Friday, August 30, 2019

Loquat - Eriobotrya japonica

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.

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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Persimmon Tree-Diospyros virginiana

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

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Pumpkin Ash - Fraxinus profunda

Pumpkin Ash - Fraxinus profunda - The combination of buttressed trunk base, large pinnately compound leaves with 7-9 dark green leaflets and samara fruit make this species easily identifiable. Pumpkin Ash is a deciduous tree that reaches heights of 35-90 feet tall, growing in an erect form with a single straight or crooked trunk. It is native to swamps, old lake beds, freshwater tidal wetlands, floodplains and wet woodlands along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers from Michigan south through Louisiana and along the Eastern seaboard from New Jersey south through Florida. The Pumpkin Ash is often times confused with the Water Ashes in the Carolina Ash family.

Image Citation: https://stwilliamsnursery.com/plantdirectory/pumpkin-ash/#sthash.TWiXo7l6.dpbs : St Williams Nursery & Ecology Center, St.Williams, ON, Canada

Leaves are opposite, pinnately compounded with blades 20-45 cm long, rachis 8/15 cm long, 7-9 leaflets ovate in shape, narrowly oblong or elliptic. The upper leaflet surface is dark green and hairless, the lower surface is hairy. In the fall, the foliage turns bronze to reddish purple before falling off to make way for the next years foliage.  The bark is light gray with interlacing ridges. The swollen or "pumpkin" like trunk base is visibly apparent on some trees, especially those growing in deep swamp areas in the Southern growth range. The fruit is in the form of a samara 4-7 cm long and up to 14 mm broad. The fruit range in shape from narrowly linear to elliptic, with a wing arising from the base of the seed body. The fruit matures in early Autumn.

Best suited for hardiness zones 5-9, Pumpkin Ash prefers moist to slightly dry soil. It grows well in deep, loamy soil and swamp areas.  Birds and small mammals feed readily on the seeds produced by this tree. It also provides cover and habitat for birds and other wildlife. The larvae of the Emerald Ash Borer feed destructively and can kill this species. Flies and caterpillars also will feed on the foliage.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Avocado - Persea americana

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.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Water Oak - Quercus nigra

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 Delaware 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) 


Friday, August 23, 2019

Swamp White Oak - Quercus bicolor

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 coarsely toothed/lobed with variable margins. The bark is a pale grey with networks of thick coarse 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.


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Thursday, August 22, 2019

London Planetree- plantanus x acerfolia

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" its 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 affect 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 susceptible 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!  

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Southern Magnolia - Magnolia grandiflora

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.



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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Black Locust - Robinia pseudoacacia

The Black Locust - Robinia pseudoacacia,  is most easily recognized by the combination of hanging clusters of creamy white flowers, pinnate leaves subtended by a pair of sharp pointed spines and coarse ridged or furrowed blackish or deep brown bark.  


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

Black Locust is established in the moist woods, stream margins, river bottoms and Mountains in most of the United States, the Southern most portions of Canada and some parts of Europe.  Believed to have a native range from the Southern Appalachian to the Ozark Mountains.  Similar in appearance to the Clammy Locust and Bristly Locust, with their only difference being flower colors of pink to rose-purple. 


Image Citation: Norbert Frank, University of West Hungary, Bugwood.org

The Black Locust is a deciduous tree that can reach heights of 75 feet tall in ideal conditions. Generally forming a single straight trunk, open irregular crown and ascending branches.  Occasionally taking on a spreading form when grown out in the open. The bark is dark in color ranging from gray to dark gray-brown or dark brown to black, with coarse ridges or deep furrows.  The leaves are alternate, pinnate, with blades ranging from 20-36 cm long and 4-12 cm broad.  The petiole averages about 3 cm long and is subtended by a pair of sharp pointed spines (thorns).  Leaflets occur in numbers of 7-25 generally in odd numbers, thin and elliptic in shape with a rounded or bluntly wedge shaped base, and tipped with small teeth.  The leaf surfaces are medium green to yellow green.  Flowers are bisexual, fragrant and white to creamy white in color with small dull yellow patch on each.  The Calyx is 6-9 mm long, corolla is 1.5-2.5 cm long, produced from the leaf axils in an elongate drooping raceme.  The flowers occur in Spring to early Summer annually.  The fruit is an oblong, flat legume 5-10 cm long and about 1 cm broad.  Fruit matures in late Summer to early Summer annually.

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Monday, August 19, 2019

Common Buttonbush - Cephalanthus occidentalis

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.



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Friday, August 16, 2019

Elderberries - Sambucus

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.

