Monday, June 25, 2018

Red Maple - Acer rubrum

Aceraceae - Maple Family 
"A Year With the Trees" - Tree Number 3
Red Maple Tree

Acer rubrum

Spring
Male and female Acer rubrum flowers
This Red Maple lives at the Pisgah National Forest Ranger Station near Brevard, North Carolina.  This Red Maple is in the front yard of the Ranger Station. 

The female Acer rubrum flower
The Red Maple in the spring is said to be one of the most beautiful flowering trees in the world.

The Red Maples blooming on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Red Maples blooming

Summer

The Red Maple journal entry, drawing by Brooke Priddy Conrad
The Red Maple leaves are opposite and simple; the sinuses between the lobes are V shaped. The lobes are wide and toothed. The leaf is green and whitish underneath. The leaf stalk is red.

The tree usually grows 60-90 feet high and 2-3 feet in diameter.

Fall 
Acer rubrum, Red Maple
Acer rubrum, Red maple

Winter

This Acer rubrum lives near my house at Priddy Woods.  This tree has so many red features that the name is certainly appropriate.  I am finding each and every tree species has it own individuality.  There are features that are unique to each species in each season.  The young red maple trees in the winter will have these red twigs that emerge from the smooth gray bark.  A trait of the maple family is the way these trees grow in community.  Where there is one, there are many.  Can you tell that by this first picture.  The two trunks grew from one of the many shoots that emerge from the earth.  You will notice when you find mature maples, they commonly have multiple trunks.

Acer rubrum, Red Maple, Priddy Woods

Acer rubrum, Red Maple

The Champion Red Maple Trees

The national champion Red Maple is in Salem, New Jersey. The tree is 91 feet tall with a circumference of 270 inches.  https://www.americanforests.org/big-trees/red-maple-acer-rubrum-3/


My favorite Red Maple Tree

My favorite red maple lives by the Davidson River ranger station near Brevard, North Carolina.  The first time I saw this tree it was covered in flowers, which appear before the leaves.

Plant a Red Maple Tree

Red Maple trees are native here in the Southern appalachian mountains where I live.  These trees are beautiful with the flowers and the colorful leaves in the fall.  Red maples support all types of wildlife. Birds, small mammals, butterflies, moths live in and among the red maple trees.  If you live in an area where red maples are native to the area, consider planting the beautiful red maple.

For the love of the trees,
Becky


Acer rubrum

Monday, June 11, 2018

Striped Maple - Acer pensylvanicum

Aceraceae - Maple Family 
"A Year With the Trees" - Tree Number 2
Striped Maple
Acer pensylvanicum

Spring
Striped Maple flowers
Summer

This tree is also called Goose-foot. Looking at the leaf, the name makes sense.

The Striped Maple Tree
This Striped Maple lives on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Mt. Pisgah.

Fall 


Striped Maple, BlueRidge Pky.
The Striped Maple usually a small tree, 30 to 40 feet tall; and it has striped bark, thus the name.  The stripes are white against a green trunk; the stripes go in an "up and down" direction.   As the tree gets older, the trunk becomes brown and gets a bit warty.  However, the twigs will remain green striped with white.

Acer pensylvanicum, Striped Maple, Asheville Botanical Gardens
I encourage you to go into nature and enjoy the peace that surrounds you.



Winter
Striped Maple
Acer pensylvanicum


The Winter Striped Maple can be identified by looking at the twigs and bark.

On the twig, leaf scars are crescent shaped.

The Buds are reddish, with short stalk, narrow and ovoid shaped..  The buds are called valvate, which means the edges of the buds meet without overlapping.

Twigs are stout and striped or greenish.  They grow opposite each other on the branches.

The bark will be green to brown while the tree is young.  The tree will develop green and white striped bark.
The Champion Striped Maple Trees

The American Forest champion Striped Maple lives in Maine and is 65 feet tall with a circumference of 33 inches.

My favorite Striped Maple Tree

My favorite Striped Maple trees lives near Mt. Pisgah on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Plant a Striped Maple Tree

Many animals and birds eat the leaves and shoots and buds and nectar of the Striped Maple Trees.
Some of these animals and birds are rabbits, moose, white-tailed deer, beavers, ruffed grouse, and honeybees.  


