Albert Francis Blakeslee.

Trees in winter; their study, planting, care and identification online

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TAVIGS — Slender to somewhat stout, reddish-brown, smooth and shin-
ing with more or less evident bloom, with an agreeable aromatic
smell when broken but with an intensely bitter taste, not mucilaginous;
on vigorous shoots often branching the first season. LENTICELS — con-
spicuous pale dots. PITH- — white with rather inconspicuous transverse
woody partitions through the ground-mass.

L.EAF-SCARS — Alternate, more than 2-ranked, large, conspicuous,
elevated, circular or slightly flattened at the top. STIPULE-SCARS — ■
conspicuous, arising from top of leaf-scar, encircling twig. BUNDLE-
SCARS — small, numerous, scattered like perforations in a sieve.

BITDS — Dark reddish-brown, covered with a bloom, white-dotted,
blunt, flattish; lateral buds small, on vigorous twigs superposed acces-
sory buds sometimes present which may be stalked or develop into
branches the first season; terminal buds large 5-20 mm. long, oblong,
blunt. BUD-SCALES — spoon-shaped, smooth, valvate in pairs corre-
sponding to stipules, each pair enclosing in succession a long-stalked,
smooth, reflexed and folded leaf with its 2 scale-like stipules; leaf-
stalk attached only at its base, hence scar of rudimentary leaf when
present located at base of bud.

FRUIT — A light brown cone made up of winged seed-like portions,
20-40 mm. long which remain aggregated together into the winter but
which are gradually dropped leaving the persistent terminal axis.

COMPARISONS — The Magpolias to which the Tulip Tree is botani-
cally related have likewise aromatic twigs with circular stipule-scars.
Their leaf-scars, however, are not circular; their buds are pointed or
hairy and the scar of the rudimentary leaf is considerably above base
of bud. The light brown fruiting cones from which the winged seed-
like bodies have partially fallen are generally to be found on the Tulip
Tree and are distinctive for this species.

DISTRIBUTION — Prefers a rich, loamy, moist soil. Is sometimes
planted as an ornamental tree. From New England south to the Gulf
states; west to Wisconsin; occasional in the eastern sections of Missouri
and Arkansas.

IN NEW ENGLAND — Vermont — valley of the Hoosac River in the
southwestern corner of the state; Massachusetts — frequent in the Con-
necticut river valley and westward; reported as far east as Douglas,
southeastern corner of Worcester county; Connecticut — occasional, local
or frequent; Rhode Island — frequent.

W^OOD — Light, soft, brittle not strong, easily worked, light yellow or
brown, with thin creamy white sapwood; largely manufactured into
lumber generally under the name of "Whitewood"; used in construction,
the interior finish of houses, boat building and for shingles, brooms and
woodenware. The intensely acrid bitter inner bark, especially of the
root, is used domestically as a tonic and stimulant and hydrochlorate
of tulipiferine, an alkaloid, separated from the bark, possesses the
property of stimulating the heart.

TuLir Tree



Sassafras variifoliiim (Salisb.) Kuntze.
IS. officinale Nees & Eberm. ; S. Sassafras Karst.

HABIT — A small tree at times reaching 40-50 ft. in height, with
a trunk diameter of 2-4 ft.; at the north smaller and often shrubby;
in the southern states reaching a height of 100 ft.; branches numerous,
stout, more or less contorted, often distinctly in yearly whorls, horizontal
or forming a broad angle with the trunk, subdividing to produce a
dense bushy spray and forming a flat-topped or slightly rounded
oblong head (upper photograph). Limbs brittle and frequently lost
through ice storms or other injuries, giving the tree a battered appear-
ance as shown in lower photograph. The tree sprouts abundantly
from the roots, often surrounding itself with a thicket of saplings (see
those at right in lower picture).

BARK — Reddish brown, deeply furrowed even in comparatively young
trees into broad flat ridges with narrow horizontal cracks running part
way around the trunk and dividing the ridges into short blocks, which
are oblong or in the form of erect or inverted Y's and Vs.

