Albert Francis Blakeslee.

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

. (page 28 of 31)
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[Rhus copallina L.] is generally smaller in New England than the
other Sumachs. It has red fruit clusters like the Smooth and the
Staghorn Sumachs but is distinguished from these two forms by the
watery instead of white milky juice, by the leaf-scars which do not
surround the bud and by the turpentine flavor to the young twigs. For
comparison with the Poison Sumach see latter species.

DISTRIBUTION — In widely varying soils and localities, river banks,
rocky slopes to an altitude of 2.000 ft., cellar holes and waste places
generally, often forming copses. From Nova Scotia to Lake Huron;
south to Georgia; west to Minnesota and Missouri.

IN NEW ENGLAND— Common throughout.

WOOD — Light, brittle, soft, coarse-grained, orange-colored, streaked
with green, with thick nearly white sapwood. Pipes for drawing the
sap of the Sugar Maple are made from the young shoots. The bark
especially of the roots is rich in tannin.

Staghorn and Smooth Sumacu



Poison Dogwood, Poison Elder, Swamp Sumach.

Rhus Vernix L.

R. venenata DC.

HABIT — A shrub or small tree 5-20 ft. in height with a trunk
diameter reaching 8-10 inches; trunk generally forking near the ground
producing an open, rounded, bushy head.

BARK — Thin, light gray, smooth or slightly roughened with more or
less conspicuous horizontally elongated lenticels.

TWIGS — Stout, brown to orange brown, older growth light gray,
smooth with watery resinous juice turning black on exposure. LEN-
TICELS — numerous, minute, raised dots. PITH — yellowish-brown.

LEAF-SCARS — Alternate, more than 2-ranked, comparatively large,
conspicuous, inversely triangular, raised, upper margin straight,
slightly depressed or elevated, pointed and projecting. STIPULE-SCARS
— absent. BUNDLE-SCARS — conspicuous, irregularly scattered in %
closed ring or a single curved line.

BUDS — Terminal buds present, small but larger than laterals; short-
conical, 3-20 mm. long, purplish. BUD-SCALES — finely downy on the
back and margins.

FRUIT — A globular, slightly compressed, striate drupe about 5 mm.
in diameter, very shiny, ivory white or yellowish-white, generally per-
sistent through the winter in long pendant clusters. The species is
dioecious, however, and therefore some trees do not fruit.

COMPARISONS — From the other Sumachs the Poison Sumach is dis-
tinguished by the presence of a terminal bud, its broad leaf-scars not
encircling the bud, with conspicuous generally scattered bundle-scars.
The loose clusters of white fruit are distinctive when present. The
Poison Sumach is almost entirely confined to swamps or wet places
while the other Sumachs grow for the mo^t part in dryer situations.
The Poison Sumach resembles its climbing relative the Poison Ivy \_Rhus
Toxicodendron L.] in that all parts of the plant at all times of the year
contain an oil poisonous to the touch, only more actively so. Some
individuals are more and others less susceptible. A preventive
against the poison is thoroughly to wash as soon as possible in strong
alcohol or strong soap suds the parts of the body that have come in
contact with the plant.

DISTRIBUTION — Low grounds and swamps; occasional on the moist
slopes of hills. Infrequent in Ontario; south to northern Florida; west
to Minnesota and Louisiana.

IN NEW ENGLAND — Maine — local and apparently restricted to the
southwestern sections; as far north as Chesterville, Franklin county;
Vermont — infrequent; common throughout the other New England
states, especially near the seacoast.

\%^OOD — Light, soft, coarse-grained, light yellow, streaked with
brown, with lighter colored sapwood. The juice can be used as a
black lustrous durable varnish.

Poison Sumach



American Holly, White Holly.

Ilex opaca Ait.

HABIT — A shrub or small tree, rarely reaching 30 ft. in height, with
a trunk diameter of 15-18 inches; larger south and west; with slender
horizontal drooping or slightly ascending branches forming a compact
conical head with spiny evergreen leaves.

BARK — Light gray, smooth becoming somewhat roughened with age.

TAVIGS — Rather slender, grayish to yellowish brown, smooth or more
or less downy. LENTICELS — inconspicuous.

LEAF-SCARS — Alternate, more than 2-ranked, semi-oval. BUNDLE-
SCARS — solitary.

LEAVES — Thick, evergreen, elliptical to obovate, spiny-tipped and
with few spiny teeth or rarely entire, dull yellowish-green above, pale
and yellower beneath; midrib prominent beneath, with short, stout
slightly flne-downy leaf-stalks, groove above. STIPULES — minute,
awl-shaped, persistent.

