Monday, April 30, 2018

Sawtooth Oak - Quercus acutissima

The Sawtooth Oak - Quercus acutissima is most easily recognized by it's fringed acorn cup and narrow leave with bristle tipped teeth, resembling the teeth of a saw. It is a fast growing, deciduous shade tree that can reach heights of 30- 70 feet tall. Sawtooth Oak grows in an erect fashion with a single trunk and dense rounded crown. Originally introduced from Asia, generally found in planned landscapes and is reported to be naturalized in scattered areas from Pennsylvania South to North Carolina and Georgia, South to Louisiana. Sawtooth Oak is primarily planted for wildlife cover and food due to it's abundant fruit and fast growth habit. This species is sometimes used for urban and highway beautification as it is tolerant of soil compaction, air pollution, and drought.



Image Citations (Photos 1 & 2): Richard Gardner, UMES, Bugwood.org

Named for it's unique leaf edges, the Sawtooth Oak is a beautiful tree. The green leaves are alternate, simple, oblong or obvate, 12-16 pairs of sharp bristle tipped teeth, parallel veins and a lustrous upper surface and dull pale underside. The leaves add to the visual interest by beginning a brilliant yellow to golden yellow color in the Spring, turning dark lustrous green in summer and yellow to golden brown in the fall. The bark is dark gray in color with light gray scales that become deeply furrowed with age. The fruit is in the form of an acorn, the cup encloses 1/3 - 2/3 of the 1-2.5 cm nut. The acorn rim is adorned with long spreading hairlike scales that form a distinctive fringe.


Recommended for hardiness zones 5-9, the Sawtooth Oak can be found at most larger nurseries within those zones. Sawtooth Oak is also considered to be easily transplanted and hardy making it a wise choice for any landscape with room for a large spreading shade tree. It is similar to the Chinquapin Oak Castanea pumila in appearance, distinguished primarily by the difference in fruit.

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Friday, April 27, 2018

September Elm - Ulmus serotina

September Elm - Ulmus serotina, is most easily recognized by the combination of alternate simple, double toothed leaves, mature branches with corky wings and Autumn flowering and fruiting.  It is a deciduous tree that can reach heights of up to 65 feet tall, it grows in an erect form with a single trunk and spreading crown.  It is native to the limestone bluffs, bottomlands and hillsides of Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas and Illinois but is rare even within it's native growth range.  The September Elm can hybridize with the Cedar Elm though the offspring are difficult to assign to species.  
Image Citation: By K6tmk6 - Originally uploaded on 2010-07-04 as File:Ulmus Serotina2.JPG by K6tmk6., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11001920

The leaves are alternate, simply shaped, with an abruptly pointed short point.  The upper leaf surface is a yellow-green color, hairless, with parallel veins and distinctively forked margins.  The lower leaf surface is a yellowish gold color with soft hairs.  The flowers have 5-6 sepals and occur from Summer to Autumn each year.  The fruit is ovoid to elliptic with 1 seed, light brown samara, 1 - 1 1/2 cm long with a notched apex, maturing in Autumn.  

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Winged Sumac - Rhus copallinum

Winged Sumac - Rhus copallinum is a sumac that is most easily recognized by it's alternate, pinnately compound leaves with 4+ mm winged rachis.  It is a small deciduous shrub or small slender tree that reaches heights of only 30-35 feet tall.  Generally growing in an erect upright fashion it can have single or multiple trunks and is often thicket forming from the production of numerous root suckers.  It is native to the North America and can be found growing throughout the Eastern seaboard from Canada and Maine in the North south throughout Florida, west through eastern Nebraska and eastern Texas.  It is similar in appearance to the Prairie Sumac with the only difference being the rachis size.  

Image Citation: Vern Wilkins, Indiana University, Bugwood.org

The bark of the Winged Sumac is smooth, brown or reddish brown with numerous visible lenticles.  The leaves are alternate, pinnately compound with blades ranging in size from 10-30 cm long, having conspicuous winged rachis, the wings each reaching sizes of over 4 mm each, with 9-23 leaflets.  The flowers are unisexual, with male or female typically occurring on separate trees, green-white in color, with 5 petals and sepals each abut 1 mm long.  The fruit is a hairy rounded red drupe 4-5 mm in diameters, occurring in late Summer to early Fall and remaining until Winter.