TWIGS — Slender to stout, bright yellowish-green, often reddish where
exposed to light, smooth and shining or somewhat downy; internodes
very unequal; rapidly grown shoots freely branching the first season,
the branches exceeding the main axis; twigs spicy-aromatic to both
smell and taste, mucilaginous if chewed. LENTICELS — scattered, very

LEAF-SCARS — Alternate, more than 2-ranked, small, raised, semi-
elliptical, with elevated margins. STIPULE-SCARS — absent. BUNDLE-
SCARS — single, forming horizontal line.

BUDS — Green, more or less tinged with red toward tip; lateral buds
small, divergent; terminal buds large, 5-10 mm. long, ovate, pointed;
flower buds terminal. BUD-SCALES — with thickened veins; generally
3 narrower, thicker, shorter scales surrounding terminal bud.

FRFIT — Generally scanty, a blue drupe falling early. The Sassafras
is generally dioecious.

C03IPARIS0IVS — Its bright green aromatic mucilaginous twigs which
form branches the first season surpassing the main axis, its single
bundle-scar and the transverse cracking of the ridges of the bark
render the Sassafras one of the most interesting of our native trees in
winter. It is scarcely to be confused with any other form.

DISTRIBVTIOX — In various soils and situations; sandy or rich woods,
along the borders of peaty swamps, thickets and fence rows. Provinces
of Quebec and Ontario; south to Florida; west to Michigan, Iowa,
Kansas, and Texas.

IN NEW ENGLAND — Maine — this tree grows not beyond Black Point
(Scarboro, Cumberland county) eastward; (Josselyn's New England
Rarities, 1672); not reported again by botanists for more than two
hundred years; rediscovered at Wells in 1895 and North Berwick in
1896; New Hampshire — lower Merrimac valley, eastward to the coast
and along the Connecticut valley to Bellows Falls; Vermont — occasional
south of the center; Pownal; Hartland and Brattleboro; Vernon; Massa-
chusetts — common especially in the eastern sections; Connecticut and
Rhode Island — common.

WOOD — Soft, weak, brittle, coarse-grained, very durable in the soil,
aromatic, dull orange-brown, with thin light j^ellow sapwood of 7-8
layers of annual growth; largely used for fence-posts and rails and in
the construction of light boats, ox-yokes, and in cooperage. The roots
and especially their bark are a mild aromatic stimulant, and oil of
sassafras used to perfume soaps, flavor candy, etc., and as an ingredient
in liniment is distilled from them.






Hamamelis virginiaiia L.

HABIT — A larg-e shrub or small tree occasionally 25-30 ft. in heig-ht
with a trunk diameter of 10-14 inches, with short trunk, spreading-
crooked branches with conspicuous persistent fruiting- capsules, form-
ing a broad open head.

BARK — Light brown, more or less mottled, generally smooth or
minutely scaly.

TWIGS — Rather slender, light orange brown, smooth and shining, or
downy especially toward apex, more or less zigzag-. LENTICELS — few,
scattered, whitish dots.

LiEAP-SCARS — Alternate, 2-ranked, small, inversely triangular. STI-
PULE-SCARS — distinct, narrow, oblong-, somewhat separate from leaf-
scar. BUNDLE-SCARS — Whitish in conspicuous contrast to dark brown
surface of leaf-scar, generally 3 and separate or these may be com-
pounded or more or less confluent.

BUDS — Stalked, flattish, slightly curved, densely downy with short,
fine light to dark olive brown hairs; terminal bud larg-er than laterals,
5-12 mm. long. BUD-SCALES — an outer pair of relatively thin scales
corresponding to stipules and often represented by only a scar accom-
panying the outermost thick downy laterally folded undeveloped leaf,
which with smaller leaves within serves the function of bud scales. The
bud is therefore essentially naked.

FRUIT — Produced in abundance, a downy 2-chambered capsule about
15 mm. long, surrounded by the persistent calyx, discharging in autumn
4 shining, brown, oblong seeds and remaining widely gaping on the
tree throughout winter (see lower part of twig- picture). The plant
produces flowers in the autumn at the same time with the ripening of
the fruit, and the remains of the flowers, showing the 4 downy sepals
with their enclosing bracts, are to be found in clusters on the recent
twigs (upper part of twig picture).

