I am new to the field of plants and I found it difficult to find a great diversity of trees. As you move through this site you will see there was not a large diversity of trees shown. The tree diversity was limited to maples, dogwoods, ashes, and hickories. Hopefully as the course goes on, I will be able to expand my search to find a greater diversity of plants!
After reading the article by Gabriel Popkin, it made me appreciate what I was actually looking at. My knowledge of trees is quite limited. Even though I only identified a select few of trees, I was able to walk up to a tree and answer basic morphological questions. The idea of tree blindness couldn’t be more accurate. Going out and finding trees was more fun and interesting than I would have ever thought!
I hope you enjoy my tree pictures along with my analysis (hopefully as accurate as I can be)!
This organism was found at a place called Jared Park in Lebanon, Ohio in a densely forested area. Based on its opposite leaf arrangement and its pinnately compound complexity, I would suggest this is an Ash tree (Fraxinus). It is difficult to tell which species of Fraxinus it is. My best guess would be Fraxinus tomentosa (Pumpkin Ash) based the leaves being non-toothed and containing 7-9 leaves per leaflet. I found that the white ash is able to resprout from the root crown following a fire.
This organism was also found in Lebanon, Ohio at a place called Harmon Park. A creek runs around the park with trees surrounding the creek, and this was where this tree was located. It has an alternate leaf arrangement, along with a pinnately compound leaf complexity. I believe it is a Hickory (Carya) species. The species could very well be Carya laciniosa (Shellbark Hickory) based on the leaf size and the serrate nature of the leaf. This species seems to be dispersed well throughout the eastern united states. It has not been introduced anywhere. This suggests this species does a good job at spreading to new environments.
This tree was also found in Harmon park around the creek. Based on the leaf arrangement being opposite and there being no leaflets, it would make this tree simple. I believe this tree falls under the dogwood trees (Cornus). This might be the species Cornus racemosa (Red-Panicle). This species has anywhere from 3-5 pairs of veins along with gray branchlets. This species is very tolerant to many environmental conditions. For example, it can grow in both moist and dry soils. It also does well in air polluted environments like cities.
I found this tree in at my best friend’s house. He lives out in the country and has a yard full of natural growing trees! Similar to the previous tree, the tree has a leaf arrangement that is opposite and a leaf complexity that is simple. There seems to be more veins in this tree than the last tree. I believe this is also a part of the dogwood trees (Cornus). The veins of the species Cornus rugosa (roundleaf) are known to have 6-8 pairs of veins on each leaf. This species also contains green or reddish branchlets. As you can see there are about 7 or 8 pairs of veins along with a green branchlet in the picture above. This species is listed on the threatened and endangered list. There are most likely negative ecological impacts being inflicted on this species.
This tree was also found at my best friend’s house in Lebanon, Ohio. This tree was not around his house, it was about 100ft away from his house where the dense forest starts to begin. The tree shows us a good example of a leaf arrangement that is opposite. It also has a leaf complexity that is pinnately compound. Since the only trees that have those characteristics are Ash trees, it must be an Ash tree (Fraxinus)! As you can see there is a very pretty white flower beginning to grow. It is difficult to differentiate the ash trees. My best guess is the Fraxinus americana (White Ash).
This species is known to be weedy or invasive. This could have negative ecological impacts to surrounding plants/trees using the same environment.
Here is what I believe to be a Maple tree. This was found in his yard along where I found the one of the dogwood trees. This maple tree (like most maple trees) has an opposite leaf arrangement and a simple leaf complexity. I tend to lean towards the idea that this is a sugar maple. Scientifically known as Acer saccharum. The leaves are slightly lobed and share the most similarities with the sugar maple. There is a species of bird known as the leaf flycatcher that developed more stress when the sugar maple declines in population.
I believe this organism to be a hickory tree. As you can see the leaflets are pinnately compound along with being alternately arranged. This tree was located at Harmon park like the other trees. You can see the creek in the background. This is what the area looked like for all the trees I found at Harmon Park. The leaflets contain a small number of leaves compared to many species of hickories. Along with a slender twig, I believe this could be a Pignut hickory (Carya glabra). Squirrels are known to feed on this species of tree. It is also known to be a host for larval moths.
Here is the last tree I identified. This was also located at Harmon Park near the creek. It is another maple tree. These are very easy to spot! Like stated before, maples are mostly arranged in opposites and have a simple complexity. The lobed margins also give us a good hint on what type of tree this is. I would have to say this is a black maple (not with the most confidence). The scientific name would be Acer nigrum. This species of maple tree is endangered in some states like New Hampshire. Ecologically speaking, there must be a certain reason why the black maple is suffering in some states.