For the love of the trees,
Becky


Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Box Elder - Acer negundo

Aceraceae - Maple Family 
"A Year With the Trees" - Tree Number 1
Box Elder Tree
Acer negundo




Spring


Box Elder drawing by  Brooke Priddy Conrad

The Box Elder in the light of a spring day

Summer


The Box Elder tree has a compound leaf with three to five leaflets per leaf. The leaflets have coarse teeth. The twigs are green and hairless. They grow in pairs in an opposite arrangement. The flowers are like stacks of samaras, and are quite beautiful.


Fall 

Box Elder leaves in September


Winter
Box Elder, Acer negundo
photo by Robert Priddy
 The Box Elder is so beautiful this time of year with the samaras still holding on in the winter sunlight.  If you happen to be out on a winter's day walk in West Asheville by the river, be on the lookout for this Box Elder tree.

Winter Tree Identification is quite challenging and fun.  I have so much fun knowing what the trees are in the winter.  The trees I do not recognize, I will get out my books and computer and figure it out. 

The Winter Box Elder can be identified by looking at the twigs and bark. 

On the twig, leaf scars meet in a raised point and you will see the leaf scars circling the stem.

Buds are covered in whitish hairs.  The terminal bud is pointed, reddish, woolly.

Twigs are greenish to purple and slender and hairless.  They grow opposite each other on the branches.

Epicormic branches can be seen sticking out on the trunk; they are usually green.  These are little random branches that just stick out on the trunk.

The bark will be smooth while the tree is young.  The tree will develop bark that is gray brown with interlacing ridges and furrows.

Here is my drawing/interpretation of a Box Elder Twig.  I am learning to draw and it has been really fun drawing nature.  If anyone is inspired to draw a Box Elder twig and send it to me, I would love it.

Box Elder Twig
Rebecca Priddy

The Champion Box Elder tree
There are 3 champion Box Elder trees listed in the North Carolina forest service champion tree program.  One of them is the Murphy, North Carolina.  It is 66 feet tall with a circumference of 147 inches.  

http://ncforestservice.gov/Urban/nc_champion_big_trees_database_search.asp
This link will get you started to search any species that is in the program.  


My favorite Box Elder Tree

My favorite Box Elder lives in West Asheville on the walk by the river near Carrier Park.  I think the Box Elder may be one of the most photogenic trees I have ever photographed.

Plant a Box Elder Tree

The Box Elder tree is one of the host plants for the Cecropia silkmoth, the largest moth in America.


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hyalophora_cecropia_01.jpg




This tree is a masterpiece of art. The seeds are eaten by wildlife. The sap makes syrup. The branches are great for climbing. The samaras are beautiful. The shade to sit under and read is just perfect.

For the love of the trees,
Becky



Saturday, May 26, 2018

American Elm - Ulmus americana

Ulmaceae - Elm Family 
"A Year With the Trees" - Tree Number 91
American Elm Tree
Ulmus americana




Spring



This beautiful American Elm lives at the Asheville Botanical Gardens.  http://www.ashevillebotanicalgardens.org/

The American Elm leaves are now on the trees.  These leaves have toothed edges; they are rough on the upper side and smooth on the lower side.  These leaves have a pointed tip, and are arranged on the twigs in an alternate arrangement.

The American Elm can grow to over one hundred feet and live several hundred years as long as it is not affected by Dutch Elm Disease.

Summer

The American Elm Tree
There is an American Elm tree that lives at the Asheville Botanical Gardens. It is very large and provides welcome shade in a beautiful meadow called Sycamore Meadow. Standing under the American Elm on the day I took this photograph, I could hear nearby Reed Creek as it flowed over the rocks. I could also hear the daytime singing insects, the sound of summer.


Ulmus americana, American Elm

Ulmus americana,  American Elm
Ulmus americana,  American Elm

Ulmus americana, American Elm

This American Elm lives at the John C. Campbell school.