Image Citation: Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Carolina Cherrylaurel or Laurelcherry - Prunus caroliniana

The Carolina Cherrylaurel or Laurelcherry - Prunus caroliniana, is a small tree or very large shrub that seldom reaches heights of more then 40 feet tall.  It is semi-evergreen and can be found growing as a single specimen or in clumps or thickets.  The Carolina Cherrylaurel is most often planted in ornamental hedges or as a small specimen/focal tree.  It can be found growing throughout most of the South from North Carolina to Texas.  It is most common around the coastal plains, where it forms very dense thickets.

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

The fastest way to identify this tree when the leaves are present is to crush the leaves which will emit a very distinct cherry fragrance, when no leaves are present the other identifying features include the smooth gray bark with long raised lines or lenticels in a square/mosaic pattern.  The leaves are alternate and simple in form 2 - 4 1/2 inches long by 3/4 - 1 1/2 inches wide.  Leaves are generally long oval and tapered with points at each end, blades are dark green and glossy with a pale green underside.  The leaf edges are usually smooth but occasionally are toothed. Containing prussic acid the leaves can be fatal to livestock if eaten in large quantities.  The fruit is in small clusters of stalked, round fruit that generally remains hanging on the tree all winter.  The fruits are eaten by birds and other small mammals.  The bark is dark gray in color and if often found decorated with lines of holes from Yellow Bellied Sap Suckers (Sphyrapicus varius).  The flowers are small only 5mm in diameter with 5 petals, creamy white in color, occuring in early - mid Spring. 

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

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Mountain Basswood - Tilia heterophylla

Mountain Basswood - Tilia heterophylla, is a large tree that has the ability to reach heights of upwards of 100 feet. It is easily identified as a Basswood by the soft, light gray-brown bark that is moderately thin with long, shallow, parallel, V shaped fissures and flat topped ridges. The bark of the Mountain Basswood appears to be compressed against the tree and is molded to the ridges and fissures in a pattern that does not have rough edges.  Young bark, located high in the tree smooth and light gray in color.  The leaves are rounded to an abrupt tip with a coarse sharp toothed margin. The lower leaf surfaces are white and woolly.  Occasionally in late Winter clusters of pea sized berries can be found dangling in a shape similar to spread fingers from the center of small, elbow shaped wings that are attached to twigs.  

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

Mountain Basswood is a native species but is not commonly found even within it's natural growth zone.  It is a rare tree but can be found throughout the entire United States.  The Mountain Basswood can be distinguished from the American Basswood by looking at the leaves. 

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Fraser Magnolia - Magnolia fraseri

The Fraser Magnolia - Magnolia fraseri is most easily identified by the combination of gray colored trunk, leaves that are eared near the base and hairless buds and twigs. It is also referred to in some areas as the Mountain Magnolia.  Native to rich woods and cove forests from 300-1520 m, this species is confined mostly to the Southern Appalachians, found in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Northern Georgia. It is similar in appearance to the Pyramid Magnolia and is often only distinguished by the native range and habitat.

Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org

The Fraser Magnolia is a deciduous tree that reaches heights of about 80 feet tall. It grows in an upright and erect form with either a single or multiple trunks, the crown is spreading, irregular and most often high branching. The bark is gray to gray-brown in color and smooth or just slightly roughened, sometimes it is compared to concrete in appearance. The leaves are produced in whorl like clusters near each branch tip, they are simply shaped, ovate or nearly spatulate (spoon shaped). The leaves are broadest near the tip becoming more narrow closer to the base which is eared. The upper leaf surface is green and hairless, while the lower is paler in color. The entire leaf becomes a coppery brown at maturity. The flower is creamy white in color, 16-22 cm in diameter, fragrant and showy usually with 9 tepals each occurring in late Spring annually. The fruit is in a cone like form, shaped like a small cucumber, ranging in size from 6-13 cm long. Fruit is green when young, changing to pink when mature. Once mature each fruit splits to reveal bright red seeds that are 7-10 mm long. Fruit matures in late Summer or early Fall each year.