COMPARISONS — In habitat and in its stalked buds the Witch Hazel
resembles the Alders. The buds of the latter, however, are essentially
smooth or at most fine-downy, not hairy and their fruit is a woody
cone not a capsule.

DISTRIBUTION — In moist or wet often rocky places. Nova Scotia to
Ontario and Minnesota; south to Florida and Texas; west to eastern

IN NEW ENGLAND— Common throughout.

WOOD — Heavy, hard, very close-grained, light brown tinged with red,
with thick nearly white sapwood of 30-40 layers of annual growth. The
bark is slightly astringent and though not known to have essential
properties is largely used in the form of fluid extracts and decoctions
as a popular application for sprains and bruises, Pond's Extract being
made by distilling- the bark in dilute alcohol. Probably equally
eflficacious is the use of the twigs as divining rods to locate water and

Witch Hazel


Bilsted, Red Gum, Alligator-wood, Liquidambar.

— Liquidambar Styraciflua L.

HABIT — A tree 40-60 ft. in height with a trunk diameter up to 2 ft.,
reaching- 150 ft. in height and a trunk diameter af 3-5 ft. in the Missis-
sippi and Ohio valleys; branches slender, regular and spreading, form-
ing a very symmetrical tree, when young (right hand tree in plate)
narrowly oblong-conical, with age (left hand tree in plate) becoming
broader and rounded ovate, generally showing persistent stalked
spherical fruits.

BARK — Grayish brown, deeply furrowed into broad more or less
flaky ridges.

TWIGS — Mediumly stout to slender, light to dark reddish to yellowish-
brown, rounded or often somewhat angled, smooth and shiny or seldom
slightly hairy; generally developing the second season 3-4 parallel
corky ridges on the upper side of horizontal branchlets and on all
sides of vertical branchlets (lower twig figure). LENTICELS — scat-
tered, dark. PITH — wide, more or less 5-pointed, star-shaped.

LiEAP-SCARS — Alternate, more than 2-ranked, broadly crescent-shaped
to inversely triangTn?rr* raised. STIPULE-SCARS — absent. BUNDLE-
SCARS— 3, each a circular white ring with dark center conspicuous
against the dark surface of leaf-scar.

BUDS — Ovate to conical, pointed, shiny, reddish-brown, more or less
fragrant when crushed, lateral buds divergent, on rapidly grown shoots
sometimes stalked or developing into branches the first season and
then frequently with a pair of collateral accessory buds at a node;
terminal buds exceeding the laterals, 5-10 mm. long. BUD-SCALES —
ovate, fine-downy on the margins, rounded on the back, generally with
a short abrupt point at the apex.

FRVIT — A long-stalked spherical spiny aggregate of ovaries, 2-4 cm.
in diameter hanging on the tree through the winter; the mature seeds
falling in autumn leaving many minute abortive seeds in the ovaries.

C03IPARIS0IVS — The corky ridges on the twigs of the Sweet Gum are
striking distinctive characters which are found also in the Cork Elm
and the Bur Oak. The Elm, however, has 2-ranked leaf-scars and
the buds of the Oak are bunched at the twig ends; neither are shiny
reddish-brown between the ridges. The corky ridges may be but
sparingly developed upon some trees and may even fail entirely. The
spiny fruits which persist through winter form the best single dis-
tinctive character.

DISTRIBUTION — Low, wet soils, swamps, moist woods, somewhat
cultivated as an ornamental tree. Connecticut; south to Florida; west
to Missouri and Texas.

IN NEW ENGLAND — Growing native only in Connecticut, south Nor-
walk and occasional or frequent westward near the shores of the

AVOOD — Heavy, hard, straight, close-grained, not strong, bright brown
tinged with red, with thin almost white sapwood of 60-70 layers of
annual growth, inclined to warp and shrink badly; used for the outside
finish of houses, in cabinet making, for street pavement, wooden dishes
and fruit boxes. The resinous exudation from the stems (liquidambar),
which is more marked in trees grown in the south, is used in the
preparation of chewing gum.