On the branches in the first photo you can see little bump like balls on the branches.  I was wanting to get closer to identify what that was.  So, I pulled out the macro lens and discovered those little balls are buds.  You can see the buds in the second photo and also an up-close leaf.

I also observed the deeply grooved bark when I put the macro lens very close to the trunk.  You can see this in the third photo.

I always appreciate the silhouette of the American Elm with such graceful branches.

This month is the month that the leaves start looking a bit eaten up and full of holes.  Enjoy the insect sounds of August and the interesting leafs with all the insect holes.


Fall 
The American Elm Tree
This American Elm Tree lives at the Asheville Botanical Gardens.  ashevillebotanicalgardens.org.




Winter



This tree is a survivor for the American Elms have been struck by the Dutch Elm Disease. Yet, today, some amazing Elm Trees still survive.


Often there are diamond shaped ridges in the bark of this tree as it ages.


 The American Elm - Ulmus americana.  Photo by Robert Priddy.
This American Elm lives at the Asheville Botanical Gardens.  http://www.ashevillebotanicalgardens.org/

 The American Elm - Ulmus americana,  Photo by Robert Priddy

I can see spring coming soon in the new buds emerging on this American Elm twig.

The Champion American Elm Trees

The North Carolina champion American Elm tree lives in Bertie County in Powellsville and is 135 feet tall.
http://ncforestservice.gov/Urban/tree_detail.asp?Tree_ID=212


My favorite American Elm Tree

My favorite American Elm lives at the Botanical Gardens of Asheville.


Plant an American Elm Tree

There is a Quest happening to restore the American Elms.  Please read this article and learn all you can about what can be done to restore the mightly American Elms.

For the love of the trees,
Becky


Ulmus americana from my journal....

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Winged Elm - Ulmus alata

Ulmaceae - Elm Family 
"A Year With the Trees" - Tree Number 90
Winged Elm Tree
Ulmus alata




Spring


Winged Elm in the Smokies by Robert Priddy
This tree is an blooms early in spring.  The winged Elm flowers appear before the leaves.  These flowers are called perfect flowers; for they have both male and female parts.  The fruit, which is called a samara, develops after pollination from the flower.  The fruit has one seed and is eaten by birds, for it one of the first foods in the spring that grows on trees.  The leaf buds open after the flowers.  The leaf buds are a food source for deer.
This tree ususally has corky ridges on the branche.

Summer

TheWinged Elm in early Summer
The leaves of the Winged Elm are toothed, small, and grow alternately on the corky twigs.  By this time of year, all the leaves are fully grown and green.

This Winged Elm leaf  has fallen from the tree probably during a summer rainstorm and turned prematurely yellow.


The early fruits and young leaves of this tree are important wildlife food.  This tree usually grows up to 80 feet and can live over a hundred years of more if not affected by the Dutch Elm disease.


Fall 


This is a closeup I took of the Winged Elm at the North Fork of the White River in Arkansas.
You can really see why it is called the Winged Elm.

The branches of this tree have wings.  

Winter


The Winged Elm - Ulmus alata
This Winged Elm lives at the Asheville Botanical Gardens.  http://www.ashevillebotanicalgardens.org/
Notice how the buds look lacey in this picture and how the wings on the stems stand out.

The Winged Elm - Ulmus alata


The Champion Winged Elm Tree

The champion winged elm tree in North Carolina lives in Falkland, NC.  It is 114 feet high and has a circumference of 117 inches. 
http://www.ncforestservice.gov/Urban/tree_detail.asp?Tree_ID=510

My favorite Winged Elm Tree

My favorite Winged Elm tree lives at the Botanical Gardens in Asheville.

Plant a Winged Elm Tree

The early fruits and young leaves of this tree are important wildlife food.  This tree usually grows up to 80 feet and can live over a hundred years of more if not affected by the Dutch Elm disease.

For the love of the trees,
Becky


Ulmus alata, from my journal...

Monday, May 7, 2018

Hackberry - Celtis occidentalis

Ulmaceae - Elm Family 
"A Year With the Trees" - Tree Number 89
Hackberry Tree

Celtis occidentalis


Spring


The Hackberry Tree in May

The Hackberry Bark
This Hackberry lives at the Asheville Botanical Gardens.  ashevillebotanicalgardens.org.

