Friday, August 20, 2021

Lone Cypress - A Monterey Cypress - Pebble Beach Resort, California, USA

  The Lone Cypress - A Monterey Cypress is often said to be the most photographed tree in The United States. Estimated to be over 250 Years old the tree is located within the grounds of The Pebble Beach Resort in California - Arguably one of the most expensive and beautiful Golf Courses in the US. The tree has been injured over the years by fire, winds and storms but remains held in place by an intricate system of support cables.  The Monterey Cypress only grows naturally in a two areas of Monterey County, Del Monte Forest and Point Lobos Natural Reserve-but is planted widely as an ornamental.



Image Citation: "Lone Cypress" by Sharashish - Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia -https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lone_Cypress.jpg#/media/File:Lone_Cypress.jpg


You do have to pay to see The Lone Cypress in person by entering the scenic "17 mile drive", but don't worry it is just $10 a car!  This 17 mile scenic route includes some of the most beautiful coastline in California and runs between the Pebble Beach Golf Links and Cypress Point Golf Course through the gated community of Pebble Beach.  Also along this scenic route is Bird Rock, Spanish Bay, Spy Glass Hill, Point Joe and the 5300 acre Del Monte Forest.  
Image Citation : Pebble Beach Golf Course-Public-Wikipedia Page 

This tree is so famous it has been featured in The LA Times - Postcards from the west series- http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-postcards-lone-cypress-20130519-dto-htmlstory.html

This link will take you to an interactive map of "17 Mile Drive"
https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?ll=36.583693,-121.936913&msa=0&spn=0.127779,0.195007&mid=zhQ13I4PkLug.ku_kKxBy09XM

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Scarlet Oak - Quercus coccinea

  The Scarlet Oak - Quercus coccinea is most easily identified by it's deeply cut leaves in combination with 1 or more pitted rings at the acorn apex. It is a fast growing deciduous tree that can reach heights of 100 feet tall. Generally growing in an upright fashion with a single erect trunk that is more often then not swollen at the base.  It is native to the Eastern and Mid Atlantic regions of the United States from Maine in the North to Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama in the South, spreading as far West as Wisconsin. It is closely related to the Northern Pin Oak - Quercus ellipsoidalis, Shumard Oak - Quercus shumardii, Northern Red Oak -Quercus rubra and Pin Oak - Quercus palustris.


The crown of the Scarlet Oak is rounded and open with spreading branches.  This Oak has alternate, simply shaped leaves with 5-7 lobes each that range in size from 4-7 inches long. Leaves are bright green in the Spring and Summer and change to a brilliant Scarlet - Red in the Fall. The upper surfaces of the leaves are lustrous and hairless, while the lower is paler with tufts of hair in many of the vein axils. The fruit is a bowl shaped cupped acorn that is 7-15 mm deep enclosing 1/3 - 1/2 of the brown nut. Acorn crops are produced annually, however large crops are only seen every 3-5 years.The bark is thin, brown to dark gray in color, finely ridged and furrowed in texture.


Image Citation: (Fall Foliage) T. Davis Sydnor, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org

The Scarlet Oak is often planted for a combination of it's rapid growth, beautiful foliage, soil tolerance, wind resistance and upright habit. It makes for a lovely focal point in any landscape. Scarlet Oak prefers well drained slopes, dry uplands, ridges, and even does well in poor soils (except akaline). Full sun is recommended for best performance (6 hours of direct sunlight daily). The best performance for the Scarlet Oak naturally seems to be in the Ohio River Valley where specimens are many in number, long lived and lovely in shape. It also is a very successful part of the South Appalachian forest story. Scarlet Oak is recommended for hardiness zones 4-9 and can be found at most larger nurseries. It is widely used in park settings, along roadside and in residential and commercial landscape design. The Scarlet Oak is the official tree for The District of Columbia. Scarlet Oak acorns are an important food source various types of wildlife including, songbirds, wild turkeys, grouse, squirrels and white-tailed deer.


