Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Alder trees -Alnus are a very small group of trees and shrub, made up of only 30 varieties most of which are native to the Northern temperate areas. Ten of which are native specifically to North America half of these can be grown as either shrubs or trees. As a whole, Alders rarely grown to over 70 feet tall. They are relatively fast growers and are short lived not recorded to live very often beyond 100 years.
Image Citation: Brian Lockhart, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Alders are considered part of the larger Birch family since they are very similar in habit and appearance, however there are two things that set them apart from Birch trees. The first is the fruit of the Alder not only resembles a small cone, but when ripe it becomes hard and woody very much like a cone. The second is that the roots of the Alder grow nodules that house nitrifying bacteria which enables these trees to grow well in bare or poor soils that lack the nitrates the plants need to survive. When the leaves of the trees fall each year and decay they enrich the soil, this enables other tree species to eventually grow in these once uninhabitable areas as well.. Red and Gray Alders are commonly planted along the edges of newly constructed roads and in quarry spoils for this very reason. In its native growth range, the Alder is commonly seen as one of the first signs of new growth in previously burned or logged forests. They are also usefully grown along the banks of rivers and ponds as their root systems will extend down into the water creating a stronger bank and helping with erosion control.
Image Citation: Rob Routledge, Sault College, Bugwood.org
The Alders wood is durable in water, it is hard and dense in quality. The wood is also used to make charcoal for gunpowder. It has been used for both bank and canal construction.
It is recorded in Welsch Mythology that the Alder fought in the great "Battle of Trees" against the dark spirits of the underworld. When cut the wood of the Alder turns from white to red which is said to signify the tree is bleeding.
Native Americans not only made tools and utensils from the Alders wood but they also extracted and used the red dye from it's wood as well. Twigs, leaf buds, leaves and catkins (both male and female) all have medicinal purposes.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
The Post Oak - Quercus stellata is a deciduous tree that is 32 - 65 feet tall. It grows in an upright erect fashion with generally a single trunk. The crown grows in a rounded form, spreading and ascending, openly branched with a somewhat gnarled appearance. It is native and typically occurs in dry, upland, sandy or gravelly woods, or in dry, mixed deciduous forests from 0-1500 m. The Post Oak can be found from Massachusetts to Iowa in the North and Florida and Texas in the South. The Post Oak has a very high wildlife value, it's acorns provide high energy winter food for Wild Turkey, Whitetail Deer, Squirrels and other small woodland rodents. The trunk cavities provide good nesting sites for birds and small mammals. The leaves, buds and acorns are however toxic to cattle, sheep and goats.
Image Citation: Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
The Post Oak is most easily identified by its cross shaped leaves with rectangular lobes. The leaves are alternate, simple and vary in size, they are U shaped or tapered at the bases. The upper leaf surfaces are lustrous, dark green and have the texture of a fine grained sand paper. The fruit is an acorn with a cup ranging in size from 7-18 mm deep, this cup encases 1/3 - 2/3 of the nut. The acorns are generally a light brown in color and are egg shaped or rounded. The bark is grayish in color, dull, irregularly furrowed and moderately scaly. The buds are a reddish brown in color and egg shaped or rounded.
Image Citation: Franklin Bonner, USFS (ret.), Bugwood.org
Image Citation: Vern Wilkins, Indiana University, Bugwood.org
The Post Oak can be planted anywhere in hardiness zones 6-9 (about half of the United States), though it is not Native to all of these areas. The branches of the trees begin to droop with age and will require pruning/elevation to maintain clearance for traffic and pedestrians below. The Post Oak will require minimal pruning in order to develop a strong structure. It prefers full sun, and has a high tolerance to drought and various soil conditions. The wood is often marketed as White Oak when sold as firewood.
Friday, August 26, 2016
The Persimmon Tree-Diospyros virginiana is a small to medium sized deciduous tree. The female flowers are white and sweetly scented growing in almost a bell shape singly at the base of the leaves. Males flowers look similar, however they grow in cluster of 2 or 3 on separate trees. The persimmon grows many habitats, roadsides, old fields, and forest clearings.
The fruit is round orange to purple brown, stalkless, soft and juicy when ripe. When not ripe the fruit is extremely astringent, and horrible to the taste. Introduced species of persimmons with larger fruit are also commonly cultivated. The Texas Persimmon has black fruit that stains the hands and mouth when handled.
Image Citation: R.G. Steadman, Bugwood.org
Persimmon fruit is renowned for it's health benefits. The fruits are very high in vitamins B & C. They boost your immune system, improve iron absorption and have twice the dietary fiber of Apples.
