On an August evening I took a walk around Ohio State’s main campus with a friend to photograph different trees for an assignment. These are those trees!
Tree 1: Quaking Aspen
i. Scientific name: Poplus tremuloides
ii. Leaves are simple, alternately arranged, and finely toothed/serrated. The leaves are dark green and the twigs are dark brown.
iii. Located outside of McPherson Lab in an urban meadow environment.
iv. This is called a “quaking” aspen because its leaves tremble in the breeze. Source: http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/fieldbio/Clapp_Hansen_Siegel/Pages/Quaking_Aspen.html
v. While McPherson Lab hosts many unpleasant chemistry lectures, one can find immediate joy and relief once they stand under this beautiful tree.
Tree 2: Yellowwood
i. Scientific name: Cladrastis lutea or Cladrastis kentukea
ii. Leaves are alternately pinnately compound with alternately arranged leaflets. The leaflets are entire.
iii. Located outside of Smith Lab in an urban meadow environment.
iv. These trees only flower two or three times a decade! They also tend to grow as wide as they are tall. Source: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=CLKE
v. This tree struck me immediately because of its large leaflets in an alternate arrangement. Every time I pass by it I will wonder when it will flower again!
Tree 3: Sugar Maple
i. Scientific name: Acer saccharum
ii. Leaves were arranged opposite and were simple and lobed in a maple-ish fashion. The leaves were not toothed like other maples and were only moderately lobed. The twigs were glossy and a reddish brown color.
iii. The tree is behind the 18th Avenue Library and is in an urban lawn environment.
iv. The sugar maple is very popular throughout Ohio and Appalachia, and its wood can be used to make musical instruments. Source: http://forestry.ohiodnr.gov/sugarmaple
v. Perhaps as students make their way to the library, this sugar maple inspires them to pick up a sweet treat from the Terrabyte Cafe.
Tree 4: Redbud
i. Scientific name: Cercis canadensis
ii. Leaves are alternate, simple, and entire. The leaves are also distinctly heart-shaped.
iii. This tree was found at the top of the northern steps of Mirror Lake, which is more of an urban forest environment. Note: the smaller tree at the bottom of the second picture above is the redbud!
iv. Redbuds are considered very ornamental and easy to keep in a backyard. Extracts from the bark have been used to treat colds. Source: https://bernheim.org/learn/trees-plants/bernheim-select-urban-trees/eastern-redbud/
v. After climbing up two dozen steps, it is nice to be greeted by a bunch of hearts!
Tree 5: Red Oak
i. Scientific name: Quercus rubra
ii. These leaves are alternate in arrangement, simple, and lobed. The leaves are longer and more narrow than other oaks, and have moderately deep lobes.
iii. Located on the Oval outside of Thompson Library- an urban meadow environment.
iv. These trees have great longevity, but they can be suspect to “oak wilt,” an incurable fungal disease. Source: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=i760
v. This tree is very large and probably pretty old. It is also in a cluster of many other oaks. Would Dr. Thompson himself be impressed with these trees that landscape his library?
Tree 6: American Elm
i. Scientific name: Ulmus americana
ii. The leaves are alternately arranged, simple, and double-toothed serrated. The tree is distinctly vase-shaped. The twigs are hairless and the buds are over a quarter-inch long.
iii. Located on the west side of the Oval. Urban meadow.
iv. Many large American elm trees have been dying from Dutch Elm disease, which clogs the vascular system of the tree. Source: http://forestry.ohiodnr.gov/americanelm
v. This tree was very pretty and unique compared to the oaks surrounding it. What caught my attention were the small leaves on the lower branches (pictured).
Tree 7: Flowering Dogwood
i. Scientific name: Cornus florida
ii. Leaves are opposite arranged, simple, and entire. The tree itself is a small tree rather than a shrub, like other dogwoods. Twigs are green and/or dark purple.
iii. Located on the Oval in front of Thompson Library. Urban meadow.
iv. Fun fact: a red dye can be extracted from the roots and was used by Native Americans. Source: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=cofl2
v. The scarlet dye that can come from this tree makes it a good representative of Ohio State!
Tree 8: Ginkgo
i. Scientific name: Ginkgo biloba
ii. Leaves grow in clusters in an alternate arrangement. They are entire, but fan-shaped with a “notch” in the middle. The bark is gray and rough.
iii. Found on the north end of the Oval, an urban meadow environment.
iv. Ginkgo fruit is known for having a really bad smell, leading it to attract wildlife. Source: https://naturewalk.yale.edu/trees/ginkgoaceae/ginkgo-biloba/ginkgo-41
v. This tree was the most unique one I saw on the oval. It was difficult to identify because of the leaf shape and the clusters, but thankfully the internet was on my side!
Thanks for following me on this journey! Now I can impress my friends when we walk around campus by identifying trees.