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Zelkova -Zelkova / Zelcova

The Zelkova -  is a deciduous tree in the Elm family that is native to Europe and Southeast Asia.  It is susceptible 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 full 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 varities crown grows naturally 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.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Apricot - Prunus armeniaca

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:

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

American Elm - Ulmus americana

The "American Elm" - Ulmus americana" is a medium to large sized deciduous tree that is native to Eastern North America. Found naturally from Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Ontario, Southern Saskatchewan, Montana and Wyoming in the North continuing South through to Florida and Texas. It is an extremely hardy tree and can withstand temperatures as low as -44 degrees F. It's numbers have significantly decreased over the last century due to Dutch Elm disease. The Elm family is made up of about 45 species and are found from Northern and Central Eurasia and Eastern North America South through Panama. Elms are not found in the Rocky Mountains or on the West Coast of North America.

Image Citation: Joseph O'Brien, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

The American Elm is the largest and most widespread of all the Elms in the North America. It grows in a beautiful upright vase shape, and was often used as a focal point or large Ornamental planting along Main Streets and Park areas throughout it's hardiness zones. However, in more recent decades it has been destroyed in many areas by Dutch Elm disease. The leaves are broad and flat, with a simple shape and fine teeth along the edges. They are bright green in color during the growing season and yellow-green to yellow in the Fall. The wood is grained in a fine wavy pattern that is remarkably durable when wet. Elm logs were hollowed out and used during Roman times as water pipes, some have even been unearthed in good condition. The wood wears well and takes well to polish. It has traditionally been used in making coffin boards, stair treads, chairs and paneling. The flowers are perect in form and contain both sexes on one flower. They grow in bunches or on long slender stalks in racemes.

Image Citation: Tom DeGomez, University of Arizona, Bugwood.org

Image Citation: Joseph O'Brien, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

Dutch Elm disease was introduced to the US in 1930 and has been devestating to the American Elm ever since. Dutch Elm disease is recorded in 41 states across the US. The disease is generally characterized by a gradual wilting and yellowing of the foliage, followed by death of the branches and eventually the whole tree. American Elm is also attacked by hundreds of insect species including defoliators, bark beetles, borers, leaf rollers, leaf miners, twig girdlers, and sucking insects. Both birds and mammals feed on fruit and buds, and mammals will chew the bark and twigs of younger trees. Animals and insects are not nearly as damaging to this species as Dutch Elm disease is.

Image Citation: Linda Haugen, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org 

The Buckley Elm of Michigan, a National Tree Champion was killed by Dutch Elm in 2001, it was estimated to be over 100 feet tall with a diameter of 8 feet.

The Oklahoma Survivor Tree is a very notable American Elm tree. Standing on the site of the Oklahoma City Bombings it has witnessed and withstood the unimaginable. You can learn more about it by checking out one of my previous blogs: https://destinationtrees.meetatree.com/2015/03/oklahoma-citys-survivor-tree-oklahoma.html

The tallest American Elm on record in New England "Herbie", was located in Yarmouth, Maine. It stood in this location until it too was killed by Dutch Elm disease and had to be removed in January of 2010. Herbie was estimated to be 110 feet tall and 217 years old.

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Monday, August 12, 2019

Wild Olive, Osmanthus americanus (Devilwood)

The Wild Olive, Osmanthus americanus is also called the Devilwood tree.  Most commonly recognized by it's dark green leathery opposite leaves small white flowers, and olive like fruit.  The Wild Olive is a small evergreen tree or shrub that reaches heights upwards of 50 feet.  Generally the tree form grows with one single trunk while the shrub form may have multiple trunks and a more bushy shape.  The named Devilwood is thought to be given because of it's very hard wood which is "devilish" to woodworkers.  

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

The bark fo the Wild Olive is Grey or Red-Grey when young becoming rough, scaly and Red-Brown with maturity.  The leaves are opposite, glossy, leathery, oblong and occasionally notched.  The upper surface of the leaves are lustrous and hairless dark green in color, while the underside is a paler green.  The flowers are unisexual, with the male and female flowers appearing on different trees.  Flowers are small creamy white with four petals and a fused tube.  Male flowers contain 2 stamens and are produced in short axillary panicles.  The fruit is oval or ellipsoid in shape, similar to that of a common olive, containing one seed.  The dark purple to black fleshy fruit matures in Summer to Fall.

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

The Wild Olive is native to coastal dunes, sand hill and upland woods area up to 150 meters above sea level.  It can be found from South Eastern Virginia along the East Coast through Florida and along the Gulf Coast into small portions of Louisiana and Texas.  
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Friday, August 9, 2019

Axel Erland's Tree Circus - Gilroy Gardens, Gilroy CA

 The "Tree Circus" originally opened in 1947, as a roadside attraction in Scott's Valley California.  Axel Erlandson a bean farmer who pruned, grafted and trained the trees into various shapes as a hobby to amuse himself and his family, went to his grave holding the secrets of his technique. Most of his work was performed behind screens to protect his secret methods from the potential spy!  Since his death in 1964 many have tried to recreate his work unsucessfully, so this method of privacy seems to have paid off.  Sadly now it seems this type of tree "training" talent may never be seen again.

