Gabriel Popkin, author of  “Cure Yourself of Tree Blindness”, describes his re-connection with the rich diversity of plant life we encounter in our daily lives: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/26/opinion/sunday/cure-yourself-of-tree-blindness.html . I have recently explored the diversity of Tree life in my community of Columbus, Ohio. In this post, I will describe 8 local trees I have keyed.

 

Redbud – Cercis canadenis  

Leaf Arrangement: Alternate    Leaf Complexity: Simple    Leaf Margin: Entire   Heart-Shaped.

The tree is located off the road of a central campus neighborhood, ideally fertile fields. According to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Redbud trees do not transport well and must be planted when they’re young and left undisturbed to grow. https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ceca4

Silver Maple – Acer saccharinum 

Leaf Arrangement: Opposite    Leaf Complexity: Simple    Leaf Margin: Lobed   5 lobed leaves, broken twigs have unpleasant odor.

The tree is located by the side of an old farm lot, ideal location along riverbanks and floodplains.  According to Missouri Botanical Garden, the Silver Maple obtained its name from the silvery undersides of its leaves making it stand out from the other Maple species. http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=275381&isprofile=0&s_cid=queue-1

Common Witch-Hazel – Hamamelis virginiana 

Leaf Arrangement: Alternate    Leaf Complexity: Simple    Leaf Margin: Serrate   Uneven-based leaves.

This Common Witch-Hazel was located close to the Maple along the old farm fence line, its preferred environment is wooded areas. According to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the Common Witch-Hazel’s aromatic leaves are used by humans for lotions and toilet water. https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=havi4

Red Mulberry – Morus rubra

Leaf Arrangement: Alternate    Leaf Complexity: Simple    Leaf Margin: Lobed   Leaf sand-papery above and hairy below, distinguished red bark.

The Red Mulberry was located in the central campus neighborhood road side like the Redbud, ideally fertile soils. According to Wikipedia, the wood of the Red Mulberry when dried is great for smoking meats leaving a mild and sweet taste. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morus_rubra

Bigleaf Magnolia – Magnolia macrophylla

Leaf Arrangement: Alternate    Leaf Complexity: Simple    Leaf Margin: Entire   Big leaves and large, green end buds.

The tree was located in the back yard of a central campus house, native to mature forests. According to University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment: Bigleaf Magnolia’s rose colored, egg-shaped fruits naturally attract birds as their reproductive source. http://www.uky.edu/hort/Bigleaf-Magnolia

Winged Sumac – Rhus copallina

Leaf Arrangement: Alternate    Leaf Complexity: Pinnately Compound    Leaf Margin: Entire  11-23 leaflets and velvety leafstalks.

The Sumac was located along a tree line in the back driveway of my yard, Winged Sumac’s typically reside in upland fields and openings. According to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center, the fruits of the Winged Sumac do not drop from the tree in late fall, but instead, turn dull red and persist through winter. https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=RHCO

Tree-Of-Heaven – Ailanthus altissima

Leaf Arrangement: Alternate    Leaf Complexity: Pinnately Compound    Leaf Margin: Entire   Gland-tipped teeth near base.

This tree was also located off the road of the central campus neighborhood, and thrives in waste places, woods and fields. According to Wikipedia, the Tree-Of-Heaven originated from China and was first brought to the United States in 1784. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ailanthus_altissima

Honey Locust – Gleditsia triacanthos 

Leaf Arrangement: Alternate    Leaf Complexity: Twice Compound    Leaf Margin: Entire   Branches are thorny.

The Honey Locust was located in the front yard of a central campus neighborhood, also located in woods and fields. According to Missouri Botanical Garden, Honey Locust seedpods contain a sweet gummy substance where the trees name was derived from. http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=a871