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Tree Identification Project

Tree Identification at Adams Ricci Park

Completed by Ryan Marshall- Boy Scout Troop 51 Eagle Project 2015-2016

Throughout the Park you will find green signs with Tree Name, Latin Name, QR Code, and a Fact about the tree. Scan the QR Code with your smartphone to go to the township website to gather additional information about various trees located in the Park.


Interactive Tree Map click here

Red Oak: quercus rubra

  • Height: 70-90 ft
  • Longevity 300+ yrs.
  • One of the largest and most important timber trees.
  • Found growing over southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States.
  • Used for fence posts and flooring.
  • Native Americans used tree for medicines to treat digestive disorders, respiratory diseases, and skin infections.

Pin Oak: quercus palustris

  • Height: 60-70 ft

  • Longevity:120 years

  • The name Pin Oak comes from the short tough branchlets along the branches and limbs.

  • Used for fence posts, fuel, and general construction.

  • Planted for ornamental use.

  • Fast growing and tolerant of most urban stresses.

  • Self-Pruning quality, reducing value in the lumber industry.

Norway Spruce: picea abies

  • Height: Can grow over 100 ft tall

  • Longevity: Live over 100 years

  • Excellent timber tree because it grows so fast. 2-3 ft per year.

  • Most disease resistant spruce.

  • Early chewing gum was made from spruce resin

  • Was used in making World War II airplanes.

Colorado Blue Spruce: picea pungens

  • Height: 65-115 ft

  • Longevity: Reaches ages of 600-800 years

  • Grows slowly

  • Grows in relatively inaccessible locations leading to it not being commercially important as a timber species

  • Wood is suitable for posts poles and fuel.

Red Maple: acer rubrum Linnaeus

  • Height: 60-90 ft

  • Longevity: 80-100 yrs

  • Brilliant autumnal foliage.

  • Maple is become more common as it reproduces well by seed and sprouts from the stump following a cut down.

  • Grows extremely rapidly

  • Fruit is a Samara, important for wildlife as it develops in the spring when other foods are not available.

SweetGum: liquidambar styraciflua

  • Height: up to 100 ft in the wild. 33-50 ft in cultivation

  • Longevity:

  • Leaves are star shaped with five pointy lobes.

  • Sweetgums are aromatic, which means that they have a pleasant smell. Crushing up a leaf will give a good sense of this.

  • Sweetgum fruits are called gumballs.

  • The rosin (sap) was used as chewing gum by Native Americans.

  • Sweetgum is used for timber, furniture, cabinets, plywood, pulp, barrels, and boxes.

Crabapple: malus

  • Height: up to 25 ft

  • Longevity:20-70 years

  • Crabapple are smaller than apples, and can be edible.

  • Fruit from some species is too sour or bitter to eat but used in making jelly.

  • Crabapples are native to cold and cool areas of Asia and Russia.

  • They arrived in the United States during the 18th century.

Korean cherry: prunus hybrid

  • The Korean Cherry is a hybrid tree

  • Height: 35 ft

  • Longevity: 30-40 years

  • Flowers are sterile and therefore there is no fruit to drop on cars and driveways.

  • The tree often has surface roots that interfere with mowing.

Black Cherry: prunus serotine

  • Height: Can grow up to 80 ft but usually small

  • Longevity: 80-100 yrs

  • Can grow in almost any soil

  • Can grow under taller trees as an understory tree.

  • Black cherry is a useful wood; it is used to make furniture, paneling, scientific instruments, and toys.

  • Jelly and wine are foods made from the black cherry.

  • Fruit is edible by humans.

Saucer Magnolia: magnolia x soulangeana

  • Height: Grows to a height of 20-30 ft

  • Longevity:80 years

  • Flowering tree and ornamental tree.

  • Can be trained to grow as a shrub

  • Has thin bark that is damaged by lawnmowers and weed cutters easily.

  • Hybrid cousin of Southern Magnolia.

  • Takes its name from its wide, saucer-like flowers.

Crimson King: acer platanoides

  • Height: 35 to 45 ft

  • Longevity:

  • Leaves are large, growing up to 7 inches across.