The characteristic bark has what looks like corky bumps all over the bark.  The leaves are alternate, 2-5 inches long, and 1-2 inches wide.  The leaf base is rounded, unequal, the margins are coarsely serrate, and the tip are pointed.

Summer

I will be updating the Summer image this coming summer.  Please check back.


Fall 

I will be updating the Fall image this coming fall.  Please check back.


Winter
The Hackberry - Celtis occidentalis.  
Thank you Widimedia commons for this beautiful image and photographer, Sten Porce.  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Celtis-occidentalis-fruits.JPG

This tree can be identified in the winter by the bark.  The bark gets these incredible corky bumps all over it.


The Champion Hackberry Trees

The champion Hackberry of North Carolina lives in Whiteville, North Carolina.  It is 93 feet high and has a circumference of 194 inches.
http://www.ncforestservice.gov/Urban/tree_detail.asp?Tree_ID=537

My favorite Hackberry Tree

My favorite Hackberry tree lives at the Botanical Gardens of Asheville.

Plant a Hackberry Tree


Many birds and small mammals eat these berries in the winter.
The Hackberry tree is the host plant for several species of butterflies including one called the Hackberry butterfly.


For the love of the trees,
Becky


from my journal...

Basswood - Tilia americana

Tiliaceae - Basswood Family 
"A Year With the Trees" - Tree Number 88
Basswood Tree
Tilia americana




Spring


The Basswood Tree - Tilia americana
The Basswood Tree - Tilia americana
The Basswood Tree - Tilia americana
This Basswood tree lives at the Asheville Botanical Gardens.  ashevillebotanicalgardens.org

Summer




The Basswood tree leaves in the summer have this interesting lacy look.

The leaves are alternate and heart shaped, 4-6 inches long, 3-4 inches wide, dark green and shiny underneath.

The flowers come out in June and July. They have a sweet fragrance and can be smelled for up to mile. The flowers are tiny with five whitish petals that hang down from a green bract. Bees are attracted to the flowers and will cover the tree during the blooming. That is why this tree is called a Bee tree. The bees make a honey that is called "water white" and is delicious.

Teas are made from the dried flowers. I have not tried this, yet I am going to.

"Under the Tilia tree
on the open field,
where we two had our bed,
you still can see
lovely both
broken flowers and grass.
On the edge of the woods in a vale,
tandaradei,
sweetly sang the nightingale."

Walther von der Vogelweide (c. 1170–c. 1230)


Fall 


The Basswood Tree
This Basswood Tree lives at the Botanical Gardens of Asheville. All the leaves are almost on the ground today. Fall is in the air with the cool air and deep blue sky and the earth covered in fall leaves.
ashevillebotanicalgardens.org

Winter


Tilia americana
This Basswood Tree lives at the Asheville Botanical Gardens.  www.ashevillebotanicalgardens.org

Tilia americana
This time of year notice how the buds are just getting ready to open.  Soon the young leaves will come out on a basswood tree.  I have heard that the basswood leaves make a very delicious wild salad, the greens being sweet and tasty.

Basswood trees twigs are red or yellowish-brown and smooth. Winter buds have three scales.Terminal buds are absent.

The Champion Basswood Tree

The American Forests champion Basswood tree lives in Kentucky.  It is 102 feet tall and has a circumference of 276 inches.  It lives in Lexington Cemetery.  http://www.americanforests.org/big-trees/american-basswood-tilia-americana-2/
My favorite Basswood Tree

My favorite Basswood tree lives at the Botanical Gardens of Asheville.  

Plant a Basswood Tree

This tree gives us Basswood honey, wood for carving, shade on a hot summer's day, and the wonderful scent in the air when the flowers are blooming.

For the love of the trees,
Becky


Tilia americana...leaf drawing by Brooke Priddy Conrad

Red Maple - Acer rubrum

Aceraceae - Maple Family   "A Year With the Trees" - Tree Number 3 Red Maple Tree Acer rubrum Spring Male and female Acer...