Descriptions of trees arranged by scientific name

Hornbeam: genus Carpinus
Scientific Name: Carpinus caroliniana
Common Name: Hornbeam, ironwood
Family: Betulaceae /bet·chew·LAY·see·ee/ The birch family
Bark: Smooth, dark, with vertical fluting (undulations)
Buds:
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The Hickories: genus Carya

Scientific Name: Carya ovata (CARE·ya oh·VAY·tuh) "ovate hickory"
Common Name: Shagbark Hickory
Family: Caryaceae
Bark: Dark grey, with long, vertical, shaggy plates.
Buds:
Distinctive Characteristics: Bark.
Distribution: Native. Locally common.
Flowers:
Fruit:
Habit: A big, upright tree, with sparse branches on twigs (noticeable in winter) which are much more slender than those of other trees with few branches (Gymnocladus, Ailanthus). Because of its valuable wood, large trees are not common in wild.
Habitat: Dry woods. Rarely cultivated.
Leaves: Alternate, seven pinnate leaflets.
Similar trees Ostrya has shaggy bark, but it is much finer and more shreddy, and the trees are otherwise dissimilar. Once the shaggy bark develops, no other hickory resembles the Shagbark.
Twigs: Grey, round, slender, somewhat snaky. Young trees in winter have the graceful, sparse look of a bonsai.

The Chestnut: genus Castanea


Scientific Name: Castanea
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The Indian Bean Tree: genus Catalpa

Scientific Name: Catalpa
Common Name: Indian Bean Tree
Family: Bignoniaceae.
Bark: Grey, ridged.
Buds:
Distinctive Characteristics: Twigs, leaves, fruits.
Distribution:
Flowers: Showy, in erect racemes 6 in. high. Petals fused. Actinomorphic. White with pink on the corolla.
Fruit: A foot long capsule, splitting laterally to release winged seeds.
Habit:
Habitat: In cultivation, and spreading to waste places because of its wind borne seeds.
Leaves: Cordate, opposite or whorled.
Similar trees
Twigs: Stout, smooth, with cup-shaped leaf scars, usually in whorls of three.

Hackberry: genus Celtis

Scientific Name: Celtis
Common Name: Hackberry
Family: Ulmaceae
Bark: Grey, covered with rough corky excrescences.
Buds: Terminal bud downy.
Distinctive Characteristics: Bark, witch's brooms in twigs, leaves.
Distribution:
Flowers:
Fruit: A dull maroon berry?.
Habit:
Habitat: Usually seen in cultivation.
Leaves: Lanceolate with asymetrical base.
Similar trees
Twigs: Usually filled with witch's brooms, a pathological growth, due to a fungal infection, consisting of clumps of twigs growing close together.
Katsura Tree: genus Cercidiphyllum
Scientific Name: Cercidiphyllum japonicum
Common Name:Katsura tree
Family: Cercidiphyllaceae
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Leaves: Opposite in two horizontal rows, 10 cm long with 3 cm petiole. Ovate, with rounded teeth, obtuse tip and cordate base.
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Redbud: genus Cercis
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family:Caesalpiniaceae (see·sal·pin·ee·AY·see·ee)
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Yellowwood: genus Cladrastis
Scientific Name:
Common Name:Yellowwood
Family: Papilionaceae (pap·PILL·ee·on·AY·see·ee) Pea Family
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Leaves: Alternate, pinnately compound.
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Scientific Name: Colutea arborescens (coeLOOteeah arboreESSenz)
Common Name:
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Habit: Mostly a bush.
Habitat: Mostly waste places.
Leaves: Alternate, pinnately compound.
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The genus Cornus comprises the dogwoods, small trees or shrubs, with showy flowers.
Scientific Name: Cornus florida (CORN·us FLOR·id·a)
Common Name: Flowering Dogwood
Family: Cornaceae /core·NAY·see·ee/ The dogwood family
Bark: Blocky.
Buds: Flower buds flattened longitudinally, broad and round with pointed tip.
Distinctive Characteristics: Flowers.
Distribution: Native tree, widely planted.
Flowers: Four large white bracts, with browned notches at tip, surround an inflorescence of many small green flowers. Petals 4. It blooms in April to May, before C. kousa does.
Fruit: A scarlet-red drupe, with 1-2 mm thick yellow flesh about an elongated pit. 2.5 cm long, less than 1 cm in diameter.
Habit: Short trunk, usually, spreading. Not usually more than 25 feet high.
Habitat: Lawns and parks in cultivation--not a street tree. In the wild, a tree of the wood's understory, in shaded locations.
Leaves: Simple, opposite, entire, 4-6 inches long , elliptical. Veins curve parallel to margins.
Similar trees Rhamnus cathartica's leaves have similar venation and may be opposite. They are smaller and serrate. C. kousa is much similar in habit and leaf. The bracts are pink and pointed in C. kousa, and the fruit is totally different. Kousa blooms about a month after the flowering dogwood, C. florida. Kousa's blooms are usually denser and more spectacular (though often with a greener tinge).
Twigs:

Scientific Name: Cornus kousa (CORE·nuss COO·suh)
Common Name: Kousa dogwood.
Family: Cornaceae. /core·NAY·see·ee/ The dogwood family
Bark: Scaly.
Buds:
Distinctive Characteristics: fruit; flowers.
Distribution: In cultivation only. Japanese native.
Flowers: Small, green inflorescence is surrounded by four pointed pink bracts an 2-3 cm wide and 6 cm long.
Fruit: A fleshy pink ball an inch in diameter.
Habit: Dinky little tree, spreading.
Habitat: Lawns and parks.
Leaves:
Similar trees: Other tree-sized dogwoods.
Twigs:
Copyright © 1989, 1997, 2012 Brian Laurence Hughes
Last modified: 2012 Sep 04 at 09:00 EDT

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