The Willows: genus Salix

Scientific Name: Salix babylonica (SAY·licks BAB·ill·ON·ick·ah) "Babylonian Willow." The specific name "babylonica" alludes to Psalm 137.
Common Name: Weeping Willow
Family: Salicaceae (sal·ick·KAY·see·ee)
Bark: Deeply grooved in older trees.
Buds:
Distinctive Characteristics:
Distribution:
Flowers:
Fruit:
Habit: Long weeping (drooping) twigs. A fast-growing, fairly large tree.
Habitat: A cultivated tree, but more common in wet places.
Leaves:
Similar trees
Twigs:
Scientific Name: Salix nigra (SAY·licks NYE·gra)
Common Name:
Family: Salicaceae
Bark:
Buds:
Distinctive Characteristics:
Distribution:
Flowers:
Fruit:
Habit:
Habitat:
Leaves:
Similar trees
Twigs:
The Sassafras: genus Sassafras

Scientific Name: Sassafras albidum (SASS·uh·frass AL·bid·um)
Common Name: Sassafras.
Family: Lauraceae (lore-AY-see-ee) Laurel family
Bark: Light brown and ridged, becoming darker brown with age. Blocky ridges are distinctive.
Buds: Green. Terminal buds 1 cm long, plump, with acute tip. Lateral buds with blunt tip, much smaller, 3 to 5 mm long. Margins of bud scales are brown.
Distinctive Characteristics: Twigs, leaves.
Distribution: Native.
Flowers: Yellow, 1 cm across or less, in corymbs. Bloom in mid May.
Fruit: Blue drupe on long red peduncle.
Habit: Usually a small tree, spreading rhizomes, with few, uplifted branches and twigs.
Habitat: Dry, open woods. Rarely cultivated.
Leaves: Alternate, ovate, pubescent, 3 to 6 inches long, plus 1" petiole. Some leaves have a single sinus making a mitten shape, some have two opposite sinuses, making an alien's two-thumbed mitten. Most leaves are entire. Fall color is yellow to orange, with spots of brown and occasionally red.
Similar trees
Twigs: Green when young, with peculiar, spicy taste. Leaves and twigs become mucilaginous when chewed.
The Japanese Pagoda-tree: genus Sophora
Scientific Name: Sophora japonica
Common Name: Japanese Pagoda-tree, Scholar-tree
Family: Papilionaceae
Bark:
Buds:
Distinctive Characteristics:
Distribution:
Flowers:
Fruit:
Habit:
Habitat:
Leaves:
Similar trees
Twigs:
The Mountain Ashes: genus Sorbus
Scientific Name: Sorbus aucuparia (SORE-bus AWK-yew-PEAR-ee-aa)
Common Name: Rowan Tree
Family: Rosaceae (ROSE-ay-see-ee)
Bark:
Buds: Woolly.
Distinctive Characteristics: In developed areas, where native mountain ashes are absent, the foliage or fruit are distinctive.
Distribution:
Flowers:
Fruit:
Habit:
Habitat:
Leaves: Pinnately compound, leaflets serrate.
Similar trees Ashes and walnuts really have different leaves (leaflets of both are larger and less regular).
Twigs:
The Lilacs: genus Syringa
The Yews: genus Taxus
Scientific Name: Taxus cuspidata
Common Name: Japanese yew
Family: Taxaceae
Bark: medium red brown, flaky.
Buds:
Cones: Not a cone, but an aril: a seed in a red fleshy coat (with hole at top), that is mucilaginous when squished between fingers (an excellent joke to play on the unsuspecting -- if you have the sense of humor of a 12 year old, as I do).
Distinctive Characteristics:
Distribution: Commonly planted on Harvard campus.
Flowers:
Habit: Spreading, almost bushlike, but trunks can be quite substantial (over 30 cm. in diameter). To 8-10 m. in height.
Habitat: Exclusively in cultivation.
Leaves: A bit like hemlock, but longer and pointed on end. Two pale yellow-green stripes below.
Similar trees
Twigs:
The Arborvitae: genus Thuja
The Lindens: genus Tilia