Sweet Gum



Buttonwood, Buttonball, Plane Tree.
Platanus occidentalis L.

HABIT — A large tree 50-100 ft. In height with a trunk diameter of
3-8 ft., in the bottom lands of tlie lower Ohio and Mississippi valleys
reaching occasionally a height of 170 ft. with a trunk diameter of
10-11 ft., the largest tree of the New England forest; with an erect
or often declined trunk very gradually tapering and continuous into
the top (see habit picture) or branched near the base into two or
three secondary trunks (see bark picture) forming an open, irregular
or rounded wide-spreading head; branchlets scraggly, often in tufts
with dead twigs not infrequent. (See low cross-branch in bark picture).

BARK — Dark brown, at the base of older trunks shallowly furrowed
into broad ridges which are broken into small oblong thick plate-like
scales; higher up on the trunk peeling off in large thin plates, exposing
conspicuous areas of the whitish, yellowish or greenish inner bark.

TWIGS — Slender, rather shiny, smooth, yellowish-brown, generally
zigzag, swollen at the nodes, rounded or with decurrent ridges from
the bundle-scars; medullary rays conspicuous in sectioned twig.
LENTICELS— pale, minute. PITH— thick.

L.EAF-SCARS — Alternate, generally 2-ranked, sometimes appearing
more ranked; narrow, projecting, nearlv surrounding the bud, more or
less swollen at the bundle-scars. STIPULE-SCARS — encircling twig.
BUNDLE-SCARS — conspicuous, dark, generally raised, 5-10 or more in
single curved line.

BFDS — Terminal bud absent; lateral buds generally large, conical,
5-10 mm. long, occasionally shorter, blunt-pointed, smooth, dark reddish-
brown, divergent. BUD-SCALES — a single scale visible, forming a cap
to the bud, second scale green, gummy, innermost scale covered with
long rusty hairs.

FRUIT — Spherical heads 2.5-4 cm. in diameter, on long stalks mostly
solitary or seldom in 2's, composed of small hairy 1-seeded nutlets.
The heads hang on the tree till spring.

COMPARISONS — The native Sycamore [Platamis occidentaUsI is closely
related to the Oriental Sycamore \_Platanns orientaUs L.] which is
extensively planted as an ornamental tree. It bears its fruiting heads
singly or rarely in 2's. while the Oriental Sycamore has its fruiting
heads in clusters of 2-4. The whitewashed appearance of the upper
limbs, the single cap-like scale of its bud, which is nearly surrounded
by the leaf-scar, present characters which prevent the Sycamores from
being confused with any other trees.

DISTRIBUTION — Near streams, river bottoms, and low, damp woods;
sometimes in dryer places. Ontario; south to Florida; west to Min-
nesota, Nebraska, Kansas and Texas.

IN NEW ENGLAND — Maine — apparently restricted to York county;
New Hampshire — Merrimac valley towards the coast; along the Con-
necticut as far as Walpole; Vermont — scattering along the river shores,
quite abundant along the Hoosac in Pownal; Massachusetts — occa-
sional; Connecticut and Rhode Island — rather common.

AVOOD — Reddish-brown with light somewhat yellowish sapwood.
heavy, tough, hard, not very strong, coarse-grained, difficult to split and
work; is used in manufacture of tobacco boxes, crates, butchers' blocks,
ox-yokes and when cut quartering is used for inside finishing of
buildings and for furnture.




i- -....' - ..—







Pyrus communis L.

HABIT — A' tree sometimes 75 ft. in height with a trunk diameter of
2 ft. or more, dimensions generally smaller; trunk erect, more or less
continuous into the head, with ascending branches and numerous stubby
branchlets forming an upright pyramidal head.

BARK — Grayish-brown, on young trunks and branches smooth, becom-
ing with age longitudinally fissured into flat-topped ridges which are
further broken by transverse fissures into oblong scales.