Image Citation: William M. Ciesla, Forest Health Management International, Bugwood.org

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Dotted Lancepod - Lonchocarpus punctatus

Dotted Lancepod - Lonchocarpus punctatus, which is recognized by the combination of pinnate leaves and purple to white flowers and flattened and pointed legumes. It is a deciduous tree to evergreen shrub that reaches heights of only 60 feet tall. Growing primarily in an erect form with a single trunk and dense rounded crown. The Dotted Lancepod was introduced from South America and has escaped cultivation and has become established in Southern Florida. The genus Lonchocarpus only includes about 150 species which are distributed in tropical or subtropical regions of America, Africa and Australia the Dotted Lancepod (Lonchocarpus punctatus) is the only species that has been successfully introduced and established in North America.

Image Citation:  Pancrat (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The leaves of the Dotted Lancepod are alternate, pinnate with blades reaching up to 16 cm long and 12 cm long. The leaflets occur in 2-8 pairs on each leaf in an opposite form, oval or oblong. The upper leaf surface is a medium to dark green while the lower surface is a paler green. The flowers are bisexual, pink, purple or white in color and 10-15 mm long the petals are upright and finely haired. The flower produce conspicuous axillary racemes about 9 cm long with stalks ranging from 2-3 cm long. The flowers occur year round. The fruit is a flattened brown legume that can reach lengths of 15 cm long, tapering to a point at both ends, usually enclosing only a single seed, sometimes several, more or less flat in form.  

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

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

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Monday, April 16, 2018

The Lone Cypress - A Monterey Cypress

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

Friday, April 13, 2018

Chapman Oak - Quercus chapmanii

Chapman Oak - Quercus chapmanii, is a deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub or small tree that reach heights of up to 40 feet tall but usually only average about 30 feet.  A member of the Fagaceae family, in the Genus Quercus. The crown of the Chapman Oak is most often spreading with contorted branches and oblong leaves with wavy margins.  It is considered to have a xeric habit, meaning it does not require excessive or constant amounts of water to grow or favors a drought habitat.  The Chapman Oak prefers Sandy dunes and pinelands and can be found growing from 0-100 m along coastal zones from The Carolinas Georgia and Florida (reported to be also established in Kansas) 


Image Citation: Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

In appearance the Chapman Oak is similar to most other Oaks.  The leaves are alternate, simply shaped, oblong or obovate, thick and leathery with wavy margins on the entire leaf,  a dark green upper surface and paler dull lower surface.  The fruit is in the form of an acorn with a shallow cup and deep nut, knobby scales and gray-yellow color.  The bark is brown, scaly and flaking, similar to many White Oaks.  The flower occurring in late winter or early spring is small in size and white-tan in color.  Recommended for hardiness zones 8-10b, the Chapman Oak prefers full sun to partial shade and alkaline or acidic soil.  Small mammals, butterflies and birds all feed on and/or use the Chapman Oak as shelter.



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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Heart's A Bustin' - Euonymus americanus

The Heart's A Bustin' - Euonymus americanus  is most commonly recognized by the opposite, sessile finely toothed dark green leaves and white flowers arising from the leaf axils.  It is usually found in multi-stemmed shrub form but rarely in small tree form.  It is also known as the Strawberry Bush or Bursting Heart.

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

The leaf margins are finely toothed with blades around 4 cm long and 2 cm broad.  The flowers are creamy white with petals in fours and generally white in color.  The fruit is a rounded knobby capsule that splits at maturity to reveal several red coated seeds.  The fruit of the Hearts a Bustin matures in the fall.  
Image Citation: Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Heart's A Bustin is native to the Eastern and Southern portions of the United States.  The Northern range begins in the West from Southern Illinois, through Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Long Island and the Southernmost portions New York in the East.  Southern range is from Texas in the West, through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida in the East.  It is most commonly found growing in moist woodlands, and flood plains from 0-500 m.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Chalk Maple - Acer leucoderme

The Chalk Maple - Acer leucoderme, is most easily distinguished by it's small size and relatively small squarish-lobed leaves that are green beneath.  It is a deciduous small tree or large shrub that reaches heights of only 40 feet tall on average.   It grows in an erect form generally with a single upright trunk, occasionally a multiple trunk but always with an open spreading crown.  It is native to well drained upland woods, stream terraces, calcereous woodlands from 10-300 m, generally restricted to the Piedmont and sparingly in the coastal plains of North Carolina and Virginia on South through Florida, west to eastern Texas and eastern Oklahoma.  It is very similar to the Southern Sugar Maple and overlaps in range.