Check out the Tilia gallery at www.malvaceae.info: http://www.malvaceae.info/Genera/Tilia/gallery.html


Scientific Name: Tilia americana
Common Name: basswood
Family: Malvaceae
Bark:
Buds: Red-brown, rounded, mucilaginous when chewed.
Fruit: Dry, spherical, 5 mm in diameter. Borne on a long stem off a single wing. Distinctive.
Distinctive Characteristics: Fruit. Leaf shape.
Distribution:
Flowers:
Habit:
Habitat:
Leaves: Heart shaped, pointed-tip.
Similar trees All Tilias are a bit similar.
Twigs:
The Elms: genus Ulmus

Scientific Name: Ulmus rubra
Common Name: Slippery Elm
Family: Ulmaceae
Bark:
Buds:
Cones:
Distinctive Characteristics:
Distribution:
Flowers:
Habit:
Habitat:
Leaves:
Similar trees
Twigs:
The Viburnums: genus Viburnum

Scientific Name: Viburnum lentago
Common Name: nannyberry, blackhaw
Family: Caprifoliaceae (cap·riff·OH·lee·AY·see·ee) the Honeysuckle family
Bark:
Buds:
Distinctive Characteristics:
Distribution:
Flowers:
Fruit:
Habit:
Habitat:
Leaves:
Similar trees
Twigs:
Scientific Name: Viburnum sieboldii (vye·BURR·num see·BOLD·ee·eye)
Common Name: Siebold viburnum
Family: Caprifoliaceae (cap·riff·OH·lee·AY·see·ee) the Honeysuckle family
Bark:
Buds:
Cones:
Distinctive Characteristics:
Distribution:
Flowers:
Habit:
Habitat: Strictly in cultivation (try between Langdell & ILS building at Harvard Law School).
Leaves:
Similar trees
Twigs:

References

Cope, Edward A. 1986. Native and Cultivated conifers of Northeastern North America: a guide. Cornell University Press, Ithaca.
Dirr, Michael A. 1983. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants : their identification, ornamental characteristics, culture, propagation and uses. Stipes, Champaign, Illinois.
Fernald, Merritt L. 1950. Gray's Manual of Botany. Van Nostrand, New York.
Harlow, William M. 1957. Trees of the Eastern and Central United States and Canada. Dover, New York.
Harlow, William M. et al. 1996. Textbook of dendrology. 8th ed. McGraw-Hill, New York.
Lawrence, George H. M., 1951. Taxonomy of vascular plants. Macmillan, New York.
Leopold, Donald J., William C. McComb, & Robert N. Muller. 1998. Trees of the Central Hardwood Forests of North America: An Identification and Cultivation Guide. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.
Little, Elbert L.. c1998. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees: Eastern Region. Knopf, New York.
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. 1993. 10th ed. Merriam-Webster, Springfield, Mass.
Petrides, George A. 1972. Field guide to trees and shrubs. 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston.
Petrides, George A. 1988. Field guide to eastern trees. Houghton Mifflin, Boston.
Phillips, Roger. 1978. Trees of North America and Europe. Random House, New York.
Sargent, Charles Sprague. 1961. Manual of the Trees of North America. 2nd corr. ed. Dover, New York.
Schweingruber, Fritz.H.. 1993. Trees and wood in dendrochronology. Springer, Berlin.
Sorrie, Bruce A. & Paul Somers. 1999. The vascular plants of Massachusetts : a county checklist. Mass. Div. of Fisheries and Wildlife, Westborough, Mass.
Symonds, George W.D.. 1958. The tree identification book. Quill, New York.
Terrell, Edward E. et al. 1986. Checklist of names for 3,000 vascular plants of economic importance. USDA Agriculture Handbook 505.
Zim, Herbert S. 1987. Trees. Golden Press, New York.
Copyright © 1989, 1997, 2010 Brian Laurence Hughes
Last modified: 2010 Nov 27 at 18:47 EST

Valid HTML 4.0!