Image Citation: (Acorns) David Stephens, Bugwood.org


Image Citation: (Canopy from below) David Stephens, Bugwood.org

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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Black Oak - Quercus velutina

  The Black Oak - Quercus velutina - is also known as the Eastern Black Oak. It was sometime/ formerly called the Yellow Oak, because of the yellow pigment in it's inner bark. It is native to the Eastern and Central United States and is found in every East Coast state from Southern Maine to the Northern panhandle of Florida. It is found as far inland as Ontario, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma and even Eastern Texas. It is similar in appearance and often confused with the Northern Red Oak, Scarlet Oak and Southern Red Oak. Black Oak is known to hybridize with other members of the Red Oak group, and is a known parent in at least a dozen different named hybrids found today.



The leaves are simple, alternate, ovate and 4-10 inches long with 5-7 bristle tipped lobes on each one. They are a shiny green in color on the top during the growing season which shifts to a Yellow-Copper color in the Fall.
The Black Oak is monecious, the male flowers are borne on slender yellow to green catkins, while the females are reddish green and borne on short spikes in leaf axils that appear in spring with the leaves.



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

The fruit, in the form of acorns that are 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, 1/3 to 1/2 of the Acorn is enclosed in a bowl-shaped cap. The cap scales on each Acorn are light brown and fuzzy. The Acorns mature every two years and appear in late summer into early fall. These Acorns are eaten by Wild Turkey, Whitetail Deer, Grouse and other small woodland mammals.
The bark is gray and smooth when young, becoming thick, very rough, almost black in sections and deeply furrowed. The inner bark is yellow-orange and very bitter tasting.


The Black Oak is not very common in the nursery trade because it can be difficult to transplant. When full grown the Black Oak can reach heights of 135 feet in ideal locations, however the average height is only 60-80 feet tall in most areas. The current Co-National Champion trees are found in Michigan (131 feet) and Connecticut (84 feet). Black Oaks have very prominent tap roots that ensures this species' survival under even poor growth conditions. It is recommended for hardiness zones 6-9. The Black Oak can be harmed by quite a few outside agents including Gypsy Moths, Oak Leaf Caterpillar, Oak Wilt, and Shoestring Root Rot to name a few.

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Friday, August 13, 2021

China Fir - Cunninghamia lanceolata

  China Fir - Cunninghamia lanceolata, is most easily identified by the long, stiff, sharply pointed leaves and oval cones of leather like sharply pointed bracts near twig tips.  The China Fir was introduced to the United States and is considered a distinct ornamental.  Native to Southeast Asia.  In China the China Fir is considered to be an important timber tree and is referred to as the China Fir, even though it is a member of the cypress family.  It is fast growing and highly resistant to pests and diseases. It is widely used for landscaping and has medicinal uses.





The China Fir is a Monoecious evergreen tree that can reach heights of 90 ft tall with and irregular cylindrical crown. The leaves are needle like deep green, stiff, straight or slightly curved 3-6 cm and spirally inserted on each twig.  It is in leaf all year, in flower from January to May, and the seeds ripen from August to September annually.  The twigs are covered by dead leaves behind 2 or 3 years of living leaf growth. The cones are ovoid, reddish brown at maturity, 1 1/2 - 4 1/2 cm and made up of glossy, leathery, sharply pointed bracts, occurring at twig tips in groups of 1-4.  The bark is dark gray to reddish brown in color and fissured to expose the aromatic inner bark.  Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling.




 
Image Citations (Photos 1, 2, & 3) : John Ruter, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

China Fir has many uses outside of just being planted as an ornamental specimen.  The bark is a source of tannins and the branches produce an essential oil that is used in the perfume industry. The creamy yellow to white, fragrant wood is uniform in textured, straight-grained, lightweight and durable, though it will rot if it is continually wet. It is easily worked, sometimes turned and resistant to insect and termite damage. It is also used in construction such as ship building (mainly throughout Asia where it is harvested for lumber) where great strength is required. A good quality fuel and a charcoal can also be made from the wood.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Ohio Buckeye- Aesculus glabra

  The Ohio Buckeye- Aesculus glabra - is a medium sized rounded crown Deciduous tree. Growing to only 20-40 feet tall at maturity, it has a moderate growth rate.  It is the most widespread of all of the Buckeyes in North America. It's range is on mostly mesophytic sites through Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Southern Michigan on West to Illinois and Central Iowa, extending South to Kansas, Oklahoma, and Central Texas; East into portions of Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama. This tree thrives best in moist locations and is most frequently found along river bottoms and in streambank soils.  It has been planted frequently outside of it's native range in Europe and the Eastern United States.  Different from the other Buckeyes because of two main features, first the leaflets have barely any visible stalk and second the husk of the fruit has short spines.  The Ohio Buckeye is sometimes referred to as the American Buckeye, Fetid buckeye, and Stinking Buck-eye, the last because of the foul odor emitted when the leaves are crushed.