BUDS — Short, blunt, roundish, more or less downy, terminal bud

FRUIT — Persistent through the winter, about the size of a pea, dull
red or rarely yellow, berry-like, with four ribbed nutlets. Some trees
bear only sterile flowers and therefore never produce fruit.

COMPARISONS — The American Holly closely resembles the cultivated
European Holly \_Ilex Aquifolium L.] but the leaves of this latter
species are described as glossier, of a deeper green color, more wavy-
margined with whitish translucent edges, and the berries as of a
deeper red color.

DISTRIBUTION — Generally found in somewhat sheltered situations in
sandy loam or in low, moist soil in the vicinity of water. Massachusetts,
southward to Florida; westward to Missouri and the bottom-lands of
eastern Texas.

IN NEW ENGLAND — Maine — reported on the authority of Gray's
Manual, sixth edition, in various botanical works but no station is
known; New Hampshire and Vermont — no station reported; Massachu-
setts — occasional from Quincy southward upon the mainland and the
Island of Naushon; rare in the peat swamps of Nantucket; Connecticut
— rare; roadsides and thickets; escaped from cultivation or possibly na-
tive; Rhode Island — common in South Kingston and Little Compton and
sparingly found upon Prudence and Conanicut islands in Narragansett

WOOD — Light, tough, not strong, close-grained, nearly white when
first cut, turning brown with age and exposure, with thick rather light-
er colored sapwood, valued and much used in cabinet making, in the
interior finish of houses and in turnery; the branches are much used in
Christmas decorations.




Moosewood, Whistlewood.

Acer pennsylvanicum L.

HABIT — A shrub or small tree 15-30 ft. high with a short trunk 5-10
inches in diameter and slender straight branches, forming in northern
New England a large part of the underbrush and a favorite food of
moose and deer whence the name of Moosewood.

BARK — Rather thin, smooth, reddish-brown or dark green, conspicu-
ously streaked longitudinally with narrow white lines, at length dark
gray, often transversely warty.

TWIGS — Stout, smooth, red or green; year's growth marked by two
circles formed by scars of the two outer pairs of bud-scales. LENTI-
CELS — inconspicuous. PITH — brownish.

LEAP-SCARS — Opposite; wide, broadly V-shaped; their adjacent edges
nearly meeting and forming a pair of short stubby teeth separated by
a more or less well developed decurrent ridge. BUNDLE-SCARS — 3,
generally more or less compounded forming often 5 to 7 separate

BUDS — Distinctly stalked. 6-10 mm. long exclusive of the rather long
stalk, tapering to a blunt tip, red, shining, more or less 4-sided; terminal
bud larger than appressed lateral buds. BUD-SCALES — the thick, red,
single, outer pair only visible, enclosing an inner pair of thick pale-
hairy scales, within which are enclosed one or more pairs of thin green

FRUIT — In long drooping terminal racemes with thin widely spread-
ing wings; 2-2.5 cm. long, seed-like portion rather long with a pit-like
depression on one side; the elongated racemes from which the fruit
has fallen*often remaining on tree throughout winter.

COMPARISONS — Easily distinguishable at all times from all other
Maples by the striking white streaks in the young bark which appear
often as early as the second year (see photograph of twig), and persist
even on comparatively old trunks. The large stalked buds are also
characteristic. The brown pith of the twig and the one-sided pitting
of the seed-like portion of the fruit are characters which distinguish
the Bush Maples (i.e. the Mountain and the Striped) from our other spe-
cies of the genus. Forms of the genus Viburnum, which are for the most
part shrubs, resemble somewhat the Bush Maples, but. aside from
having drupe-like fruits, may generally be easily distinguished by
bud characters — some having naked, others scurfy buds, some with
the first pair of scales shorter than the bud and some with the second
pair of scales smooth.

DISTRIBUTION — Cool, rocky or sandy woods, usually in the shade
of other trees. Nova Scotia to Lake Superior; south on shaded moun-
tain slopes and in deep ravines to Georgia; west to Minnesota.

IN NEW ENGLAND — Maine — abundant, especially northward in the
forests; New Hampshire and Vermont — common in highland woods;
Massachusetts — common in the western and central sections, rare
towards the coast; Connecticut — occasional in the northwestern part of
the state, becoming rare eastward and southward, reaching Ashford. East
Haddam. Huntington and Redding; Rhode Island — frequent northward.

