Below is a list of 8 different trees I found on my property and the neighboring property. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by beautiful nature all the time at my home. Happy reading!

#1– Red Mulberry or Morus rubra

  • Characteristics: leaf arrangement: alternate, complexity: simple, margin: toothed, some leaves lobed, some not.
  • Location: My backyard, semi-rural.
  • My new nickname for this tree: Bird Buffet
  • Although I knew this tree attracted birds and squirrels, I did not realize how many. It has been recorded that at least 21 different types of birds will eat the mulberries. I know our chickens love the sweet treat. (See above image with two dogs and 5 chickens)
      • Harlow, W. M. (1957). In Trees of the Eastern and Central United States and Canada (pp. 178-180). New York, NY: Dover.

 

#2– Redbud or Cercis canadensis

  

  • Characteristics: leaf arrangement: alternate, complexity: simple, margin: smooth, heart-shaped
  • Location: My front yard, semi-rural.
  • My new nickname for this tree: Tree of shame
  • We have 3 or 4 of these trees in our front yard and every year get excited about the birds that choose them for nesting. Most often is it the American Robins that choose this tree. Normally the nest is low enough that we can peak inside to see the eggs and hatch-lings progress.
  • This tree is also known as the Judas tree. It is suggested that Judas hung himself from a tree of this group and prior to this incident the leaves of this tree were white but after the death of Judas, the flowers have been red in shame.
      • Harlow, W. M. (1957). In Trees of the Eastern and Central United States and Canada (pp. 217-218). New York, NY: Dover.

 

#3– Catawba Tree or Catalpa speciosa

    

  • Characteristics: leaf arrangement: opposite (whorled, 3), complexity: simple, margin: smooth, very large heart-shaped leaf(seriously, bigger than my head)
  • Location: My front yard, semi-rural.
  • My new nickname for this tree: Tall Boy
  • We have 2 of these trees in our front yard and I always get excited to watch the White-breasted Nuthatch collect food and hide it in this trees very deep ridged bark. The cute little bird will return in the winter to its secret stash for sustenance.

 

#4– Silver Maple or Acer saccharinum

  • Characteristics: leaf arrangement: opposite, complexity: simple, margin: lobed
  • Location: My neighbors front yard, semi-rural.
  • My new nickname for this tree: Swamp Monster
      • This tree is huge and provides wonderful shade for my house in the spring and summer. The worst part is when the wings start to drop. They get everywhere and clog my gutters up.  What I did not know and would have been helpful information prior to purchasing this house was that this type of tree grows well in moist habitats such as swamps. You see our house has a lot of septic issues and the yard has terrible drainage causing the sewage to occasionally back up into the house. It is apparent from the shear size of this tree that it is thriving in its environment, which would have been a tip off that maybe something was not right with the drainage on the property. Talk about tree blindness.
        • Silver Maple. (n.d.) Retrieved September 01, 2020, from https://tree.oplin.org/tree/maplesilver

 

#5– Black Walnut or Juglans nigra

 

  • Characteristics: leaf arrangement: alternate, complexity: compound, margin: entire(smooth)
  • Location: My front yard, semi-rural.
  • My new nickname for this tree: Tomato Enemy
      • Between my yard and my neighbors yard their are multiple Black Walnut trees, young and mature. According to the Peterson Field guide tomatoes will not grow well next to these trees. Again something I wish I knew years ago. I have spent many a summer trying to grow different types of tomatoes with no success. Lesson learned the hard way. Maybe I will try again next year on the other side of the property.
        • Petrides, G. A. (1972). In A field guide to trees and shrubs (p. 135). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

 

#6– Goldenrain tree or Koelreuteria paniculata

  • Characteristics: leaf arrangement: opposite, complexity: compound, margin: toothed
  • Location: My front yard, semi-rural.
  • My new nickname for this tree: Sunshine
      • This young tree was very difficult to identify. I was not able to find it in either field guide. I did however locate it using an online field guide…link below. This tree will be very beautiful once it matures with bright yellow flowers.

 

#7– Shingle Oak or Quercus imbricaria

  • Characteristics: leaf arrangement: alternate, complexity: simple, margin: entire(smooth)
  • Location: My backyard, semi-rural.
  • My new nickname for this tree:Raise the roof
  • This tree gets its name because Ohio settlers used its wood to make shingles for the roofs of their houses.
  • Insert tree joke here…
    • What did the shingle tree say to the bush?
      I don’t want no shrub! A shrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me. (Sorry about that)
    • Harlow, W. M. (1957). In Trees of the Eastern and Central United States and Canada (pp. 165-167). New York, NY: Dover.

 

#8– Cottonwood or Populus deltoides

  • Characteristics: leaf arrangement: alternate, complexity: simple, margin: toothed and triangle shaped
  • Location: My backyard, semi-rural, wooded area
  • My new nickname for this tree: Tiny Teepee
  • This is one of my least favorite trees, only because my allergies are always crazy when the cottonwood is flying. I did find it interesting that teepees were potentially fashioned after the leaf of this tree was twisted into a cone shape. And I love the idea of children still today making play teepees out of this beautifully shaped tree leaf.
    • Harlow, W. M. (1957). In Trees of the Eastern and Central United States and Canada (pp. 91-93). New York, NY: Dover.