Local Tree Identification

From Tree-Blind to Tree-Brilliant!

 

#1. Red Maple

i. Acer rubrum

ii. This tree has opposite, simple leaves. Leaves are toothed with shallow lobes and has red petioles.

iii. South campus, urban environment

iv. Its sap can be used to make maple syrup, and its leaves turn a beautiful bright red color in autumn (https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Plants-and-Fungi/Red-Maple).

 

#2. American Elm

i. Ulmus procera

ii. This tree has alternate simple leaves. Leaves are egg-shaped and toothed, with single end buds.

iii. North campus, urban environment

iv. Numbers of elm tree species are declining due to “Dutch” elm disease, a fungus spread by beetles (Peterson Field Guide).

 

#3. Common Catalpa

i. Catalpa bignonioides 

ii. This tree has opposite simple leaves. Leaves are not toothed, and are heart-shaped. Tree has cigar-shaped fruits.

iii. East Oakland Ave., Urban/Residential environment

iv. Its wood was favored for fence posts and railroad ties because of its resistance to rotting (https://www.arborday.org/trees/treeguide/TreeDetail.cfm?ItemID=805).

 

#4. Yellowwood

i. Cladrastis lutea

ii. This tree has alternate pinnately compounded leaves that are not toothed, with 7-11 smooth leaflets. Fruit are pea-like pods.

iii. South campus, urban environment

iv. The root bark of this plant was used by Appalachian settlers as a dye ingredient (https://bernheim.org/learn/trees-plants/bernheim-select-urban-trees/yellowwood/).

 

#5. Beech

i. Fagus grandifolia

ii. This tree has alternate simple leaves without lobes. It has single end buds that are scaled.

iii. South campus, urban environment

iv. Beech trees were used as a sign of fertile soil to early American settlers (https://www.arborday.org/trees/treeguide/TreeDetail.cfm?ItemID=789).

 

#6. Tulip Tree

i. Liriodendron tulipifera

ii. This tree has alternate, simple, 4-pointed leaves.

iii. Summit Street, urban/residential environment

iv. This is the tallest eastern forest tree and was used to make canoes by Native Americans (Peterson Field Guide).

 

#7. Sour Gum

i. Nyssa sylvatica

ii. This tree has alternate simple leaves that are elliptical in shape and scaled buds. Bark of tree is deeply grooved.

iii. South campus, urban environment

iv. This tree is one of the first to begin changing colors in the fall, and the interlocking grain in the wood makes splitting it very difficult (https://www.uaex.edu/yard-garden/resource-library/plant-week/blackgum.aspx).

 

#8. Tree of Heaven

i. Ailanthus altissima

ii. This tree has alternate pinnately compounded leaves that have a single pair of teeth at the base of leaflets.

iii. Summit Street, urban/residential environment

iv. This tree is extremely fast growing (up to 8 feet in a year), and its name alludes to its tall height (Peterson Field Guide).