Image Citation: John Ruter, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

The bark is smooth gray in color, the twigs are red-brown in color, lustrous, smooth and hairless.  The leaves are opposite, simple, thin and as broad as they are long.  The upper leaf surface is a lustrous yellow-green, the lower is a more even green.  The leaves turn a beautiful Salmon, Orange, Yellow or Purple-Red color in the fall.  The Yellow-Green flower is tiny in size with 5 sepals occurring in Mid-Spring.  The fruit occurs in paired samaras 2.5-3 cm long, widely angled from the point of attachment.  



Image Citation: John Ruter, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Sea Hibiscus - Talipariti tiliaceum

Sea Hibiscus - Talipariti tiliaceum, is most easily recognized by it's large circular leaves, spreading habit and showy flowers that become a deep red at the end of the day. It is a large evergreen shrub or small tree that reaches heights of only 15-20 feet tall. The trunk of the tree is short, crooked or contorted, with a low branching habit and broad crown.



Image Citation: Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org

The leaves of the Sea Hibiscus are alternate, simple in shape and almost circular with a heart shaped base. The upper leaf surface is dark lustrous green, the lower a whitish gray. Each leaf blade is 10-30 cm long and 10-30 cm broad and stout. The flowers are Corolla 5-8 long yellow with a red throat early in the day, becoming completely red by the evening hours and dropping during the night hours. The flowers occur year round. The fruit is in the form of a five valved capsule 2 cm broad with numerous black-brown seeds.


Image Citation: Joy Viola, Northeastern University, Bugwood.org

The Sea Hibiscus is native to tropical areas of Asia and is now naturalized along hammocks, roadsides and other disturbed sites in Southern Florida. Sea Hibiscus can be grown as an indoor/houseplant in zones outside of the tropical regions however care is considered to be tough due to lack of humidity in indoor areas.

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Friday, April 6, 2018

The Paper Mulberry - Broussonetia papyrifera

The Paper Mulberry - Broussonetia papyrifera, is a deciduous fast growing tree that reaches heights of only about 30-60 feet tall.  Paper Mulberry grows in an erect fashion with a single or multiple trunk, often producing root sprouts and branching low to the ground, the crown is broad and rounded.  Originally introduced from Asia in the mid 1700's  it is cultivated and established in the Eastern united States from Delaware to Southern Illinois on South from Florida to eastern Texas.



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

The bark of the Paper Mulberry is smooth, tan in color and occasionally furrowed.  The twigs are brown with scattered, slightly raised lenticels and long spreading transparent hairs.  The leaves are alternate, opposite and whorled, simple, ovate, with a rounded base, and flattened heart shaped or broad wedge shape, toothed along edges.  Upper leaf surfaces are dark brown green in color becoming deep green with age.  The lower surface is hairy, velvety at maturity.  The flowers are unisex, tiny, with male and female produced on separate trees, female inflorence occur in a rounded cluster, the male are elongated cylindric catkin 3-8 cm long occurring in Spring.  The fruit matures in Summer and is rounded in a ball like cluster of fleshy calyces that are 2-3 cm in diameter, each calyx encloses a red or orange achene that visibly protrudes on ripe fruit.



Image Citation: Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Broussonetia is a genus of only 4 species all are from East Asia or the Pacific Islands.  Paper Mulberry is recommended for hardiness zones 4-8. Meet more trees on our website www.ArundelTreeService.com or follow our blog https://arundeltreeservice.meetatree.com/

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Silktree / Mimosa - Albizia julibrissin

The Silktree - Albizia julibrissin is most commonly known as the Mimosa.  It is most easily recognized by the combination of bipinnate leaves and pinkish inflorescence.  It is a deciduous tree that can reach heights of up to 50 feet tall and generally has a single erect trunk that lead to several low large ascending branches with an umbrella like spreading crown.  

Image Citation: Lesley Ingram, Bugwood.org

The bark is light grey in color and either smooth or slightly rough.  The leaves are alternate, bipinnate, with 5-15 evenly paired segments with 13-35 pairs per segment.  The upper surface of the leaves are a yellow green in color, with the under size is paler and lightly hairy.  The flowers on the Silktree are bisexual, radially symmetric and produced in a showy head that is 4-6 cm in diameter.  The center of each flower is surrounded by long filaments of pink and white which make up the showy portions of the inflorence.  The fruit is a flattened legume, yellow to brown in color about 15 cm long with evident flat seeds.  The fruit matures in late summer through Fall.