  • Tolerates pollution.

  • Planted in most urban locations and parking lot islands.

  • Slow growth

Norway Maple: acer platanoides

  • Height: 60-70 ft

  • Longevity:60 - 250 years

  • Introduced to the United States in 1756 as an ornamental plant.

  • Threat: Norway Maple have dense shallow roots and produce large amounts of shade that prevent grass from growing underneath. Sometimes roots will choke the parent tree. It out competes native vegetation.

  • It is highly tolerant of pollution.

  • The fruit are a pair of winged seeds called samaras or keys.

  • Is now an invasive species.

Shagbark Hickory: carya ovata

  • Height: 60-80 ft tall

  • Longevity: Live up to 200 yrs.

  • Mature and produce seeds around 40 yrs old.

  • Andrew Jackson (seventh US president) was nicknamed “Old Hickory” because he was considered to be as tough as a hickory tree.

  • Used for tools and athletic goods. It is strong and has a high shock resistance. Very hard.

  • Native Americans used it as treatment for rheumatism.

Ash Tree: fraxinus

  • Height: varies 30-120 ft

  • Longevity:

  • The leaves of the ash tree are compound; the leaves grow on a long stem that is attached to a twig.

  • The ash tree wood is used for baseball bats, tool handles, hockey sticks, canoe paddles, bowls, snowshoes, and guitar bodies.

  • Ash was used to construct carriages in the early 19th century

  • Early airplanes were made of ash.

  • In Norse mythology, the first man was created from an ash tree

  • Irish folklore claim that shadows cast on fields from ash trees would damage crops.

  • In England, some believe that Ash bark can cure warts.

  • The Emerald Ash Borer are a type of insect that are wiping out most of the ash trees in the United States.

Emerald Ash Borer Damage

  • It attacks only ash trees.

  • Adult Beetles are metallic green and about 1/2-inch long and leave a D-shaped exit hole in the bark when they emerge in spring.

  • Woodpeckers like EAB larvae; heavy woodpecker damage on ash trees may be a sign of infestation.

  • It probably came from Asia in wood packing material.

Chestnut Oak: quercus prinus

  • Height: 50-70 ft

  • Longevity:

  • Does not branch until 20-30 ft up the trunk

  • Used for fuel, fencing, and railroad ties.

  • The wood is used in floors because of its durability.

  • The acorns are an important source of food for wildlife.

Hackberry: celtis occidentalis L.

  • Height: 50 ft

  • Longevity:

  • Native american tribes ground hackberries into a paste for roasting.

  • Is a butterfly host of the Leila hackberry butterfly and the Snout butterfly.

  • Drought tolerant.

Boxelder: acer negundo

  • Height: 30-80 ft

  • Longevity: 75-100 yrs

  • Native Americans used the tree sap

  • Native Americans used the tree to make musical instruments.

  • Gardeners plant rows of boxelder to server as wind barriers and screens in yards.

  • Fruit: large clusters of V-shaped samaras; will mature in the autumn

Wild grape: vitis vinifera

  • Height: Climb over 30 ft tall

  • Longevity:

  • Can be found on stream banks, pond edges, roadsides, and in open woods.

  • Have large three lobed leaves with “teeth” on the edges

  • Wild grape grows large purplish-black berries in clusters of up to twenty.

  • Each berry contains two to six seeds. Animals help spread the vines by pooping out the seeds in new places after eating the fruit.

Spice bush: lindera benzoin

  • Height: Small shrub that rarely grows over six feet tall.

  • Longevity:

  • Flowers are pale yellow and bloom in March and April

  • Fruit: shiny red berries called “Drupes”

  • Understory plant (meaning it grows under larger shrubs and trees)

  • Important host to butterflies in the swallowtail family.

  • Makes good cover for small animals such as chipmunks, rabbits, and squirrels.

Witch Hazel: hamamelis virginiana

  • Height:

  • Longevity:

  • Used for the treatment of hemorrhoids, inflammation of the mouth or throat, and conditions such as varicose veins, wounds, and burns.

  • Used to ease pain of sunburn, windburn, insect bites, poison ivy blisters, and sore sprained muscles.