TAVIGS — Stout, smooth or but slightly downy, yellowish-green or
sometimes with tinge of brown, without characteristic taste; short
sharp-pointed branches not infrequently present; stubby, branched
slow-growing fruit spurs abundant, with prominent fruit-scars. LEN-
TICELS — scattered, pale, more or less conspicuous.

L.EAF-SCARS — Alternate, more than 2-ranked, crescent-shaped,
raised, narrow, generally several times as broad as high. STIPULE-
SCARS — absent. BUNDLE-SCARS — 3, often indistinct.

BUDS — Conical, sharp-pointed, smooth or but slightly hairy; terminal
bud about S mm. or less in length, lateral buds smaller, generally
divergent and not flattened or at times on vigorous shoots both flattened
and appressed. BUD-SCALES — ovate, generally with conspicuous gray-
ish skin on surface, generally 4 or more visible scales to lateral buds,
more to terminal bud.

FRUIT — A large fleshy pome.

COMPARISONS — The Pear Tree may be distinguished from the Apple
by its erect habit of growth. The twig characters vary somewhat
among the different varieties but in general the twigs of the Pear
differ from those of the Apple in being smooth, generally of a yellow-
ish-green color, devoid of a licorice-like taste and in having pointed,
mostly divergent buds, the scales of which are more or less covered
with a grayish skin.

DISTRIBUTION — A native of the Old World cultivated in this country
for its fruit and escaped from cultivation in waste places.

WOOD — Hard, close-grained, reddish-brown; used for drawing instru-
ments, for tools, in imitation of ebony and by the wood engraver;




Pyrus Malus L.
Malus Malus (L.) Britton.

HABIT — A tree reaching 30-50 ft. in height and a trunk diameter of
2-3 ft.; trunk short with wide-spreading limbs forming a broad round-
stopped head of familiar and very characteristic habit.

BARK — Grayish-brown, scaling off in thin, brittle, flaky plates.

TW^IGS— Stout, pale-woolly, at least toward the apex, mostly.reddish-
brown, rarely yellowish, shining where free from wool, with character-
istically slightly bitter and licorice-like taste when chewed; short,
stubby, contorted fruit-spurs abundantly present. LENTICELS — scat-
tered, pale, more or less conspicuous. PITH — whitish.

L.EAF-SCARS — Alternate, more than 2-ranked, narrow, crescent-
shaped, raised. STIPULE-SCARS— absent. BUNDLE- SCARS— 3, often

BUDS — Ovate, blunt, bright, reddish-brown, more or less densely
covered with pale wool; terminal bud 8 mm. or less long, lateral buds
smaller, often triangular, flattened and appressed against twig. BUD-
SCALES — ovate, about 3 scales visible to lateral bud, more to terminal

FRUIT — A large fleshy pome.

COMPARISONS — The Apple Tree resembles the Pear but is readily
distinguished from this species by its low spreading habit of growth.
The numerous varieties differ somewhat in the twig characters, some
with twigs and buds nearly smooth, others with yellowish rather than
reddish-brown twigs. The licorice-like taste of the twigs seems to be
a constant character for the Apple. Among its distinguishing characters
which in the main hold good, may be mentioned the pale wool on the
twigs and buds, the flat appressed lateral buds and the reddish-brown
color of the twigs.

DISTRIBUTION— A native of the Old World, cultivated in this
country for its fruit and frequently escaped from cultivation in waste
places when it assumes a bushier habit of growth, with smaller twigs
frequently beset with short sharp-pointed thorn-like branches.

WOOD — Hard, tough, close-grained, reddish-brown, used for tool
handles, shoemakers' lasts, by the cabinet maker and esteemed as
a fuel in open grate fires.



Rowan or Service Tree.

Pyrus americana (Marsh.) DC.
Sorbus amei'icana Marsh.

HABIT — A shrub or small tree 15-20 ft. hig-h or in northern New
Eng-land reaching a height of 25-30 ft. with a trunk diameter of 12-15
inches, with slender spreading- branches forming a rather narrow
round-topped head.