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

Originally from Asia, the Silktree (Mimosa) is now established across much of the Eastern United States from New York in the North through Florida in the South, West through Missouri and in portions of California.  It is considered to be invasive in many areas of the United States because of it's tolerance level and ability to grow in not very ideal locations.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Umbrella Magnolia - Magnolia tripetala

Umbrella Magnolia - Magnolia tripetala is a small that reaches heights of only 30-40 feet tall and not usually more then 1 foot in diameter. It is most easily identified by it's smooth, thin, gray leather like bark and crooked form. The bark is so thin that when pressed on with your fingernail it will leave a slight indent, this indent will recover once the pressure is released. Umbrella Magnolia is named for the open umbrella like positioning of the leaves within the canopy.

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

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

The leaves of the Umbrella Magnolia are 10-24 inches long and 5-10 inches wide. Each leaf has a pointed tip that slowly rounds/tapers back to the pointed base. The leaf edges are smooth, occasionally waving up and down along the length of each leaf. The flowers bloom in mid summer and are large in size, fragrant and showy. The fruit of the Umbrella Magnolia is egg shaped and rose colored, maturing in the fall and cracking open at it's many small vertical slits to release red berries.

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

Most often the Umbrella Magnolia is planted as an ornamental because of it's leaves and showy white flowers. It is found growing from Southern Pennsylvania and Indiana through Georgia and Mississippi in the South. Recommended for hardiness zones 5-8, it is most commonly found growing in moist woodland type soils, in full sun or partial shade. Umbrella Magnolias appreciate consistent/regular moisture throughout the year, and are considered to be intolerant of soil extremes.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Green/Red Ash - Fraxinus Pennsylvannica

The Green/Red Ash - (Fraxinus Pennsylvannica) is a medium to large, deciduous tree that is native to Eastern/Central North America. This range begins in Nova Scotia, Alberta and Western Colorado in the North and continues through Texas in the Southwest and Northern Florida in the Southeast. It has slowly becoming naturalized in many parts of the Western United States and Central Europe. It grows in a Oval or Upright form.

Ash varieties are known to frequently cross or hybridize with one another sometimes causing much confusion with experts trying to positively identify a species. Botanists have recorded that Red and Green Ash were in fact two different species at one time but have completely hybridized to no longer have any unique or differentiating features. The Green/Red Ash are the most widely distributed of all of the American Ashes. Fraxinus Pennsylvanica is a member of the Oleaceae family which also includes Olive, Lilac, Jasmine and Forsythia - all of which are woody trees or shrubs.

Image Citation: T. Davis Sydnor, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org

When young the bark is smooth and gray, becoming thick and fissured with age. The pinnately compound leaves contain leaflets which range in number from five to eleven, but usually contain seven to nine. The underside of the leaves are hairy, which is a feature that is unique to only this species of Ash. Each leaflet ranges in size from 2-8 inches long and 1/2 - 3 inches wide. The leaves are green in color both above and below, changing to a golden yellow in the fall. Fall coloring usually begins to occur beginning in early September depending on the hardiness zone and weather patterns. Flowers appear in the Spring usually around the same time as the leaves, they occur in very compact panicles. The flowers are small and inconspicuous with no visable petals and are wind pollinated. The fruit or samara is 1-3 inches long, each contains a single seed with an attached elongated apical wing. Winter buds are velvety in texture and red-brown in color. Large annual seed crops provide a good food source for wildlife and birds such as Cardinals, Finches, and Wood Ducks.

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

Green/Red Ash numbers have been greatly impacted by the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer. The Emerald Ash Borer is a small beetle that was introduced accidentally from Asia, these varieties of Ash trees have zero resistance to this pest which has led to devastating results. Prior to the introduction of Emerald Ash Borer, Green/ Red Ash were used extensively as an ornamental or street to replace many American Elms (which were almost completely lost between 1950-1960 from Dutch Elm Disease) this high volume of plantings actually facilitated the spread of the borer as they had plenty of trees to feed on and infest. Many cities have learned from the high volume of loss, not just the Elms but the Ash as well, most now replant lost or damaged trees with a variety of species to prevent such widespread damage/loss should another disease or insect pose a future risk.

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Monday, April 2, 2018

Fatwood - Lighterwood, Pine Knot, Rich Lighter or Fat Lighter

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.

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