white ash (Fraxinus americana)

multiple mature white ash trees

white ash leaves

The white ash tree is part of the Oleaceae family and isa native Ohio tree. The leaves are arranged oppositely and are pinnately compounded. Mature white ash trees are difficult to find due to emerald ash borer, an invasive insect from China that has wrecked havoc on North American ash species. White ash can be differentiated from other native ashes by the long petloiule on the leaflets. I located this specimen behind my house in Hilliard along the Hayden Run conservation area. There is a large cluster of mature trees that someone avoided EAB damage.

American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)

American sycamore bark

American sycamore lobed leaf

The American sycamore is part of the Platanaceae Family and it is a native Ohio tree. The leaves are alternate arrangement and simple complexity. The leaves are lobed and closely resemble a maple leaf, but the bark is very unique. Sycamore bark flakes off revealing lighter colored new bark creating a distinctive pattern. I did not realize that sycamore actually means maple in England furthering the confusion. I located this specimen behind my house in Hilliard along the Hayden Run conservation area. The American sycamore is Ohio’s largest recorded tree.

sugar maple (Acer saccharum)

mature sugar maple tree

sugar maple leaf

The sugar maple is part if the Aceraceae Family and is a native Ohio tree. Similar to white ash, maple leaves are oppositely arranged. They are simple leaves with lobed margins and can be distinguished from other maples by the smooth inner lobes. Sugar maple sap is harvested to make maple syrup. I located this specimen behind my house in Hilliard along the Hayden Run conservation area.

Catalpa (Catalpa sp.)

catalpa leaf

catalpa tree

The catalpa is a broad genus of trees that contain many species. Catalpa speciosa is native to Ohio and it can be easily identified by the very large heart shaped leaves. The leaves are alternate and simple and up to 12″ long! They produce zygomorphic flowers that are well suited for pollinators like hummingbirds. Catalpa is currently my favorite kind of tree in Ohio. I located this specimen behind my house in Hilliard along the Hayden Run conservation area.

black walnut (Juglans nigra)

pinnately compounded black walnut leaves look very similar to ash but are arranged alternately

 

The black walnut is part of the Juglandaceae Family and is native to Ohio. The leaves have alternate arrangement and are pinnately compounded similar to white ash. Walnut and ash have very similar bark with Y-shaped furrows and can be easily differentiated by the alternate vs opposite arrangement. I located this specimen behind my house in Hilliard along the Hayden Run conservation area.

black cherry (Prunus serotina)

Black cherry is a member of the Rosaceae Family and is native to Ohio. Black cherry leaves are alternate, simple, and serrated. Black cherry bark becomes covered in scales as it matures and is easily identified in the winter months. Black cherry trees produce edible fruits that are high in vitamins and antioxidants. Black cherry wood is preferred by cabinet makers because of its rich color and fine grain. I located this specimen behind my house in Hilliard along the Hayden Run conservation area.

hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

signature warty hackberry bark

hackberry leaves

Hackberry is part of the Ulmaceae family and is native to Ohio. Like other elms, hackberry leaves are alternate and simple with serrated margins. In my opinion, hackberry has one of the more distinguishable barks in the forest. The trunk is covered by warty looking bumps of varying sizes. Hackberry trees produce hackberry fruits that are edible and very nutritious. I located this specimen behind my house in Hilliard along the Hayden Run conservation area.

white oak (Quercus alba)

white oak leaf

white oak bark

The white oak is part of the Fagaceae Family and is native to Ohio. White oak leaves are alternate and simple with lobed margins. White oak leaf margins are distinguishable from red oaks due to their blunt shape lobes. White oak bark is blocky and often has a white appearance. White oaks produce acorns that are crucial for wildlife. An interesting fact about white oak is that fire is very beneficial for regeneration. I located this specimen behind my house in Hilliard along the Hayden Run conservation area.

swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor)

The swamp white oak is part of the white oak group and is also a member of the Fagaceae Family. Its species name, bicolor, comes from the different shades of bark. This individual I found is very large and is probably close to 100 years old or more. The leaves resemble that of a white oak with shallower lobes. I located this specimen behind my house in Hilliard along the Hayden Run conservation area.

very large swamp white oak

 

eastern cottonwood (Populus Deltoids)

The eastern cottonwood is a member of the Salicaceae, or willow Family. The leaves are triangular (deltoids) and are alternate and simple. The petiole is flat instead of round causing the leaves to flutter in the wind relatively effortlessly. Cottonwoods like lowland areas with high soil moisture and are very fast growing. Cottonwood bark has very deep furrows and mature individuals are unmistakable. I located this specimen behind my house in Hilliard along the Hayden Run conservation area.

triangular cottonwood leaf

large cottonwood tree

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Cure yourself of tree blindness:

I was not able to view the article on the NY Times website without paying but I was able to read a summary. The article makes a very good point about not considering what trees are around us while we “enjoy” the outdoors. The modern world has detached people form the natural world and all its beauty. Understanding specific tree and plant types would have been a fundamental skill to survival and resources. I believe this extends beyond just trees and wildlife as learning and understanding seems to be less important when the internet is in our pockets.