Friday, October 5, 2018

Sugar Maple - Acer saccharum

Aceraceae - Maple Family 
"A Year With the Trees" - Tree Number 5
Sugar Maple

Acer saccharum



Spring


Sugar Maple - http://www.robert-priddy-photography.com/

The Sugar Maple's smooth twigs are a reddish-brown to a light brown. The spring flowers are yellowish-green, on long stalks, and appear with the leaves in April. Male and female flower clusters appear on the same tree. 

The bark is gray brown, smooth on young trunks, older trunks are fissured with long, and irregular flakes. The Sugar Maple bark is darker, sometimes black, and not as smooth as the red maple. The Sugar Maple sap is sweeter than the Red Maple.

Early spring is the season for tapping the Sugar Maples. This is the time that the sweet sap flows. Maple syrup and maple candy is made from the Sugar Maple sap. The Maple Trees must be 40 years old before that produce enough sap to be tapped. There is a tapping procedure to ensure the health of the Maple Trees is not compromised.

Summer


"You only need to sit still long enough
 in some attractive spot in the woods
 that all it's inhabitants may exhibit themselves to you by turns."

  Walden, by Henry David Thoreau



The Sugar Maple in the springtime at Sunset


The Sugar Maple leaves have a U-shape notch in the leaves. The U in the notches is easy to remember since there is a letter U in sugar. The other maple leaves do not have this U-shape notch. Maple leaves are opposite from each other on the twigs and 3 - 5 inches long.


The Sugar Maple Tree

Sugar Maple trees grow in areas up to 5000 feet in elevation. This tree thrives in New England. These trees grow in areas that have cool and moist climates.


The Sugar Maple with Summer Samaras


The fruit is a two-winged key. The two wings are nearly parallel, about 1 inch in length.

Fall 





As I took this photo of the Sugar Maple, the light was filtering through the now yellow leaves; the fall insects were calling to each other and there was a slight breeze. It was cool enough that I got to wear my orange knitted cap and a long sleeve shirt. The seasons are changing just as our own lives change. We are never the same, just as this tree is never the same. Listen to the change of the seasons.



Winter


This Acer saccharum lives at the Botanical Gardens of Asheville.  This tree is also known as the Sugar Maple.  The Sugar maple gets a characteristic black color on the bark as it matures; that is one way that you can identify the Sugar maple tree is the black looking sections on the bark.  The growth of a fungus complex causes the black coloration on the bark of the sugar maple trees.  Notice the sapsucker holes in the bark in this photo that my daughter took.  I imagine the yellow bellied sapsuckers enjoying the sweet sap as they peck into the bark.  


Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum
This Sugar Maple Tree lives at the Asheville Botanical Gardens.  www.ashevillebotanicalgardens.org

Yellow bellied sapsucker.  photo by:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sphyrapicus_varius.jpg
.  thank you http://www.flickr.com/people/9765210@N03.


I encourage you to go into nature and enjoy the peace that surrounds you.

The Sugar Maple Tree

The Sugar Maple tree bark has such interesting dark colors, ridges and valleys. A friend of mine, Jay, who is the garden manager at the Asheville Botanical Gardens, told me about the dark color that is due to a fungus that eats the sugars. He said he arrived at the botanical gardens in Asheville early one morning in March and the bark looked wet. He touched the tree and it was so sweet. The sugars were out. He, being from the maple syrup kingdom of New England, loved the maple tree sweetness. I hope I am there one day when the Maple Sap in running down the tree to taste it. 

Acer saccharum, Sugar Maple in January
  I always notice the bark in the winter.  Most of the Sugar Maples I know have a dark black bark when they get older.
.

The Champion Sugar Maple Trees

The American Forest champion Sugar Maple lives in New London, Conneticut. It is 123 feet high and has a circumference of 123 inches.  https://www.americanforests.org/big-trees/sugar-maple-acer-saccharum-2/

The North Carolina champion Sugar Maple lives in Boone, North Carolina.  It is 99 feet high and has a circumference of 170 inches.  http://www.ncforestservice.gov/Urban/tree_detail.asp?Tree_ID=16

My favorite Sugar Maple Tree

My favorite Sugar Maple lives at the Asheville Botanical Gardens.  It is quite large and right near the front walk. I love to watch the changes in her buds and twigs and leaves and bark that I notice each time I go there. 