AVOOD — Light, soft, close-grained, light brown with thick lighter
colored sapwood of 30-40 layers of annual growth.

Striped Maple



Acer spicatum Lam.

HABIT — Shrub or small bushy tree up to 25 ft. in height with a
trunk diameter of 6-8 inches; trunk short, straight, with slender upright

BARK — Very thin, reddish-brown to dingy-gray, smooth or slightly
furrowed or warty.

TWIGS — Slender, bright red to purple on upper side where exposed
to the light, yellowish to greenish on shaded under side, color per-
sisting for several years; covered especially toward tip with short
appressed grayish hairs, which may persist in scant amount for several
years toward upper part of each year's growth. Year's growth marked
by 2-3 circles formed by scars of bud-scales. LENTICELS — few,
inconspicuous. PITH — brownish.

L.EAF-SCARS — Opposite, narrow", V-shaped, margined by a lighter
colored and more or less raised rim, nearly meeting. BUNDLE-SCARS —
3, undivided.

BUD — Stalked, small, slerjder, pointed; generally under 6 mm. in
length including stalk, red or greenish, covered, especially the terminal
buds, with short appressed grayish hairs; terminal bud larger than
appressed lateral buds. BUD-SCALES — thick, 2-3 pairs, one or at most
2 pairs visible, the second pair hairy.

FRUIT — In drooping racemes with wide more or less spreading wings
about 2 cm. or less long, seed-like portion short, with pit-like depres-
sion on one side.

COMPARISONS — Resembles the Striped Maple (which see) in habit,
distribution, color of twigs and few scales to the stalked buds. It
differs from the Striped Maple in absence of white streaks on young
bark and by pale down on twigs and especially on the smaller buds.

DISTRIBUTION — Moist rocky hillsides usually in the shade of other
trees. From Nova Scotia and Newfoundland to Saskatchewan, along
mountain ranges to Georgia.

IN NEW ENGLAND — Maine — common, especially northward in the
forests; New Hampshire and Vermont — common; Massachusetts — rather
common in western and central sections, occasional eastward; Connecti-
cut — occasional in the northern part of the state, becomfng rare south-
ward, reaching East Haddam, Guilford at Bluff Head, Meriden and
Redding; Rhode Island — occasional northward.

WOOD — Light, soft, close-grained, light brown tinged with red, with
thick lighter colored sapwood.

Mountain Maple


Rock Maple, Hard Maple.

Acer saccharum Marsh.
A. saccliarinutn Wang., not L. ; A. harbatum, Michx.

HABIT — A large tree 50-90 ft. in height, with trunk diameter of 2-5
ft.; trunk more or less continuous, in the open developing at 8-10 ft.
from the ground stout, erect branches which form in young trees a
broad or narrow egg-shaped head, becoming frequently a broad, round-
topped head when older. Leaves sometimes persistent into winter
especially on lower branches of young trees.

BARK — On young trunks and limbs dark gray, with tinge of buff,
close and firm, smooth or slightly fissured, becoming deeply furrowed
into long, thick, irregular plates which often curve back along one
edge, giving ploughed appearance to the trunk. Some trees are to be
found with yellowish-gray, more or less flaky bark. (See upper bark

TWIGS — Slender, shining, reddish-brown to buff tinged with orange,
smooth, LENTICELS — numerous, pale, conspicuous. PITH — whitish.

LiEAF-SCARS — Opposite, narrow V-shaped; outer margins of a pair
nearly meeting; often pale downiness within leaf-scar, BUNDLE-
SCARS — 3, sometimes compound.

BUDS — Conical to ovate, sharp-pointed, reddish-brown, rather downy
especially toward tip; terminal bud 4-6 mm. long; about twice as long
as appressed lateral buds, BUD-SCALES — overlapping, 4-8 pairs visible,
their margins finely hairy,

FRUIT — 3-5 cm. long, in short terminal clusters, wings broad, paral-
lel or slightly spreading.

