So These Aren’t All The Same Tree??

Reading The New York Times article by Gabriel Popkin made be realize that I do have tree blindness. He makes the good point how we as humans used to need to know the different trees for survival. Now, most of us look up at trees and see green leaves and during the fall, we look and say, “Look at how pretty the leaves are!” I am definitely guilty of doing this once or twice or maybe every fall, and so are a majority of people.

Tree blindness is a real thing, and I suffer from it. Looking and identifying the trees I observed made me realize how many types of trees there are in the smallest of areas. All the different trees that I was able to find were all within about a fifteen minute walk. This surprised me to say the least. As I go through each tree, they are each unique in nature and either extremely different or slightly similar to each other.

Identifying Trees

Most of these trees were found along around the area on campus near Neil Ave but each are quite beautiful.

The first tree is a Willow Oak tree scientifically known as Quercus Phellos. According to “A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs” by George A. Petrides, a Willow Oak tree is recognized for being tall and possessing narrow leaves. These leaves are pretty small as well as hairless. The twigs are thin and also hairless. The leaf arrangement and complexity are opposite and pinnately compound respectively.

Willow Oak

The next tree I found was a Jack Oak tree. It’s scientific name is Quercus Ellipsoidalis. According to “A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs,” this tree is similar to Pin Oak trees except Jack Oaks trees mostly grow on hills. The book also states that the tree’s acorn shape is cone-like and “gray-hairy.” The leaf arrangement is alternate, and the leaf complexity is simple.

Jack Oak

This next tree took more than just my guide book to identify. I was looking through many different sources until I found out what kind of tree this is. Finally, I came across a picture of this tree to find out it is a Japanese Pagoda. Its scientific name is Styphrolobium Japanicum. That was probably the biggest mouthful I have ever seen and will not attempt saying it out loud. Apparently, there are many of these trees scattered through the part of campus I was walking. This tree immediately caught my eye not only because of its enormous size but because of the fruit that were on it. The fruit almost reminded me of peas. The leaf arrangement is alternate, and the leaf complexity is pinnately compound.

Japanese Pagoda

The next tree is a Beech tree, and its scientific name is Fagus Grandifolia. According to “A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs,” this tree is recognized for being tall and having a “smooth grey bark.” The twigs are also hairless. The leaf arrangement and complexity are alternate and palmately compound respectively.

Beech

This next tree is a Coffee-Tree otherwise known as Gymnocladus Dioica. I had a hard time getting up close pictures even with the zoom because of how high up the branches were from the ground. The leaf arrangement and complexity are alternate and pinnately compound respectively. According to “A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs,” this tall tree possess large twice-compound leaves. This is a “shade tree” and is mostly planted in parks.

Coffee-Tree

The next tree is a Catalpa tree scientifically known as Catalpa Bignonioides. This tree is apparently nicknamed the cigar tree because the fruits on the tree are shaped like cigars. According to “A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs,” this tree is similar to the Princess tree but the Catalpa tree has a solid white pith. The leaf arrangement is opposite, and the leaf complexity is simple.

Catalpa

The next tree is a European Mountain-Ash tree. The scientific name for this tree is Pyrus Aucuparia. According the “A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs,” this tree is very similar to both the American and Northern Mountain Ash trees. It only differs in the fact that is smaller leaflets, and they are hairy underneath. The leaf arrangement is opposite. The leaf complexity is pinnately compound.

European Mountain-Ash

Last, but not least, this tree is a Norway Maple tree otherwise known as Acer Platanoides. According to “A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs,” the Norway Maple is similar to the Sugar Maple tree but has more “leaf teeth.” It is interesting to note that it more closely similar to Sycamore Maple in the winter time. The leaf arrangement is opposite, and the leaf complexity is simple.

Norway Maple

Works Cited:

Petrides, George A. A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs. Houghton Mifflin, 1998.