The "Dragon's Claw" or "Corkscrew" Willow - Salix matsudana - is a cultivar of the Chinese (Babylon) Willow. This cultivar grows very fast from cuttings made from the youngest (and often most curly) shoots. It is considered medium to large in size and is a deciduous tree that grows in a primarily upright fashion. Chinese Willow's have a relatively short lifespan, estimated between 40-75 years in the wild. The Chinese Willow is a Native of Northeastern China. It has been planted heavily as an ornamental in the United States, Europe and Australia, so is seen often outisde of it's native area.
Monday, October 26, 2020
Thursday, October 22, 2020
The Sparkleberry - Vaccinium arboreum, is best recognized by the combination of reddish bark, bell shaped flowers and lustrous green leaves with a tiny point on the tip. It is an evergreen in most locations or late deciduous in colder climates. It grows in an upright fashion small bush or tree form. It is native to North America, dry sandy woodlands, thickets and clearings. It is widespread on the East Coast of North America, found from Ontario in the North and Florida in the South, West through Kansas and Eastern Texas.
Monday, October 19, 2020
Friday, October 16, 2020
The Lombardy Poplar - Populus nigra "italica" - is an upright/erect form of the European Black Poplar. This tree was originally spread by cuttings in the Po Valley of Italy and introduced in Britain in 1758, It's spread continued rapidly through Europe once introduced. Today this tree can also be found in every state in the United States and throughout Southern Canada. The roots of the Lombardy Poplar are considered to be invasive, they seek water sources (like drain pipes and ditches) and spread very much like Bamboo. Even when the tree is removed and the stump ground out the root system will remain and often resprout in another location nearby.
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
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.
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
The Pitch Pine - Pinus rigida is a 3 needle pine with random or adventitious branch habit and clustered cones. The tree can grow either upright or with a crooked trunk, always with an irregularly shaped rounded crown. Reaching heights upwards of 100 feet and 36 inches dbh (diameter at breast height) at maturity. It is native to upland or lowland sites that may considered otherwise infertile, sandy dry or even boggy type soils are all suitable for the Pitch Pine. It can be found at elevations ranging from 0-1400 m from Georgia in the South to Maine and Quebec in the North. The Pitch Pine is the dominant tree in the Pine barren forest of New Jersey, however in the rest of it's growth region it is secondary to the Virginia (Scrub) Pine, Table Mountain Pine, Eastern White Pine, Atlantic White Cedar, and various types of Oak (depending on the region).
Monday, October 12, 2020
The American Basswood - Tilia americana, is most easily recognized by the combination of alternate, two ranked, and heart shaped leaves that are asymmetric at the base and the leafy bract subtending the flowers and fruit. It is a deciduous tree that reaches heights of 60-100 feet tall that grows in an erect form with a single trunk. The crown of the American Basswood is ovoid or rounded with numerous slender branches.
Image Citation: Wendy VanDyk Evans, Bugwood.org
Friday, October 9, 2020
The Glossy Buckthorn - Frangula alnus is a deciduous small tree or shrub that reaches heights of 20-25 feet. Generally growing with multiple erect trunks in a shrubby form, with a stout crown. Originally introduced from Europe about 200 years ago, Glossy Buckthorn has become established in weedy bogs, and other wetland areas. Found as far North as Saskatchewan and Quebec South to West Virginia and Tennessee and West to Idaho and Colorado. The Glossy Buckthorn is considered to be invasive in many areas and is treated as an invasive species in most Mid-Western wetland areas.
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
The Golden Dewdrops - Duranta erecta, are most easily identified by their brilliant sky blue colored flowers and bright yellow fruit. They originated in the West Indies but have been naturalized from South Florida to East/Central Texas. In the United States they are found primarily on disturbed sites, pine lands, and hammocks from 0-100 m. An evergreen shrub, occasional vine or rarely a small tree they reach heights of only 20 feet.
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
The Peach - Prunus persica is most easily identified by its distinctive fruit and long narrow leaves. It is a small deciduous tree that only reaches average heights of 10-30 feet tall. The Peach is commercially cultivated and generally well managed in size and shape, however when found in the wild it often grows in a more shrubby habit. The tree in generally grows in an erect form, with a single trunk and open crown. Initially introduced from China, the Peach has been established in almost all of the Eastern United States. Peaches were brought to the United States in the 16th century and to Europe during the 17th century. Peach trees are often found growing wildly along fence lines, in old fields, on roadsides, and escaped from cultivation on the edges of farms.
Image Citation: Peggy Greb, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
Monday, October 5, 2020
The Cryptomeria - Cryptomeria japonica is a monoecious ornamental evergreen tree that can reach heights upwards of 65-70 feet. Growing in a slender, upright pyramidal fashion, it has unique short, sharp in-curved needles that are unique to this species and only the rare Taiwania (a similar species). The needle-like leaves are 3-12 mm long and spirally arranged. The bark is reddish brown to dark gray, fibrous and often peels off in strips. The cones are brown, slightly rounded with an apical point and are borne at the tips of the twigs in groups of 1-6. The branching habit of this species is considered to be irregular and does not occur in a uniform fashion.
Friday, October 2, 2020
The Rubber Tree - Hevea brasiliensis, is also called Sharinga Tree, Rubberwood or Para Rubber Tree. It was only originally found growing in the Amazon Rainforest but was planted in more widespread tropical and sub-tropical areas once the demand for it's naturally produced rubber increased. This tree is a member of the Euphorbiaceae family and has major economic value because of it's milky latex that naturally occurs within the tree. Recorded uses of this and similar tree rubber/latex products date back to the Olmec people of Mesoamerica some 3600 years ago. By the late 1800's rubber plantations were established in the British colonies, Java, and Malaya. Today most rubber plantations outside of the native region occur in tropical portions of South/East Asia and West Africa. Cultivating in South America has not been satisfactory because of leaf blight this leaf blight is a major concern for plantations worldwide as it has not been cured or corrected and is thought to pose a threat to all varieties/clones growing today.