The Shumard Oak / Buckley Oak - Quercus shumardii, is a deciduous tree that can reach heights of up to 120 feet tall in ideal growing conditions. It grows in an erect form with a single trunk that is sometimes fluted or buttressed near the base. Generally the Shumard Oak is high branching with the trunk remaining branchless until the canopy. The crown is open and spreading with ascending and broad spreading branch habit.
Friday, June 25, 2021
Monday, June 21, 2021
The Ginkgo Tree - Ginkgo Biloba - is the survivor of all arboreal survivors. There were Ginkgo trees when dinosaurs walked the Earth. The sole remnant of a group of plants even more primitive than Conifers. It is a living fossil, and fossils relating to the modern Ginkgos dating back 270 million years. They were wiped out completely in North America by the Glaciers,and thought to at one time be extinct in the wild the world over. They however thrived in China where the Buddhist monks tended to them in their gardens. When growing in the wild , they are found infrequently in deciduous forests and valleys with fine silty soil. It has long been cultivated in China and is now common in the southern third of that country. They were exported to England in 1754 and to the U.S. about 30 years later, cultivated in both countries for over 200 years it has failed to become significantly naturalized in either.
Friday, June 18, 2021
Japan’s largest wisteria located in Ashikaga Flower Park in Japan, is certainly not the largest in the world, but it still measures in at an impressive half an acre and dates back to around 1870. Is also referred to as the most beautiful Wisteria in the World. The blooms range in color from pale red, purple, yellow and white depending on variety.
Park Description from Roadtrippers.com : "Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi Prefecture is famous for its wisteria blossoms. Elaborate supports to the three big wisteria trees cover an area of about 1,000㎡. The best times to visit Ashikaga Flower Park is from mid April to mid May. It is a truly unique attraction; the blossom starts with light pink blooms first in the season, followed by purple wisteria, white and then yellow. Just before you decide to visit the park, I recommend to check the official website for the latest status of the blossoms."
This is not the home of the largest Wisteria vine in the world, the record holder measures in at about 4,000 square meters, and is located in Sierra Madre, California. Although wisterias can look like trees, they’re actually vines. Because the vines have the potential to get very heavy, these particular plants entire structures are held up on steel supports, allowing visitors to walk below their canopies and bask in the pink and purple light cast by its beautiful hanging blossoms.
Price for entry into the park depends on the season and what/how many plants are in bloom. The Wisteria bloom in Ashikaga Flower Park from April to May annually. The park is a popular tourist destination so be sure to plan your visit well. For more on Ashikaga Flower Park in Japan visit the parks website (English Version) http://www.ashikaga.co.jp/english/ or in person
Ashikaga Flower Park
Totigi [Tochigi] 329-4216 Japan
Thursday, June 17, 2021
There is a very unique English Oak tree (Quercus Robur) growing in Sherwood Forest near the small village of Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire, England which is rumored to be where Robin Hood and his men would hide out, in it's hollow trunk sections. It is called the Major Oak and is estimated to be between 800 - 1000 years old. In 2014 it was even crowned "England's Tree of the Year", because of this honor it will represent England in the running for the "European Tree of the Year" against entries from both Wales and Scotland.
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Silver Maple - Acer saccharinum, is a medium to large tree that matures at 50-80 feet in height and 2-3 feet in diameter. Usually forking near the ground with two or three main trunks supporting an openly spreading crown. The Silver Maple is most easily identified by it's sharply forked form, thin, flat edge curling bark, widely spaced branches and large often partially exposed (runner) roots. When split the fissures in the bark often expose a pink color below the brown-gray upper bark.
Image Citation: Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
The Kentucky Coffeetree -(Gymnocladus dioicus) - is a deciduous medium sized tree with large, coarse, wide hanging pods that are red-brown when ripe. It is best distinguished by it's large leaflets, large flowers, scaly bark and inflated fruit. At maturity it can reach 18-30 m tall and grows in an erect single trunked, with a low branching habit. The crown of the Kentucky Coffeetree is usually narrow or broad, pyramidal or rounded in shape. It is a member of the Fabaceae (Bean) Family and included in the very small Gymnoclaudus genus which only contains 2 species (the other is native to China).
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
The Cashew Tree Anacardium occidentale is a tropical evergreen that produces the Cashew seed and Cashew Apple. Reaching heights of around 45 feet it is not a large tree by any means. The trunk is generally short and irregular in form. The dwarf variety is considered to be more profitable having earlier production maturity and higher yields at around 20 ft tall. Native to Brazil, Portuguese colonist were recorded to export the tree and nuts as early as 1550. Currently there is major Cashew production occurring in Vietnam, India, Nigeria and The Ivory Coast. During the 21st century Cashew cultivation has significantly increased to meet new demands for manufacturing of Cashew Milk a plant based alternative to Dairy Milk. In 2017, globally the production of Cashews was measured in tonnes at 3,971,046 with the leading producer being Vietnam 22%, India 19% and the Ivory Coast 18%. Benin, Brazil, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Mozambique and Tanzania are all also notable producers.
We recently visited Saint Lucia (one stop on a cruise) and while there we toured the Drive In Volcano / Geothermal Area near Soufrière. There at the site just on the edge of the overlook was a lone Cashew tree, the first I have ever seen in person (and not in a book) so I was quite intrigued. The tour guide explained how the Cashew was not native to the island, but was introduced over 100 years ago and is now found throughout the island. She also explained in depth about the risks of eating or handling an "unprocessed" Cashew because of what she called the "poisonous shell". The tree itself appeared to be mature between 35-40 ft tall and has had obvious damage from what I assume to be weather combined with tourist over the years. Perched at the edge of the overlook it is only protected by a small rail system but otherwise is right in the flow of foot traffic. It's trunk is irregular and gnarly in appearance and part of the canopy appears to have broken out well before our visit, though it still hangs on directly above the (Smelly) Sulphur Springs bubbling below. Another testament to the strength and determination we so often see in nature.
Monday, June 7, 2021
Chickasaw Plum - Prunus angustifolia, is a thicket-forming small tree that has an early blooming habit and folding leaves. It is deciduous and reaches heights of only 20 feet tall. It grows in an erect fashion with multiple trunks and a thicket forming habit. It is native to the United States from New Jersey to Pennsylvania in the North to Florida, Nebraska, Colorado and New Mexico in the South and West. Commonly found on roadsides, in old fields, sandy clearings, rural homesteads, thickets, in open woods, dunes pastures from 0-600 m.
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
"The Tree of Tule" or "El Arbol del Tule" as it is called in the Mexican state of Oaxaca where it is located, is among one the the largest trees in the world. It is a Montezuma Cypress (Taxodium mucronatum), which was once very abundant in Mexico. Montezuma Cypress are closely related to the Swamp and Bald Cypress. It is said to be large enough to shelter upwards of 500 people and requires 30+ people with hands outstretched to circle the trunk.
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
The Dotted Hawthorn (Crataegus punctata) is a small deciduous tree that grows to heights of around 30 feet at maturity. It generally grows with a single erect trunk with branched thorns and a broad flat topped crown. It is native to the North Eastern United States from NB to Minnesota in the North through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina in the South. The Dotted Hawthorn generally forms large colonies and is one of the more common Hawthorns found in the Northeast.