  • The tannins and the volatile oils are the primary active ingredient in witch hazel.

  • Can also be used to treat bruises, cuts, and other skin abrasions.

Pignut Hickory: carya glabra

  • Height: 50-60 ft

  • Longevity:

  • Occurs in most of the eastern United States.

  • Used for tools and athletic equipment.

  • Nuts are bitter and scarcely edible

  • Fruit: obovoid shaped, 1-2 inches long, with a husk that partially splits upon maturation. Nut is not ribbed, fairly round but flattened.

Sycamore: platanus occidentalis

  • Height: One of the largest hardwood trees Height: 60-100 ft tall sometimes larger

  • Longevity:

  • Large straight trunk

  • Fruits: “Buttonballs” One inch brown balls which hang on stalks. Often litter yards and sidewalks.

  • They become hallow as they get older.

  • Used for furniture, flooring, butchers’ blocks, particle board, boxes, crates, and baskets.

  • The seeds of sycamores called “achenes” can cause respiratory problems and skin irritation with some people.

Silver maple: acer saccharinum

  • Height: up to 80 ft

  • Longevity:

  • Fruit: samaras, grow in pairs.

  • Soft wood, has cavities in the trunk where animals can live.

  • Grow quickly but are often damaged or knocked over by wind and ice

  • Used for paper and firewood. Can be used for controlling erosion.

Thornless Honeylocust: gleditsia triacanthos

  • Height: 30-70 ft

  • Longevity:

  • Native from Pennsylvania to Nebraska and south to Texas.

  • Cherokees in Tennessee made bows from the tree’s durable and strong wood.

  • Used for fence posts.

  • Many regions in the south still refer to honeylocust as Confederate pin trees because those thorns were used to pin uniforms together during the Civil War.

Black Locust: robinia pseudoacacia

  • Height: up to 80 ft

  • Longevity:

  • Spines are attached close to the leaves.

  • Fruit: Pods, brown 4 inches long, 14 seeds.

  • Host plant for Silver-spotted Skippers and clouded Sulphur butterflies.

  • Seeds are poisonous to humans.

  • Used for lumber, poles, fenceposts, boxes, paper, crates, pegs, stakes, and firewood.

  • Important plant for bee-keeping. Planted near hives so the bees can get nectar from the flowers and make honey.

Honey Locust: gledistia triacanthos

  • Height: 66-100 feet

  • Longevity: 100-150 years

  • Has dark grey or black bark

  • Honey locust blooms in the spring. It produces scented creamy-colored flowers that attract insects responsible for the pollination.

  • The fruit of a Honey locust is an aromatic pod. The pods are an important source of food for the squirrels, raccoons, possums, and rabbits.

Smooth Sumac: rhus glabra

  • Height: up to 10 ft

  • Longevity:

  • Leaves are bright red in the fall

  • Pioneer plant: it was one of the first plants to take over a field. Later taller trees will push it out.

  • The shrub may only live for a few years.

  • Sometimes considered a weed

Mulberry: morus moraceae

  • Fruit: aggregate fruit

  • Fruit is used to make pies, jams and preserves.

Bradford pear: pyrus calleryana

  • Height: 30-50 ft

  • Longevity:

  • Fruit: pear nut is not edible and does not attract squirrels or birds.

  • Short lived tree because they split easily

White birch: betula papyrifera

  • Height: 70-80 ft

  • Longevity:

  • White bark and peels easily.

  • Paper birch is the first tree to grow back into places that have had a fire or where trees were cut.

  • Burns even when wet, used as a fire starter.

  • Native Americans used the bark to cover their canoes.

  • Native Americans used it to make baskets, baby carriers, mats, torches and moose calls.

  • It was also made into spears, bows, arrows, snowshoes, and sleds.

  • Syrup, wine, beer, and medicinal tonics are made from the sap.

White oak: quercus alba

  • Height: 80-100 ft

  • Longevity: 500-600 yrs

  • Used for making furniture, flooring, and pallets, paneling, railroad ties, fenceposts, mine timbers, caskets, barrels, shingles, baskets, and firewood.