Plant a Sugar Maple Tree

Birds, red squirrels, gray squirrels, and flying squirrels feed on the seeds, buds, twigs, and leaves of the sugar maple.
Cavity nesters such as the black-capped chickadee excavate nest cavities or utilize preexisting cavities.  The common flicker, pileated woodpecker, and screech owl also nest in maples.
This info is courtesy of the US Forest Service.

For the love of the trees,
Becky

Acer saccharum
The buds of the Sugar Maple are pointed with overlapping scales. The twigs are shiny, brownish gray and slender.  The twigs and buds are opposite each other on the branches

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Silver Maple - Acer saccharinum

Aceraceae - Maple Family 
"A Year With the Trees" - Tree Number 4
Silver Maple Tree
Acer saccharinum




Spring
Silver Maple samaras. www.robert-priddy-photography.com

The Silver Maples have these incredible samaras "helicopters" that we see flying through the air. 
You can always identify the silver maple by its leaves. They are green on one side and silver on the other. They are deeply lobed. The bark is shaggy and the helicopters are big and fly! 


The Silver Maple - Acer saccharinum

This Silver Maple lives at the Asheville Botanical Gardens.  ashevillebotanicalgardens.org
Rebecca

The Silver Maple - Acer saccharinum


Summer


The Silver Maple Tree


I took this photo in Cookeville, Tennessee. This silver maple is so big and beautiful I may submit it to the champion tree program; first, I will have to measure it. 


The average height of a silver maple is around 50 - 80 feet. The silver maple usually has two trunks supporting the massive branches. Large roots can usually be seen growing around the base of the tree for three feet or more.

Fall 

The Silver Maple Tree


The Silver Maple Tree
This Silver Maple lives in Cookeville, Tennessee.  I love to go visit this tree for it lives besides my mother and sister's house.  


Winter

Since it is winter time, lets look at the bark.

This Acer saccharinum tree lives at the Botanical Gardens of Asheville.  This tree is also known as the Silver Maple.  My daughter and I took a walk today at the Botanical Gardens to take photos of bark; here is what we found.

Silver Maple, Acer saccharinum, Botanical Gardens of Asheville


The Bark of  the silver maple tree when young, is smooth and gray.  When this tree matures, the bark is silvery gray that looks shaggy as long pieces of bark turn up at the ends.  These pictures are of a fully mature silver maple that is probably near 100 feet tall.

Silver Maple, Acer saccharinum, Botanical Gardens of Asheville

I encourage you to go into nature and enjoy the peace that surrounds you.



The Champion Silver Maple Trees

The North Carolina Champion Silver Maple lives in Buncombe County, NC.  It is 98 feet high and has a circumference of 280 inches.  You can read about it here:


http://www.ncforestservice.gov/Urban/tree_detail.asp?Tree_ID=15

My favorite Silver Maple Tree

 I have three favorite Silver Maple trees.  The first one lives at the Botanical Gardens in Asheville.  The other two live with my family; one, at my daughter's house and one, at my sister's house.


If anyone wants to go meet the silver maple at the Botanical Gardens in Asheville, NC, get in touch with me at celerylady@gmail.com or leave a comment here.  I will give you directions or you can meet me there.

Plant a Silver Maple Tree



Why plant a silver maple?  Read what the usda plantguide has to say about all the wildlife that seek this tree as part of their food and shelter needs.


"The abundant seeds of silver maples are eaten by many birds, including evening grosbeaks, finches, wild turkeys, ducks and other game birds, and small mammals, especially squirrels and chipmunks. The buds are an important food for squirrels when stored food is depleted, particularly in late winter and early spring. The bark is a food source for beavers and deer and rabbits browse the foliage. Silver maple tends to develop cavities that are used by cavity nesting birds and mammals and provide shelter and breeding habitat for many other species, including raccoons, opossums, squirrels, owls, woodpeckers, and many other birds. Because of its abundance and wide distribution of silver maple, its early-produced pollen may be important to the biology of bees and other pollen dependent insects. Most references describe red maple as wind pollinated, but insect pollination may be important, as many insects, especially bees."

For the love of the trees,
Becky


The Silver Maple from my journal.

Wednesday, October 3, 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

Tuesday, October 2, 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

Monday, October 1, 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
Box Elder on October 1st at Carrier Park in Asheville, NC

Box Elder on October 1st at Carrier Park in Asheville, NC


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 trees

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://www.ncforestservice.gov/Urban/big_species_results.asp


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



Sugar Maple - Acer saccharum

Aceraceae - Maple Family   "A Year With the Trees" - Tree Number 5 Sugar Maple Acer saccharum Spring Sugar Maple -  htt...