Image Citations (Photos 1, 2, & 3): T. Davis Sydnor, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org 

Ohio Buckeye is polygamo-monoecious, meaning it bears both bisexual and male flowers. The leaves are made up of unevenly toothed leaflets that all grow from the same point on the stem, they are green during the growing season and turn an almost grey when shifting finally to wyellow in the Fall.  The flowers are a yellow-green with prominent stamens growing as upright spikes. The bark is dark grey with shallow but coarse fissures leading into square scaly plates. It flowers in the Spring and fruits from summer to fall.  This tree also produces small, shiny, dark brown nuts with a lighter tan patch




"Buckeyes" has been the official Ohio State nickname since 1950, but it had been in common use for many years before.  According to folklore, the Buckeye resembles the eye of a deer and carrying one brings good luck.




Recommended for Hardiness Zones 3-7, Buckeyes are found in larger nurseries within their growth range. 

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Monday, August 9, 2021

Seven Sisters Oak - Mandeville, Louisiana

  At somewhere around 1500 years old, The Seven Sisters Oak is not only a Louisiana state champion but a National Champion Live Oak as well.  This tree is the largest Live Oak in the Country, with a circumference of 467 inches, a height of 68 feet and a very large crown spread spanning over 139 feet.  This tree is the only recorded champion with a crown spread that is nearly double the height of the tree itself.  It has held the title of National Live Oak Champion for over 30 years.


Image Citation: Chuck Cook, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune archive

Contrary to many beliefs the tree was not named for the Seven main trunk sections of the trees but by a former owner, who was one of Seven Sisters.  This tree is registered with The Live Oak Society, who's members are only Live Oak Trees.  Since 1968, The Historic Seven Sisters Oak has remained the President of this unique society, becoming president when the Society's first President The Locke Breaux Live Oak died.

Image Citation: www.AmericanForests.org

Located in Mandeville, Louisiana, the tree resides in the front yard of a private residence, but still draws many visitors.  It is located in the quiet historic neighborhood of Lewisburg, just North of Lake Pontchartrain.  Because of it's sheer size it is said to be not well represented in photographs as the sheer size is hard to judge from one single angle.  This one surely calls for an in person visit next time you are in Louisiana!

Learn More About this and Other "Big Tree Champions" at:


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Friday, August 6, 2021

Araucaria - Araucariaceae Family

  The Araucaria (Araucarias) is a genus of trees mostly native to the Southern Hemisphere and including only 19 species. Four of these species have become popular ornamental plantings here in the United States (mostly in warm Southern portions of the Eastern Seaboard, and along the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains). The four species that are found here in the US are Monkey Puzzle - Araucaria araucana (Molina), Cook Pine - Araucaria columnaris, Norfolk Island Pine - Araucaria heterophylla and Bunya Pine - Araucaria bidwillii. The Araucaria is one of three genera that make up the larger Araucariaceae family.




Bunya Pine  -  Image Citation: Dennis Haugen, Bugwood.org




Norfolk Island Pine - Thomas Smiley, Bartlett Tree Experts, Bugwood.org

All of the trees making up the Araucaria genus are tall evergreens with single straight trunks covered in rough dark gray-brown bark that is horizontally ridged. The trunks are generally covered in uniform whorls of branches that emerge at almost perfect right angles. The branches are covered in very dense or tight triangular or needle shaped evergreen leaves. The evergreen leaves are multi-veined and arranged spirally on each twig, branch and sometimes even on the trunk itself. Pollen Cones are large, one of the largest of any conifer. Seed Cones are dense and heavy, quickly disintegrating before or soon after falling. The inner seeds from the seed cone are considered a tasty treat to many varieties of native wildlife.
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