This is a beginning exploration of the trees along my walk. I have a few photos, mostly of leaves in fall presentation, but I will add more as I identify them to cover their look in spring, bark, and notable morphology. The deciduous trees and shrubs are all dicots which means they are in the class Magnoliopside. The Gymnosperms do no have dicot or monotcot classifications but are of the class Pinopsida.
The sugar maple or Acer saccharum. Sugar Maples are iconic to this area with their outstanding fall color (they put the fiery orange in ‘color tour’) and the harvest of sap for maple syrup. Yet some believe they are threatened with extinction by acid rain and pollution in the Northeast. From the Aceraceae (Maple) family, the trees and shrubs of this genus are known for the deep lobes of their opposite leaves. Pollution isn’t the only threat to our sugar maples. The Asian Longhorned Beetle, believed to have migrated from China in packing material and first identified in 1996, is deadly and has been found in Chicago, Illinois. The fungus Ceratocystes also infects sugar maples with ‘sapstreak disease,’ a fatal disease, although not widespread yet. [Aceraceae >Sapindales >Rosidae >Magnoliopside]
Red Maples add to the fall’s color with rich and sometimes deep red color. They and Sugar Maples are common east of the Rocky Mountains, but show their color best in the acidic soils and fall temperatures of the Northeast. They are affected by the acid rain and pollution as Sugar Maples, but not the sapstreak disease; however, they seem to be the preferred host for the Asian Longhorned Beetle. These leaves are from a beautiful tree lining the road in the cemetery.
Alnus rugosa, Speckled Alder. The Speckled Alder, also known as the Tag Alder, Gray Alder, Hoary Alder, Hazel Alder, or Swamp Alder is Alnus incana ssp. rugosa or maybe just Alnus rugosa, a low-growing (30′) native alder, which bears heavily textured and toothed leaves and these long caulkins in the fall. The taxonomists are discussing this species along with other alder species, so their exact placement and species name may vary. They are valuable trees for site restoration, especially in wet areas, and provide habitat and food for native wildlife (USDA Speckled Alder PDF), but some locations considered them a nuisance plant, even though their roots, like legume crops, enrich the soil with nitrogen. The Speckled Alder was an important medicine source for many ailments for Native Americans. These leaves were from some growing in the wet sites along the road. [Alnus >Betulacease >Fagales >Hamamelididae >Magnoliopsida]
Aspen tremuloides, Quaking Aspen. According to the U.S. Forest Service, “Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) is the most widely distributed tree in North America. It is known by many names: trembling aspen, golden aspen, mountain aspen, popple, poplar, trembling poplar, and in Spanish, álamo blanco, and álamo temblón. It grows on many soil types, especially sandy and gravelly slopes, and it is quick to pioneer disturbed sites where there is bare soil.” Except for the deep South, Quaking Aspen grows all over the North American continent. It is best known as Popple in this area of Michigan. It is one of the last trees to turn color (a bright yellow) in the fall. Its success might be due to the tree’s roots which can produce clonal groves, or trees sharing the same root system. Also, Popple is one of the first trees to repopulate lumbered areas. It’s bark is a cream color and makes startling contrast in winter with the evergreens and darker barked trees. More from USDA. [Populus >Salicaceae (willow family) >Salicales >Dilleniidae >Magnoliopsida]
Cornus racemosa, Gray Dogwood. Gray Dogwood are small shrubs up to 8′ often found in moist, but not constantly wet, areas of Northeastern U.S. and Canada. The current year’s growth looks orange-brown, and you can see the bright red of the peduncle holding the white drupes. These shrubs can produce clonal (see Quaking Aspen) groups. [Cornus >Cornaceae >Cornales >Rosida >Magnoliopsida]
The Swamp white oak or Quercus bicolor. This Swamp Oak is another tree supposedly not growing in Lake County as it is a little north of its distribution lines; however, oaks are quick to cross-hybridize with other oaks, so this might be a shirt-tail relation or it could have just decided it liked the water here. [Quercus >Fagaceae >Hamamelididae >Magnoliosida]
The Northern Red Oak> or Quercus borealis or Quercus rubra. The Northern Red Oak likes acidic soils found in the eastern United States. It is a tree resistant to many of the pollutions factors, insects, and other climate factors, and under optimal conditions can live up to 500 years. Our native oak trees are of great value to wildlife, and are often used to restore sites, especially in cases of acidic soils. [Quercus >Fagaceae >Hamamelididae >Magnoliosida]
Shining Willow, Salix Lucida. Hardy to Zone 2, Shining Willow is a native shrub from the Michigan border in an area spreading both east and west up and for north into Canada. It grows to about twenty feet and has shallow lateral roots making it easy to transplant but likes damp, slightly acid soils. The petioles are winged at the base, and the leaves have a slight gloss on both upper and lower surfaces. Native Americans chewed the twigs and made tea from the twigs and roots to cure many ailments. Rightly so, as willows provided salicylic acid which with some modification became today’s aspirin. They branches and twigs were also important for many building projects and for making baskets. According to the DNR, “Young willow shoots can be stripped of their bark and eaten. The young leaves may be eaten in case of emergency. The inner bark can be eaten raw, prepared like spaghetti, or made into flour.” [Salix> Salicaceae> Salicales> Dilleniidae> Magnoliopsida]
Juniperus communis. Juniper is one of the most widely distributed conifer in the world. Various cultivars are widely used in the ornamental industry, and blue the berry-like cones are used to flavor gin. Native Americans also used the branches to treat various ailments, but most wildlife do not eat any part of this tree. [Juniperus> Cupressacease> Pinales> Pinopsida> Coniferophyta]
Red Pine, Pinus resinosa, [family Pincaceae, order Pinales, class Pinopsida> division Coniferophyta]
Red Pine bark
White Pine, Pinus strobus, [family Pincaceae, order Pinales, class Pinopsida> division Coniferophyta]
White Pine bark
The Arborvitae or Eastern White Cedar, Thuja occidentalis. Arborvitae (literally tree of life) has rot and insect resistant wood plus ornamental value gives the tree a commercial desirability. Native Americans used it as a medicine, and is a food and shelter source for many wildlife species, but especially deer. It is cold hardy to zone 2 and discovery of 400 year-old trees are not uncommon.
Arborvitae developing cones