More Meet A Tree Facts www.ArundelTreeService.com
Thursday, August 25, 2016
The "White Oak" - Quercus alba - is one of the most prominent and well recognized trees in our area. It is a long lived tree, with some recorded still living at 450 years. Maryland's famous Wye Oak (in Wye Mills, Maryland) was estimated to be over 450 years old when it was knocked down by a storm in 2002. The White Oak is the state tree of Maryland, Connecticut and Illinois, It's native range is from Quebec in the North, Minnesota in the West and Texas-Florida in the South. It is not a very tall tree, with an average height of 80-100 feet at maturity.
Image Citation: Martin MacKenzie, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
The bark is a light grey color with very rigid and noticeable fissures. The leaves are green in color ranging from 5-8 inches in length, changing to a red-brown in the Autumn season. White Oaks will sometimes hold their dead brown leaves over winter, these leaves will fall out in the Spring with the new growth. The wood is pale brown in color, solid, heavy and durable. The acorns appear annually, they are cup shaped and are a shiny brown in color.
Image Citation: Paul Wray, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org
The White Oak is a food source for many forest animals. Deer and Rabbits will nibble on the twigs and sometimes dead leaves. The acorns are a favorite of Turkeys, Wood Ducks, Pheasants, Jays, Nuthatches and Woodpeckers. The White Oak is also the only known food source for Bucculatrix luteella and Bucculatrix ochrisuffusa caterpillars.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
The Cockspur Hawthorn - Crataegus crus-galli is distinguished by the combination of unlobed, short stalked, hairless, lustrous, and dark green leaves. It is a small deciduous tree that reaches heights of 30 feet on average. It grows in an erect, typically upright form with a broad rounded crown. It is native to the entire East Coast with the exception of Southern Florida, West through Texas in the South and Michigan in the North. It is most commonly found growing in thickets, woodlands, bottom lands, pastures and stream beds. It is among the most common and widespread of all the Eastern Hawthorn, found in all but three eastern states.
Image Citation: John Ruter, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
The bark of the Cockspur Hawthorn is full of stout, gray-black, straight or curved thorns. The leaves are alternate, simple, narrowly obovate, thick, leathery, with a rounded base and blades 2-8 cm long. The flowers are circular, with white petals, 10 - 20 stamens, occurring in Mid-Spring. The fruit is a greenish pome, that becomes red with maturity. The fruit is rounded or oblong 8-15 mm each, maturing in Autumn.
Image Citation: T. Davis Sydnor, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
The Cockspur Hawthorn is a very popular garden tree and is used in not only residential applications but also commercially and along roadsides. It is recommended for hardiness zones 4-9. Cockspur Hawthorn prefers moist, well drained, slightly acid soils, and full sunlight. It is adaptable to poor soils and various soil pHs, compacted soils, drought, heat and even limited winter salt sprays. This tree provides excellent cover and nesting areas for many small varieties of small birds. The fruits are eaten by birds, including waxwings, sparrows, grouse, and small rodents. The twigs and leaves are eaten by white tail and mule deer.
Monday, August 22, 2016
The Loquat - Eriobotrya japonica is most easily recognized by the combination of large coarsely toothed, heavily veined, dark green leaves and large flowering panicles with yellow or orange fruit. It is an evergreen shrub or small tree that reaches heights of 9-20 feet high on average. The crown is dense, rounded and somewhat vase shaped. The Eriobotrya is a small genus of only 30 species of evergreen shrubs or trees that are native to mostly Asia.
Image Citation: Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org
The bark is brownish gray, smooth and somewhat hairy. The leaves are alternate, simply toothed, stiff, leathery, obovate or elliptical, with coarsely toothed margins and parallel veins. The upper leaf surface is lustrous, dark green, hairless, with a paler lower surface. The flowers are 10-15 mm in diameter with 5 petals in an oval or circular form. The flowers are a creamy white color with a sweet fragrance, borne in conspicuous branches and hairy terminal panicles. The flowers appear is late Autumn to early Winter. The fruit is a yellow, orange or whitish pome, that is pear shaped or oblong with 1-2 large seeds. The fruit matures in Spring to early Summer.
Image Citation: Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org
The Loquat was originally introduced from East Asia and is now found on disturbed sites from South Florida to South Louisiana, and cultivated into the southern portion of North Carolina. The Loquat is considered to be somewhat invasive in some portions of Florida.
Friday, August 19, 2016
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.
Image Citation: Gerald Holmes, California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, Bugwood.org
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.
Image Citation: H.J. Larsen, Bugwood.org
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.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
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.