  • Has large pores, but plugged up by the resin.

  • Can be planted as a shade tree.

Black ash: fraxinus nigra

  • Height: 60-70 ft

  • Longevity:

  • Fruit: samara

  • Wood easily splits into thin layers

  • Has been used for baskets

  • Carpenters can use the wood as interior finish

  • Bark is fissured into scaly plates, which can easily be reduced to powder by rubbing

Black Spruce: picea mariana

  • Height: up to 66 ft

  • Longevity:

  • Carrier people used black spruce wood to make fish traps

  • Aboriginal people made snowshoe frames and drying racks.They also used powdered resin on wounds to speed healing

  • Preferred for paper products because of the long fibers.

  • Bark is thin

  • Found growing in colder climates

Purple Plumb: prunus cerasifera

  • Height: 15-25 ft

  • Longevity:

  • Fruit: purple, one to three inch round drupes that attract birds, squirrels, and other mammals in the summer.

  • Attracts bees

  • Needs maintenance because it tends to droop during the heavy rain until the leaves dry. Eventually it trains itself to droop even when dry when the rain is really bad. This causes an undesired weeping effect in the landscape that cannot be fixed without pruning.

  • Fruits are edible by humans

  • Used mainly as a shade tree

Dogwood: cornus florida

  • Height: 20-30 ft

  • Longevity:

  • Used in the 19th century to make weaving shuttles for textile mills.

  • Used for golf club heads and chisel handles.

  • Extracts in the 19th century were used to treat malaria and canine manage, and extracts from the roots made a scarlet fabric dye.

  • The white petals of the dogwood flower are actually leaf-like growths called bracts.

Golden rain: koelreuteria paniculata

  • Height: 25-35 ft

  • Longevity:

  • Native to eastern Asia

  • Late summer it produces millions of tiny yellow flowers in clusters on branch tips.

  • Generally a shade tree and popular for urban areas.

  • The seed production causes potential weediness in landscapes as the seedling sprout everywhere.

European Basswood: tila europaea

  • Height: 140 ft

  • Longevity:

  • Heart shaped leaves

  • Yellow flowers are fragrant

  • Native Europeans used the inner bark fibers to make rope, thread, and a crude fabric more durable than hemp.

  • Bark was used to make durable bandages and mask making.

Sugar maple: acer saccharum

  • Height: 60-80 ft

  • Longevity: 200 to 300 yrs

  • Maple syrup is made from the sap

  • Lumber used for furniture and bowling alleys.

  • It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup.

  • Leaves have five main lobes, notches between the lobes are moderately deep.

Zelkova elm: zelkova serrata

  • Height 60-80 ft

  • Longevity:

  • Fruit: oval less than .5 inch, does not attract wildlife, not showy, not a litter problem

  • Branches do not droop; has thorns

  • Branches are often clumped together on the trunk at one point.

  • Needs to be prevented of planting in urban areas.

Red bud: cercis canadensis

  • Height: 15-30 ft

  • Longevity:

  • Pink flowers that attract pollinators

  • Fruit: purple pod that changes to black. Up to 3 inches long. Contains small black seeds, food for deer and birds.

  • The tree is protected in Israel.

  • Flowers, buds and pods are edible.

  • Is often targeted by spiders, mites and tree hoppers.

American basswood: tila americana

  • Height: 75-130 ft

  • Longevity:

  • Valued for hand carving

  • Inner bark can be used as a source of fiber for making rope or weaving items such as baskets and mats.

  • Flowers produce a ton of nectar that in turn is used to make honey.

  • Known in some places as the bee-tree.

Swamp white oak: quercus bicolor

  • Height: 50-60 ft

  • Longevity:

  • Peeling bark

  • Fall color leaves have an orangeish-gold to yellow in mid-autumn

  • Used as a landscaping tree

  • Leaves are broad ovoid

White pine: pinus strobus

  • Height: 50-80 ft

  • Longevity:

  • In colonial days the best of the trees were set apart by the king for masts on British ships.

  • Lumber of white pines built our homes and businesses.

  • State tree of both Maine and Michigan.