COMPARISONS — The Sugar Maple is readily distinguished from other
Maples by its narrow, conical, sharp-pointed, brown buds and by the
large number of scales to the bud. The fruit clusters of the Sugar
Maple are from terminal buds, those of the Red and the Silver Maple
are from lateral buds. The fruiting of the Sugar Maple in consequence
causes a noticeable forking of the twigs while it does not interrupt
the growth in the Red and the Silver Maple. Further, fruit stalks
and sometimes even the fruits themselves are persistent into winter
on the Sugar Maple and are not persistent on the Red and the Silver.
The Black Maple [Acer saccharum, var. nigrum (Michx. f.) Britton] is
found in the northern part of New England but is too closely related
to the Sugar Maple to be considered a distinct species. It has darker
buds and bark than the type form,

DISTRIBUTION — Rich woods and rocky slopes, frequently planted by
roadsides. Nova Scotia and Newfoundland; westward to Lake of the
Woods; south to the Gulf States; west to Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas
and Texas.

IN NEW ENGLAND — Abundant, distributed throughout the woods,
often forming in the northern portions extensive upland forests; attain-
ing great size in the mountainous portions of New Hampshire and
Vermont, and in the Connecticut river valley; less frequent toward the

WOOD — Heavy, hard, strong, close-grained, tough, with a fine satiny
surface, susceptible of receiving a good polish, light brown tinged with
red, with thin sapwood of 30-40 layers of annual growth; largely used
for the interior finish of buildings, especially for floors, in the manu-
facture of furniture and in turnery, in shipbuilding, shoe-lasts and pegs
and largely as fuel. Accidental forms with the grain curled and
contorted, known as Curly Maple and Bird's Eye Maple are common
and highly prized in cabinet making. Maple sugar is principally made
from the sap* of this tree.


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Sugar Maple



White, River, or Soft Maple.

Acer saccharinum L.

A. dasycarpuni Ehrh.

HABIT — A good sized tree 50-60 ft. high with trunk diameter of
2-5 ft.; dividing near the ground into several slightly spreading limbs
which branch further up, forming a very wide, broad-topped head.
Lateral branchlets strongly tend to grow downward and then curve
sharply upward at their tips.

BARK — Smooth, gray, with reddish tinge on young trunks and
branches; on older trunks reddish-brown more or less furrowed; the
surface separating into long thin flakes which become free at the ends
and flake off exposing the redder inner layers.

TW'IGS — Similar to those of Red Maple but with a distinct rank odor
when freshly cut or broken.

liEAF-SCARS — Similar to those of Red Maple.

BUDS — Similar to those of the Red Maple but generally somewhat
larger, the flower buds more densely clustered with a larger number of
buds in a cluster.

FRUIT— Large, 4-7 cm. long, wings spreading, in lateral clusters,
ripening in early spring and therefore difficult to find in winter.

COMPARISONS — The Silver Maple closely resembles the Red Maple in
twig characters but can be readily distinguished from the latter by
the rank odor of the fresh twigs when broken. The flakiness of the
bark of the Silver Maple is also distinctive. The bending down of the
branchlets with a sharp upward curve at their tips while much more
marked in the Silver Maple occurs to a certain extent in the Red and
therefore cannot be depended upon alone as a distinctive character. If
the flower buds be dissected out and examined with a hand-lens the
immature flowers of the Silver Maple will be found to be surrounded by
a cup-like calyx which in the Red Maple is made up of separate
divisions. See under Red Maple for Comparisons with other species.

DISTRIBUTION — Along river banks and in moist, deep-soiled woods,
not typically in swamps; often planted for ornament under the name
of White Maple. Infrequent from New Brunswick to Ottawa, abundant
from Ottawa throughout Ontario; south to the Gulf states; west to
Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma; attaining its maximum
size in the basins of the Ohio and its tributaries; rare towards the
seacoast throughout the whole range.

IN NEW ENGLAND — Occasional throughout; most common and best
developed upon the banks of rivers and lakes at low altitudes.

WOOD — Hard, strong, close-grained, easily worked, rather brittle, pale
brown with thick sapwood of 40-50 layers of annual growth; now some-
times used for flooring and in the manufacture of furniture. Sugar is
occasionally made from the sap.

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Silver Maple



Swamp, Soft or White Maple.

Acer rubrum L.

HABIT — A medium sized tree. 40-50 ft. high, occasionally in swamps
reaching 75 ft. in height, with trunk diameter of 2-4 ft.; branching low
down and forming an oblong rather compact head, frequently largest at
the top but sometimes broad at the base. Branches slender as well
as branchlets, the latter showing slight tendency to turn up at their
tips; horizontal or even declined limbs common at base; upper branches
appearing decidedly gray and often resembling those of the Beech if
viewed with the light.