Image Citations (Photos 1-3): Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
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.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
The Paw Paw (Asimina triloba) is a small deciduous fruit bearing tree that is native to North America. They grow wild in much of the eastern and midwestern portions of the country, but not in the extreme North, West or South.
Image Citation (Photos 1 & 2): Rob Routledge, Sault College, Bugwood.org
The leaves are green in the growing season and an elongated oval shape ranging in size from 10-12 inches long. In the fall the leaves change to a rusty yellow in color. When crushed the leaves have a strong unique odor, often compared to that of a bell pepper. The leaves contain toxic annonaceous acetogenins, making them impalatable to most insects. The one exception is the Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly.
The flowers have 3 prominent triangular shaped green, brown or purple outer petals. The flowers are insect pollinated, but fruit production is often limited by the small number of pollinators that are actually attracted to flowers very faint scent.
Image Citation (Photo 3): Wendy VanDyk Evans, Bugwood.org
The fruit is a green-brown in color and a curved cylindrical shape - the shape of the fruit is very similar to a fat lima bean. The trees produce an almost tropical fruit with vanilla or banana/mango flavors. When ripe, the fruit’s soft flesh is very creamy in texture. The large seeds are easy to remove, making the pawpaw an excellent pick for fresh eating. The short shelf life makes it an uncommon find in most market areas. Fresh fruits of the Paw Paw are generally eaten raw, either chilled or at room temperature. However, they can be kept only 2–3 days at room temperature, or about a week if refrigerated.
Many animals and insects make use of the Paw Paw tree and it's fruit. The flowers attract blowflies, carrion beetles, fruit flies, carrion flies and other bettle varieties. The fruits of the Paw Paw are enjoyed by a variety of mammals, including raccoons, foxes, opossums, squirrels, and black bears. Larvae of the Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly, feed exclusively on young leaves of Paw Paw. Chemicals in the Paw Paw leaves offer protection from predation throughout the butterfly's life remaining in their systems and making them unpalatable to predators. Whitetail deer do not feed on the Paw Paw.
Monday, August 15, 2016
The Water Oak - Quercus nigra, is a Red Oak with great tendency to hybridise with not only other Red Oaks but also WIllow Oaks. It is a medium to large deciduous tree. Native from Delware to mid-Florida and through Texas, North through Arkansas and up the Mississippi Valley into Tennessee. Very few are found planted in the Western United States. It grows often wild along small streams or wetland areas where lack of water is not an issue, but can also be found in drier more arid soils as well. It is classified as a bottom-land forest cover by the Society of American Foresters. It prunes itself slowly, developing a straight, slender main trunk. Growing quickly in favorable soils, it can add 6-12 inches in a single year. At maximum height it can reach 125 feet tall.
The leaves of the Water Oak vary in both size and shape on the same tree, some rounded with ends resembling spoons, some like small Blackjack Oak leaves, and others being more deeply lobed. In color they are a blue-green during the Spring and Summer, changing to a Yellow-Orange-Red in the Fall. The Acorns are round with shallow cups and mature around September of the second year. The bark is finely fissured and a pale to dark grey in color with rough plates.
Water Oak is monoecious, meaning the staminate flowers are found in hanging catkins and pistillate flowers are in few flowered, short stalked clusters but on the same tree. They develop shortly before or around the same time as the new leaves. Staminate flowers are produced near the tip of the previous year's growth, while pistillate flowers are produced in the junction of the current year's growth.
Image Citations (Photos 1,2 & 3): Amy Gilliss, Arundel Tree Service
(Location: Chincoteague Island National Wildlife Refuge, Chincoteague, Virginia)
Saturday, August 13, 2016
The Jacaranda tree (jacaranda mimosifolia) is a medium sized shade tree native to South America. It is a deciduous tree that sometimes acts as an evergreen in extremely warm climates. It is also called the Brazillian Rosewood, Blue Trumpet tree, or Blue Jacaranda. In climates outside of it's native or recommended hardiness zones (9-11) the Jacaranda is often grown indoors as a houseplant or even trained as a Bonsai.
Image Citation: Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
The Jacaranda's leaves are pinnately compound and are 2 inches or less in size. The flowers (arguably the trees most beautiful feature) appear in late Spring to early fall. Appearing in clusters the trumpet shaped lavender/purple flowers are exceptionally fragrant. In warmer climates this tree may act as a semi evergreen and not only retain it leaves but bloom at multiple times throughout the year.