Millionaire Michael Bonfante purchased the trees and transplanted them to his amusement park Gillroy Gardens in 1985, where you can still see them today.  In the winter of 1984 the trees were all carefully hand dug and boxed.  On November 10th 1985 they began their 80 mile journey to their new home a trip that required many permits and the help of 20 local/state agencies to pull off.  Gilroy Gardens is in Gilroy, California and is home to 24 trees from Axel Erlandson's orginal "Tree Circus".

Some of the trees on display are:

The Cage Trees-Crafted of 10 American Sycamore

The Arch-Crafted from 2 American Sycamore

The Basket Tree-Crafted from 6 American Sycamore (and the most intricate of all)

The Chain Link or 3-2-1 Tree-Crafted from a single American Sycamore

The Compound 8-Crafted from a single Box Elder

The Double Hearts-Crafted from what is recorded as a Red Maple (although the species of this tree is often questioned)

The Figure Y-Crafted from 1 Cork Oak

The Four Legged Giant-Carfted from 4 Amercian Sycamore

The Oil Well-Crafted from 4 Box Elders

The Picture Frame-Crafted from a single Cork Oak

The Revolving Door or Compound Square-Carfted from a single Box Elder

The Zig-Zag- Crafted from 1 American Sycamore

Some of the trees formerly on display have been moved to private areas of the park for extra care and attention due to decline.  Hopefully one day we will be able to see them come back on display!


These landmarks are surely on my to do list!

All below photos credit: Gilroy Gardens Website

Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Lone Cypress - A Monterey Cypress, Pebble Beach Golf Course, CA

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

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Tree Destinations: General Sherman (Sequoiadendron giganteum), The Forest of Giants, California

Within Sequoia National Park in California there is a Forest of Giants.....trees that is!  The most notable of all the trees in the Forest of Giants is the General Sherman.  A Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), that is currently the largest living thing on planet Earth.

Image Citation: Joseph O'Brien, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org


The General Sherman is not the tallest tree on Earth, that honor belongs to Hyperion (Coast Redwood also in California), nor is it the widest, or even the oldest, but it is the largest!  The General has a combined estimated bole volume of 52,513 cu ft.  It is 274+ feet tall, 102+ feet in circumference at the ground, 36 1/2 feet in diameter at the base, with a crown spread of 106+ feet.   It's age is estimated to be between 2300 and 2700 years old.  There have been others that have live before that are recorded to have more volume but the General Sherman remains, standing proudly within The Forest Of Giants.   Named in 1879, after the American Civil War General William T. Sherman by Naturalist James Wolverton who had served under him as a Lieutenant.  

Pictures will never do justice to a tree such as this one, this is a must see in person Giant!  Plan your visit to see this National Treasure in person at: http://www.nps.gov/seki/learn/nature/sherman.htm 


Meet More Trees : www.ArundelTreeService.com  or  www.MeetaTree.com

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Tree Destinations: Big Cypress National Preserve, Southwest Florida

Big Cypress National Preserve is located in Southwest Florida.  The preserve houses some of the most diverse land in the region, it is made up of 729,000 acres of freshwater swamp ecosystem.  All plants and animals residing/growing in the area are protected from unauthorized collection. The preserve was officially named/organized in 1974 by President Gerald Ford, to protect the wildlife, the water quality, natural resources and the ecological integrity if the area.  This preserve helps to support the health of the neighboring everglades and marine estuaries along the Florida coast.

Contrary to it's name, there are very few "Big Cypress" growing in the preserve, the name actually references the "big expanse" equaling hundreds of thousands of acres of cypress forest growing within the preserve.  The preserve is a mixture of both temperate and tropical regions-each having it's own "residents".  The preserve is home to many unique species of plants that remain protected by the natural habitat and stable ecosystem, such as the Red Mangrove, The Cardinal Airplant, The Ghost Orchid, and of course the Cypress for which it was named.  There are also a very diverse group of animals (from feathered, to furry, to scaled) that call this area home.  They include, The Mosquito Fish (I wish they lived here), Wood Storks, Anhingas, Egrets, Ibis, Roseate Spoonbills, Bobcats, Black Bears, Florida Panthers (highly endangered), River Otters, Big Cypress Fox Squirrels, Florida Manatees, Pythons, Water Moccasin, and the American Alligator.
                                                                                                                   
The park offers guided tours from November - April, however you can plan an adventure on your own anytime.  There are many self guided viewpoints, designated boardwalks/hiking areas and even scenic drive routes available year round. Due to it's very remote areas and sheer size the preserve does have limited cell phone reception so be sure to plan ahead!  Currently there is no fee for entry, however there is a fee for off road vehicles, backwoods permits, research permits and some camping areas

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Image Citations (All Photos): Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org - Node Affiliation: Bugwood - UGA

http://www.nps.gov/bicy/index.htm  : Big Cypress National Preserve