BARK — Smooth, light gray on young trunks and branches; on older
trunks very dark gray, roughened into long ridges, sometimes some-
what shaggy and separating in long plates (see right hand bark
photograph); in some localities remaining smooth till a foot or more in

TWIGS — Rather slender, bright or dark red, shining; odorless when
cut. LENTICELS — numerous, conspicuous, PITH — pinkish toward upper
part, at least of each year's growth beyond the second.

L.EAF-SCARS — Broad, U to V-shaped, adjacent edges not meeting.

BUDS — Red, blunt-pointed, broadly oval-ovate to spherical in flower
buds, generally under 5 mm. long, short-stalked; flower buds numerous,
stout, collateral (one on either side of smaller axillary bud). BUD-
SCALES — 4 pairs or generally fewer visible with pale hairs on margins,
outer pair of scales not over half covering the bud.

FRUIT — Small, generally under 3 cm. long, wings spreading, in lateral
clusters, ripening in spring and therefore difficult to find in winter.

COMPARISONS — The Red Maple closely resembles the Silver Maple
in the winter condition. See Silver Maple under Comparisons for
differences. The Red and the Silver Maple are distinguishable from our
other Maples except the Box Elder by presence of collateral buds, and
the numerous clusters of these flower buds give a characteristic beaded
appearance to the twigs against the sky; from the Striped and Mountain
Maples by the larger number of scales exposed in the bud; from the
Striped and the Norway and Sycamore Maples by much smaller buds;
from the Mountain Maple and the Box Elder by their smooth outer bud-
scales; from the Sugar Maple by their red twigs and by their red, blunt
buds with few scales. See under Sugar Maple.

DISTRIBUTION — Borders of streams, in low lands, wet woods and
swamps or sometimes in dry ground, of rapid growth and a favorite
for park planting but usually not adapted to city streets. Nova Scotia
to the Lake of the Woods; south to southern Florida; west to Dakota,
Nebraska and Texas.

IN NEW ENGLAND — Common throughout from the sea to an altitude
of 3,000 ft. on Katahdin.

AVOOD — Very heavy, close-grained, not strong, light brown often
slightly tinged with red, with thick, rather lighter colored sapwood;
used in large quantities in the manufacture of chairs and other furni-
ture, in turnery, for woodenware and gun-stocks,



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Bed Maple



Acer platanoides L.

HABIT — A mediumly large tree reaching in Europe 100 ft, in height,
with round spreading head,

BARK — Dark, broken into firm, close, narrow ridges which run
together and enclose small diamond-shaped spaces, somewhat resembling
bark of White Ash but the ridges and diamond-shaped spaces are finer.

TWIGS — Stout, generally smooth and shining, brown to greenish or
yellowish-brown, branchlets of two or more years growth and even
vigorous season's shoots plainly streaked with fine, irregular, longitu-
dinal cracks in bark.

LiEAF-SCARS — Opposite, narrow V-shaped, half encircling the twig,
the adjacent edges of opposite leaf-scars meeting and continued upward
into a short tooth. BUNDLE-SCARS — 3.

BUDS — Completely red or yellowish-green toward the base, sometimes
whole bud strongly tinged with yellowish-green; terminal bud larger
than lateral buds, 5-S mm. long, more than % as broad as long,
oval to ovate; generally with a pair of comparatively large lateral buds
below terminal bud; lateral buds small, appressed. BUD-SCALES —
thick, more or less keeled, margin very finely hairy; scales to terminal
bud generally 5 pairs — only 2, or at most 3 pairs showing, smooth but
enclosing 2 pairs which are thickly covered with dark rusty-brown
hairs; in small buds sometimes 4 pairs smooth and 1 pair hairy,

FRUIT — Generally over 5 cm. long, seed-like portion flattish, with
wings diverging in a straight line.

COMPARISONS— The Norway Maple is easily distinguished from the
Sycamore Maple by the redness of its buds, the brown hairiness of the
inner scales, the ridging of the bark and the divergence of the wings
of the fruit;. from the native Maples by the large buds and the character-
istically ridged bark.

DISTRIBUTION — A European form extensively cultivated as a shade
tree being more tolerant of unfavorable city conditions than most
other forms. Its low head, however, is a disadvantage for city street

WOOD — Moderately heavy, hard, close-grained, white or yellowish-
white, fairly durable under cover but of short duration in the open; used
in Europe by joiners, for finer wheelwrights' work, for carving, for
mathematical instruments and for various other purposes.

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Online LibraryAlbert Francis BlakesleeTrees in winter; their study, planting, care and identification → online text (page 28 of 31)