The Jacaranda performs best when planted in the Fall. The tree can be propagated from softwood cuttings, grafting or seeds. It has a high tolerance to disease and does not have any notable pests. Also very drought tolerant this tree is used frequently as a street tree in it's recommended hardiness zones. Size at maturity can range from 5-50 feet tall and 15 to 60 feet wide, the size at maturity is reliant on the area planted, pruning schedule and zone planted.
Friday, August 12, 2016
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, Bugwood.org
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 coarsly toothed/lobed with variable margins. The bark is a pale grey with networks of thick course 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, Bugwood.org
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.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
The London Planetree- plantanus x acerfolia - is a hybrid of the Sycamore and the Oriental Plane. London Planetree are large deciduous trees that reach heights of 65-100 feet when mature. It is one of the most commonly planted street trees in the United States because of it's high tolerance to both polluted air and limited rooting areas. It possesses a very strong hybrid vigor and grows well in almost all locations, but is not very tolerant to extremely low temperatures. It has a fairly long life expectancy and in many cases "outgrows" it's location by lifting sidewalks and other surrounding obstacles. Thought to have been originally grown in Spain during the very early 17th century. It is recorded in both France and Spain around 1650, and in England from 1680.
The leaves are very similar in shape to the Maple with a tri-lobed appearance. They are a bright green color when young and are coated with very tiny hairs which disappear by the Summer season. In the fall the leaves slowly turn to a bright yellow color before falling off. The bark is almost identical to the Sycamore in appearance, smooth Silver Grey that sheds to show a warm brown shade underneath. The bark makes for a nice point of interest even in the winter when the leaves are all gone. The lumber is known as Lacewood and has a very unique and decorative pattern when cut, it is light in color with dark red-brown flecks throughout. The flowers are borne in one to three dense spherical florescence on a pendulous stem, with male and female flowers occurring on separate stems. The fruit matures in about 6 months, to just under a half inch in diameter, and is made up of a dense spherical cluster of achenes with numerous stiff hairs. The fruit cluster breaks up slowly over the winter to release the numerous 2–3 mm seeds, this allows for great seed disbursement.
Image Citation (Photos 1-3): Tom DeGomez, University of Arizona, Bugwood.org
One of the diseases that has known to significantly effect London Planetrees is Cankerstain. Thousands of London Planetree have died from Cankerstain in the Eastern United States since the early 1930's. Cankerstain is caused by the fungus Ceratocystis fimbriata. The fungus enters the trunk or branches through weakened areas such as injuries, or saw cuts and moves inward from there. Once infected death of the entire tree usually occurs within a year or two. Diseased trees should be removed and destroyed as soon as diagnosed to prevent spread. The London Planetree is also succeptable to Lacebug, Plum Borer and Anthracnose to name a few.
London Planetrees are often pruned using a technique called pollarding. A pollarded tree has a very noticeably different appearance than an unpruned tree, it will appear much shorter with stunted, clubbed branches. Pollarding requires frequent maintenance (the process must usually be repeated annually), it creates a distinctive shape that is often sought after in plazas, parks, main streets, and other urban areas where overall size and appearance is of great concern.
London Planetree can be found at most local nurseries and is recommended 3A to 10B. It is very important to plan ahead before planting a London Planetree, take into consideration how big it will be at maturity- 65-100 feet tall in very large!
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
The "Southern Magnolia" - Magnolia grandiflora - is a medium sized evergreen tree. It is also called the Bull Bay, Big Laurel, Evergreen Magnolia or Large Flower Magnolia. The native range of the Southern Magnolia goes from North Carolina south down the Atlantic Coast and through Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Central Texas. Averaging 60-80 feet tall in ideal locations, they usually reach maturity at 80-120 years. It typically grows in an oval pyramidal shape.
Image Citations (Photo 1 & 2): T. Davis Sydnor, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
Featuring leathery leaves 5–10" in length, with a lustrous dark green top and soft, rusty underside. The large White fragrant flowers appear April-June and are almost perfect in form. The fleshy cone shaped fruit mature in late fall. The fruit are 5-8 inches long and attract a wide range of wildlife including Squirrels, Rabbits and Birds.
Image Citation (Photo 3): Franklin Bonner, USFS (ret.), Bugwood.org
Recommended for zones 6-10 this variety can be grown as far North as Maine and is found planted over most of the country with the exception of the North-Central Region. Air-layering, stem cuttings and grafting are all successful means of propagation. It can be found at most nurseries in it's growth range. It is best planted as a landscape tree versus a street tree as the leaf, flower and fruit debris are often considered messy.
