early Summer.  The fruit is a rounded juicy drupe that is 6-10 mm in diameter maturing late Summer to early Summer.  
Image Citation: Rob Routledge, Sault College, Bugwood.org

The Chokecherry is recommended for hardiness zones 2-7. Chokecherry is also commonly called Virginia bird cherry.  Although common in the wild in many parts of the U. S., this species is infrequently sold in commerce.  However, certain cultivars, such as the purple-leaved Prunus virginiana ‘Schubert’, have become popular landscape plants.

Image Citation: Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, Bugwood.org

Meet more trees on our Website www.ArundelTreeService.com or follow our blog http://arundeltreeservice.meetatree.com/

Monday, November 20, 2017

European Spindletree - Euonymus europaeus

European Spindletree - Euonymus europaeus, is a deciduous shrub or small tree that reaches heights of 12-35 feet tall with a rounded crown.  The leaves have toothed margins and blades 2-9 cm long, it is dull green and hairless.  The ovate leaves turn a yellow green or red - purple in Autumn.  It is very similar to Hamilton's Spindletree but the leaves are very different in size.  Originally from Europe, cultivated and naturalized in the Eastern portion of the United States, Quebec, and Ontario.  

Image Citation: Richard Webb, Bugwood.org

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Turkey Oak - Quercus laevis

The Turkey Oak - Quercus laevis is most easily identified by the small stature in combination with it's twisted petioles, some leaves that are tri-lobed almost resembling a turkey footprint and dry sandy habitat.  It is a small deciduous that grows in a typically upright fashion with a narrow crown.  It is native to deep, well drained sandy ridges and sunny hammocks.  The trees growth range is limited to only Virginia to Louisiana and Florida. The Turkey Oak covers over 9-10 million acres of land in Florida. It is very similar in appearance to the Southern Red Oak.


Image Citation: Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org

The bark is dark gray to nearly black in color with vertical ridges.  The leaves are alternate and simply shaped, broadly elliptic, with 3-7 lobes each.  Upper surface lustrous yellow-green, hairless, lower surface varies from pale green to a rust color.  In the fall the leaves become scarlet-red or almost brown in color.  Named for some of the tri-lobed leaves that resemble a Turkey foot.  


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

The Turkey Oak is not commercially grown as it is not important because of it's size, but it is close grained, hard and heavy.  It is recommended for hardiness zones 6-9.  The wood is considered excellent fuel and is used very widely as firewood.  The bark and twigs contain valuable materials for tanning leather. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Great Laurel - Rhododendron maximum

The Great Laurel - Rhododendron maximum is also commonly known as the Rosebay Rhododendron. The Great Laurel is most easily recognized by the mostly white flowers and evergreen leaves with wedge shaped base.  It is a large evergreen shrub or small tree that reaches heights of only 35 feet.  It is native to low woods areas, stream banks, forest and low slopes from 0-1900 m from Nova Scotia through Maine in the North, South to Georgia, West to Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.  


Image Citation: Richard Gardner, UMES, Bugwood.org

The leaves of the Great Laurel are alternate, simple, narrow or broadly elliptic, the base is wedge shaped and tip pointed and a lustrous green in color.  The flower is Corolla white and often has a pink tinge with green or yellow spots.  The petals are united and cup like below, spreading and overlapping above, occurring in Spring to early Summer.  The fruit occurs in late Summer to early Autumn and is an elongated capsule 8-20 mm long, glandular hairy.

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

Great Laurel can be found at larger nurseries and is recommended for hardiness zones 3-7.  The leaves are poisonous, if ingested they can cause convulsions and can lead to a coma. This plant has a thicket forming habit and when grown in mass planting or the ideal locations it can become impenetrable.