BARK — Grayish-brown, smooth or on older trees somewhat roughish,

TAVIGS — Stout, smooth, reddish to grayish-brown. LENTICELS — con-
spicuous, large, pale, oblong-, remotely scattered. PITH — broad, slightly
reddish- brown.

LEAF-SCARS — Alternate, more than 2-ranked, large, crescent to
broadly U or V-shaped, raised on a projection darker than the twig.
STIPULE-SCARS— absent. BUNDLE-SCARS — regularly 5, often raised,
arranged in a single curved line.

BUDS — Terminal buds large, about 13 mm. long, ovate to broadly
conical, with a curved pointed apex, dark purplish-red, gummy and
smooth or with few hairs on the surface, densely woolly within; lateral
buds smaller, flattened and appressed. BUD-SCALES — 2-3 visible to
terminal bud, 1-2 to lateral bud.

FRUIT — Berry-like, bright red, strong-ly acid, round, about the size
of a pea, in flat-topped clusters persistent through the winter.

COMPARISOIVS — A larger fruited form, the Western Mountain Ash
[Pyrus sitchensis (Roem. ) Piper], is considered by some a distinct
species but by others only a variety of the type described. It is more
northerly and westerly in its distribution. The European Mountain
Ash [Pyrus Aucuparia (L.) Ehrh.] with many horticultural forms is
more frequently cultivated than the American species and has escaped
from cultivation in some places. It may be distinguished by the white
hairy down present especially on the upper half of the terminal bud
and by the larger fruits (about 10 mm. broad) arrang-ed in a rather
round-topped cluster. The habit, bark, fruit and lower twig photo-
graphs are of the European species.

DISTRIBUTION — River banks, cool woods, swamps and mountains,
Newfoundland to Manitoba; south, in cold swamps and along the moun-
tains to North Carolina; west to Michigan and Minnesota.

IN NEW ENGLAND — Maine — common; New Hampshire — common
along the watersheds of the Connecticut and Merrimac rivers and on
the slopes of the White Mountains; Vermont — abundant far up the
slopes of the Green mountains; Massachusetts — Graylock, Wachusett,
Watatic, and other mountainous regions; rare eastward; Connecticut —
rare or local; swamps and about ponds or sometimes on dry ledges or
in rocky woods; Staitord, Durham and Meriden, Granby, Winchester, Nor-
folk, Canaan, Salisbury, Kent; Rhode Island — occasional in the north-
ern sections.

The variety (Pyrus sitchensis) the Western Mountain Ash, has the fol-
lowing distribution — Mountain slopes, cool woods, along the shores of
rivers and ponds, often associated with Pyrxis arnericana, but climbing
higher up the mountains. From Labrador and Nova Scotia west to the
Rocky mountains, then north\yard along the mountain ranges to Alaska.
In New England, confined to Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

WOOD — Close-grained, light, soft and weak, pale brown with light-
er colored sapwood oi 15-20 layers of annual growth; of little economic
value. The very astringent bark and berries are employed medicinally.

Mountain Ash



Cydonia vulgaris Pers.
Pyrus Cydonia L.

HABIT — A low bushy strag-gling rounded shrub or small tree rarely-
exceeding- 15 ft. in height with crooked distorted branches.

BARK — Dark gray, finely streaked, becoming with age more or less
roughened with large flaky scales.

TAVIGS — Slender, dark reddish-brown, often with tinge of green; in
protected places and especially toward the tip of the twig generally
more or less densely covered with pale wool, bright-shining where
smooth; mostly tasteless. LENTICELS — small, numerous, becoming con-
spicuous brownish dots on older growth. PITH — narrow, greenish.

LEAF-SCARS — Alternate, more than 2-ranked, small, crescent-shaped
to inversely triangular, raised' on a somewhat shrivelled projection
slightly darker than the twig and containing at its outer edges the

Online LibraryAlbert Francis BlakesleeTrees in winter; their study, planting, care and identification → online text (page 25 of 31)