Dogwood (Cornus florida)
Small to medium sized tree with opposite, simple leaves. The leaves entire margins and have 5-6 vein pairs,.Small, clustered, white flowers help to distinguish this tree from others. The tree grows in the understory and has red fruit. This tree was seen along the Olentangy River trail in a riverine habitat. A fun fact is that the powdered bark of the tree is reported to have been made into a toothpaste and black ink.
Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra)
Buckeyes are the only trees with opposite leaves with leaflets arranged like spokes on a wheel. Twigs emit a foul odor when broken, which is distinctive of this Buckeye from others. The bark of the tree is scaly.A fact I did not know is that the Ohio and Sweet Buckeye are large, important species that occasionally dominate with White Oak in areas of virgin timber. This tree was also seen along the Olentangy River Trail in riverine habitat.
White Oak (Quercus alba)
The leaves are alternate, simple, and have a lobed margin. They produce an acorn nut, which are sweet. The white oak has bluntly lobed leaves that are hairless and sometimes whitened beneath. The bark is whitish and furrowed to scaly. A fun fact is that porcupine like to eat the growing layer of oaks under the bark. Again, this tree was seen in riverine habitat along the Olentangy River trail.
Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
A large tree with dark brown bark with rough vertical grooves. The leaves are opposite, simple, and lobed. They have distinctive paired winged fruits. The Sugar Maple has mostly 5-lobed leaves with moderately deep notches between lobes. The twigs are glossy and edges of the leaves are not droopy. A fun fact is that maple wood is often used to make furniture. This Sugar Maple was seen along the Olentangy River Trail in riverine habitat.
Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)
This tree has large, simple, and alternate. The leaves are recognizable by their tropical look as well as being shiny. The large, fleshy, green fruits of the tree can also help identify them. A fun fact is that the fruit is often not found ripe because many wildlife species have an affinity for the unripened fruit. THis tree again was seen along the Olentangy River trail in riverine habitat.
American Crabapple (Pyrus coronaria)
A small tree with hairless twigs and leaves. The leaves are alternate, simple and entire with round bases and sharp tips. The fruits are yellow-green and bitter. A fun fact is that the fruits are used in preserves and vinegar. This tree was seen on the Olentangy River trail in riverine habitat.
Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)
The leaves are alternate, simple, and have a finely serrate margin. The flowers are in long cylindrical shapes present in mid spring. The bark is dark brown to black and is scaly. A fun fact is that the bark can be used for flavoring. This tree was seen at Highbanks Metro Park in wooded habitat.
After completing the assignment the article rang true to me. I as well as most people know nothing about the nature around us. We do not know how to appreciate what is there because we cannot identify it or understand what it is. Through this assignment I feel more confident about identifying the trees I see everyday.
All information used was gathered from Petrides, George A. A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs. Houghton Mifflin, 1972.