The name Magnolia honors French Botanist Pierre Magnol, who was so impressed with the tree he transplanted one near his home in Europe over 300 years ago. One of these trees grows on the White House grounds, it was transplanted by President Andrew Jackson from his home in Nashville, Tennessee. This tree was transplanted to honor his late wife Rachel's memory.
Monday, August 8, 2016
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.
Friday, August 5, 2016
Common Buttonbush - Cephalanthus occidentalis is most easily recognized by the simple, whorled or opposite leaves and creamy white globe like heads on it's tubular flowers. It is a deciduous shrub or small tree that ranges in height from 9-45 feet on average. This variety grows in an erect upright fashion with a single main trunk, open crown and vase shape. It is native to The United States and can be found growing in all but 10 states (those 10 are Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, North Dakota and South Dakota). It is primarily found in swamps, wetland depression, stream banks, lake and pond margins from the East to the West coast.
Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
The bark is smooth when young becoming rigid and furrowed with age. The leaves are simple, whorled or opposite, lanceolate or elliptic with a wedge shaped base. The upper surface is lustrous and dark green, the lower surface is paler with conspicuous veins. The flowers are bisexual, creamy white and tubular, produced in large numbers in globular, pendant or ball like heads 2-4 cm in diameter. The fruit is a capsule like shape 5-8 mm long, maturing in Summer to early Autumn.
Troy Evans, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Bugwood.org
The Common Buttonbush is vegetatively similar to the Georgia Fever Tree (Pinckneya bracteata), both are found in wetland areas. They are best distinguished from one another by the differences in flower and fruit.
Thursday, August 4, 2016
The Zelkova - is a deciduous tree in the Elm family that is native to Europe and Southeast Asia. It is suceptible to Dutch Elm disease but most often survives it, this is one of the main reason why it is considered to be a replacement for the Elm tree. With a vase shape and the ability to grow 90-100 feet tall with a 60-80 foot spread. It has a moderate growth rate and thrives best in ful sun locations.
The leaves are 1 1/2 to 4 inches long, green when young and turning a brilliant orange to burnt umber in the fall. This trees crown grows in a vase shape very similar to that of the Elm. The leaves are a simple shape with serrated edges. There are not obvious flowers on this tree they are very small and inconspicuous.
The Zelkova grows in a variety of soils but prefers moist deep loams. Established specimens are highly drought resistance. This tree makes for an ideal street tree as they thrive even in pits that were they soil is restricted. It also has a high disease and salt resistance.
Image Citations: Richard Webb, Self-employed horticulturist, Bugwood.org
This tree thrives in zones 5-8 and is readily available from most local nurseries. It will make for a sturdy addition to any landscape.
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
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, Bugwood.org
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, Bugwood.org
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, Bugwood.org
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, Bugwood.org
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.
Monday, August 1, 2016
Apricot - Prunus armeniaca is most easily recognized by the combination of broadly ovate to almost perfectly round leaves, pink flower buds and hairy fruit with stone inside. It is a small deciduous tree that reaches heights ranging from 16-30 feet on average. Originally introduced from China it is now found on roadsides and disturbed sites from 20-1600 m in the East from Pennsylvania in the North, West to Illinois and Missouri and South to Kansas. The Apricot grows in an upright erect fashion with a single trunk and rounded crown.
Image Citation: Eugene E. Nelson, Bugwood.org
The bark of the Apricot is deeply furrowed and Gray. The leaves are Alternate, simply shaped, broadly ovate to almost circular. The upper leaf surface is hairy along the veins, and the blades are 3-9 cm long. The flowers are 1.5-2.5 cm in diameter, 5 petals, pink when inside the bud, opening to a crisp white in Mid-Spring. The fruit is hairy, rounded or ellipsoid drupe, yellow to orange in color.
Image Citation (Leaves/Fruit): Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org
The Apricot fruit matures in Summer and is sold commercially. Turkey is the number one country for Apricot production, followed by Iran, Uzbekistan, Algeria and Italy to round out the top five. The United States is not a major producer of Apricots and is not even in the top ten based on production numbers. Apricots are produced commercially by most countries with the climate to support their growth this includes The United Kingdom, Australia and The United States (mainly California, Washington and Utah) to name a few.
Image Citation (Fruit): Rory Register, Rory's Photography, Bugwood.org
Apricot trees can be found at most larger scale nurseries and can be grown in hardiness zones 5-8 (9). Apricot trees need well-drained soil in order to survive and produce well. Young Apricot trees can be susceptible to bacterial canker, powdery mildew and a variety of root fungus problems. Aphids, mites and peach twig borers are pests that you may encounter when growing Apricot trees.
Link to USDA Database entry for Apricot nutritional value: