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1 2015 Forestry Resources for 3 rd and 4 th Grades: Backyard Species Testing Resources 1. Study Species Identification Packet (Included on CD) 2. Leaf Characteristics Packet (Included on CD) 3. Seed Samples and Answer Key (Specimen Packet Provided by District) 4. Tree Identification Basics (Included on CD) 5. Iowa s Trees Packet- Pages 2-10 & (included on CD) 6. Backyard Key (Included on CD) Species List: Forest Species Deciduous Simple Leaves: 1. Bradford Pear 2. Flowering Dogwood- opposite 3. Norway Maple SEED PROVIDED 4. Redbud SEED PROVIDED 5. Red Maple- opposite 6. Red Oak SEED PROVIDED 7. Sweetgum SEED PROVIDED 8. Sycamore Deciduous Compound Leaves: 1. Black Locust 2. Black Walnut SEED PROVIDED 3. Virginia Creeper - vine 4. Poison Ivy vine Evergreen Leaves: 1. American Holly 2. Eastern Hemlock SEED PROVIDED 3. Eastern Red Cedar- opposite 4. Eastern White Pine Focus 1. Learn about local tree diversity, identifying characteristics, and wildlife value. 2. Understand and be able to use the leaf characteristics and terms to identify leaves and use a key. 3. Be able to match common trees to their seeds, and understand their wildlife value. Sample Test Questions 1. True or False? Box elder trees have simple deciduous leaves and acorn seeds. 2. White Pine trees are beneficial to wildlife because... a. Their evergreen needles provide shelter for wildlife in the winter. b. Their needles are used by Bluebirds to make their nest. c. Their pinecones provide food for birds like Chickadees and Nuthatches. d. All of the above. an environmental education partnership 118 Pleasant Acres Road York, PA Telephone (717) Fax (717)

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3 Leaf Characteristics Characteristics of broad leaves (deciduous) - Simple leaf leaf having only a single blade - Compound leaf leaf having more than a single leaf blade -Palmately compound leaf A compound leaf with leaflets radiating from a common point at the end of the stem or petiole, like the fingers of a hand -Pinnately compound leaf A compound leaf with leaflets that are arranged on either side of a central main stem or petiole. 1

4 Leaf Arrangement -Opposite leaves two leaves grow opposite each other at the same location or node - Alternate leaves a single leaf grows from its own location or node and the leaves alternate sides along the stem - Whorled leaves three or more leaves growing from a single location or node. 2

5 Leaf Shapes 1. Circular or round 2. Oval 3. Elliptical 4. Egg or ovate 5. Lance 6. Linear 7. Triangular 8. Heart 3

6 Leaf Margin 1. Entire or smooth The edge of the leaf is smooth. 2. Wavy The edge of the leaf is slightly curved. 3. Lobed The edge of the leaf is deeply or mildly indented, number of lobes vary. 4. Serrate or Toothed The edge of the leaf is toothed, this may include finely or coarsely toothed. 5. Double Serrate The edge of the leaf is toothed with small teeth on larger teeth. 6. Bristle tipped and lobed The leaf edge is lobed in varying degrees and also has hairlike tips. 4

7 Leaf Veins - Parallel veins Major veins begin at the base, remain more or less parallel, and come together at the tip of the leaf. - Palmate veins Main veins begin from the base of the leaf like fingers of a hand. - Pinnate veins Main veins extend from one large main vein. Leaf Base Rounded Heart-shaped Tapering Uneven 5

8 Characteristics of coniferous leaves 1. Needle-like -cluster or bundle -single 2. Scale like 6

9 Leaf Structures Leaf parts of a simple leaf Leaf parts of a compound leaf 7

10 Glossary Bud Compound Leaf Coniferous Deciduous Evergreen Leaf Blade Leaflet Node Petiole Simple Leaf Stem Terminal Leaflet MAD HORSE A structure that will become a leaf, a flower, or a new shoot. A leaf that is made up of 2 or more leaflets on the same petiole. Any cone bearing tree species. Usually trees with needles. Refers to trees that drop their leaves (broad leaf or needles). Refers to trees that retain green leaves throughout the year. Life span of an individual leaf may be 2-15 years depending on the species and environmental conditions. The broad, flat part of a leaf. A leaf like part or blade of a compound leaf. There is no bud at the base of its petiole. The point on a shoot where a leaf, flower, or bud is attached. Leaf stalk A leaf that contains one blade. The primary structure that holds the foliage and flowers. The leaflet located furthest from the bud, typically only determined on a pinnately compound leaf. A tool to remind students which trees have opposite and whorled leaf arrangements. Maple, Ash, Dogwood, are opposite leaf arrangements and HORSE chestnut is whorled leaf arrangement. 8

11 Tree Identification Basics There are many ways you can identify trees and other plants throughout the year. By being observant you can learn to notice the characteristics below. You can use more than one characteristic to identify a tree! Year-round Characteristics- Tree Shape or Form round, oval, conical, pyramidal, vase Bark rough, smooth, peeling, lenticels Leaf Scar the shape that is left behind on the twig when the leaf (petiole) is pulled off or falls off. Smell the smell of the crushed leaves or scraped bark Branch and Leaf Arrangement opposite, alternate, or whorled Spring/Summer Characteristics- Buds the shape of the leaf buds Leaves the shape, compound or simple, pinnate or palmate veins Flowers size, colorful or green, catkin Fall Characteristics- Seeds/Fruits berries, nuts, drupes, cones, samara

12 Tree Vocabulary Berry- A type of fruit typically with multiple seeds throughout the flesh. Tomatoes, bananas, grapes, and pumpkins are examples. Catkin- A string of tiny flowers, usually yellow or green. This type of flower usually spreads its pollen in the wind. Deciduous- Trees that drop their leaves in autumn. Catkin Drupe- A type of fruit having a single seed enclosed in a hard shell enclosed in a soft juicy flesh. Cherries and peaches are examples. Evergreen- Trees that keep their green leaves throughout the year. Lenticel- A pore in the bark of young trunks and branches through which air passes into the branch. Lenticels can look like tiny polka dots or tiny stripes on bark. Margin- The leaf edges. Margin s can be smooth, wavy, lobed, toothed, or bristle tipped. Pollination- Moving pollen from one flower to another in order to make seeds. Plants can be pollinated by insects, birds, mammals, wind, or water. Samaras Samara- A type of fruit that has a papery tissue surrounding the seed to help disperse the seed in the wind. Tree ID Tips! Look at more than one branch for leaf arrangement. Some branches or leaves may be broken or missing! Look at more than one needle cluster when counting needles. Some needles may be missing! Use multiple characteristics when identifying a plant. Plants can change shape, color, and texture as they age and may grow differently in different habitats. Plant leaves can look unusual when they are young. Look at older leaves to judge leaf shape.

13 Iowa Association of Naturalists Iowa's Plants Iowa's Trees

14 Iowa's Plants Booklet Series Iowa Association of Naturalists The Iowa Association of Naturalists (IAN) is a nonprofit organization of people interested in promoting the development of skills and education within the art of interpreting the natural and cultural environment. IAN was founded in 1978 and may be contacted by writing the Conservation Education Center, RR 1, Box 53, Guthrie Center, IA Plants are a beautiful and important part of nature in Iowa. To assist educators in teaching their students about the common plants of Iowa, the Iowa Association of Naturalists has created a series of booklets which offer a basic, understandable overview of Iowa's plants, their ecology, and their benefits and dangers to people. The seven booklets in this series include: Iowa's Spring Wildflowers (IAN-301) Iowa's Summer and Fall Wildflowers (IAN-302) Benefits and Dangers of Iowa Plants (IAN-303) Iowa's Trees (IAN-304) Seeds, Nuts, and Fruits of Iowa Plants (IAN-305) Iowa's Mushrooms and Nonflowering Plants (IAN-306) Iowa's Shrubs and Vines (IAN-307) For ordering information about these and other IAN publications, please see the back cover of this booklet. Resource Enhancement And Protection Education Board The Iowa Plants booklet series is published by the Iowa Association of Naturalists with grants from the REAP Conservation Education Board and the Iowa Conservation Education Council (ICEC), Review Committee Cele Burnett, Environmental Education Coordinator, Story County Conservation Board Dan Cohen, Naturalist, Buchanan County Conservation Board Jean Eells, Environmental Education Coordinator, Hamilton County Conservation Board Judy Levings, State 4-H Youth Development Specialist, Iowa State University Stacey Snyder Newbrough, Freelance Naturalist and Librarian, Pocahontas, IA Jim Pease, Extension Wildlife Specialist, Iowa State University Diane Pixler, Naturalist, Marshall County Conservation Board Editorial Board Text: Dawn M. Snyder Illustrations: Mark Müller Layout and Design: MJC Associates, Ankeny, Iowa Published by: Iowa Association of Naturalists Iowa's Trees 1

15 Iowa's Trees What Is a Tree? Parts of a Tree How would you describe a tree? Trees are woody plants which, at maturity, are more that 20 feet tall and have a single trunk. Trees have underground woody roots, trunks, and branches that provide physical support to allow them to grow tall. Most Iowa trees grow at least 25 feet tall and have a stem or trunk that is at least three to four inches in diameter. The trunk of a tree gives the tree its support and its shape. The trunk also contains a network of cells that carries water and food throughout the tree. Several basic layers of cells make up a tree. The bark is the outer layer of the trunk and branches that protects the tree from injury and disease. Different tree species have different types of bark textures and colors. Phloem, called the Bark Sapwood Heartwood 2 Iowa Association of Naturalists Bark Phloem Latewood Earlywood Vascular cambium Phloem Cork cambium inner bark, is just inside the bark of the trunk. This thin layer of cells transports sugars and other compounds produced by the leaves to Xylem the rest of the tree. The living portion of the xylem is the sapwood. These cells are the newest layers of woody tissue. The sapwood cells serve as a pipeline that carries water and minerals from the roots to other parts of the tree. The cambium is another very thin layer of cells located between the phloem and the xylem. This layer of cells is responsible for the diameter growth of the tree. It divides

16 on the outside to produce phloem cells and on the inside to produce xylem cells. Heartwood is the inner part of the tree. It is old xylem that no longer transports water and is considered dead wood. Often, heartwood is darker in color than the sapwood. Most of the time, it gives the tree support, but in some trees the heartwood may rot, leaving a hollow living tree. Roots and How They Grow In Iowa, the yearly cycle of growth begins with the roots. A seedling s first roots grow straight down. Its lateral roots spread out from the base of the tree and form a crisscross pattern that holds the tree in the ground. As the soil warms in the spring, the roots grow millions of new root hairs which begin absorbing water and nutrients from the soil. Each root tip has a root cap or zone of growth that protects the root as it pushes forward. Lateral roots Xylem and Phloem Root hairs Root tip Root cap Cambium cells present in the roots divide, and the roots get wider. Cells forming the outside of the cambium become phloem cells and old phloem cells form new bark. Cells forming to the inside of the cambium form the xylem or wood of the tree. Growth in the root tips makes the roots longer and able to spread out in search of more water and nutrients. Iowa's Trees 3

17 Trees and the Oxygen Cycle Trees need oxygen in order to break down sugars and release energy. Cells in the leaves, trunk, branches, and twigs absorb oxygen from the air; the roots absorb oxygen from the soil. Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is used by green plants to make food through a chemical process called photosynthesis. During photosynthesis, energy from the sun is captured by green plants to manufacture food, and oxygen is released. Photosynthesis mostly occurs in the tree s leaves where carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight, in the presence of the tree's chlorophyll, are used to make sugar. In the process, oxygen is released into the atmosphere. For the tree to break down those sugars, a process called respiration must occur. Energy is released during respiration as oxygen is removed from the air and sugar is consumed. O 2 Sunlight O 2 O 2 O 2 CO 2 H O 2 O 2 4 Iowa Association of Naturalists

18 Transportation of Water and Nutrients Water and nutrients are absorbed through the roots and transported up the trunk to the branches by cells in the sapwood. As water moves through a tree, most of the water is lost to the air by a process called transpiration. Tiny pores called stomata on the leaf surfaces open and allow carbon dioxide in and oxygen out of the leaf. When the pores open, water escapes from the tree. During transpiration, water loss pulls water and nutrients up from the roots. Special cells in the phloem transport the dissolved sugars and nutrients from the leaves to all parts of the tree. This sticky liquid is called sap. Transpiration Veins in leaf xylem and phloem Vascular bundle xylem and phloem exposed H O 2 and Nutrients Iowa's Trees 5

19 Forming Tree Rings As trees grow, they produce layers of cells that allow them to grow upward and outward. During the growing season, the cambium makes new cells that become part of the phloem, xylem, or more cambium. Early in the growing season, the cambium produces light-colored, thin-walled cells called earlywood. As growing slows later in the summer, a darker band of Cambium Phloem Sapwood Bark Sapwood Heartwood Latewood Earlywood Latewood Earlywood 1 year's growth Phloem Cambium Bark thick-walled cells called latewood is produced. The two layers form a tree ring or annual growth ring. You can determine the age of the tree by counting only the dark or only the light concentric lines from the center of the tree to the outer edge. In temperate and northern climates, one growth ring is usually formed each year. 6 Iowa Association of Naturalists

20 Seed Dispersal Trees must produce and disperse seeds in order to survive as a species. Tree seeds come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, each possessing special characteristics to aid in seed dispersal and survival. Tree seeds may be in the form of berries, nuts, or fruits. They may be transported by water, air, or animals. For example, cottonwoods produce seed pods that burst open, spilling thousands of white cottony seeds that float through the air to a new location. Maples have a winged seed or helicopter that spirals to the ground or is carried by the wind, and oaks produce acorns that fall from the trees and may find a sunny spot to sprout. Many acorns are also transported by wildlife such as squirrels, blue jays, and turkeys to be stored as a food source. Many times, the acorns are not eaten and sprout to become the next generation of oak trees. Fall Foliage Autumn leaf colors attract thousands of spectators each year, especially in the northeastern corner of Iowa. Leaves turn color in the fall due to chemical changes in the leaf tissues. These changes are initiated by a decrease in the length of sunlight. The best colors occur when conditions are clear, dry, and cool but without frost. Leaf color comes from four kinds of pigments: chlorophyll (green), carotenes (oranges and yellows), Iowa's Trees 7

21 anthocyanins (red and purple), and tannins (brown). Pigments are present in the leaf all the time, but they are masked by green chlorophyll during the growing season. As the leaf dies, it stops producing chlorophyll and the other pigments show their colors. A Forest as an Apartment Building A forest community is made up of several layers of life, including plants and animals. The forest floor the ground floor of the apartment building includes mosses, ferns, wildflowers, tree seedlings, and other low-growing plants that make up the herb layer. Hollow logs, leaf litter, fungi, and molds contribute to the forest floor. Moles, deer mice, bobwhite quail, numerous ground beetles, and larvae are some tenants of this layer. Above the forest floor lies the shrub layer. Shrubs are smaller than trees, but have woody stems. Shrubs such as prickly ash, dogwood, and sumac, and vines such as poison ivy, grape, and bittersweet, make up this layer of the forest, which usually abounds with songbirds such as vireos and catbirds. 8 Iowa Association of Naturalists

22 Trees make up the understory and canopy layers. The understory layer grows in the shade beneath the tallest trees. This layer consists of small shade-tolerant trees. The largest mature trees are considered part of the canopy layer which grows in full sunlight. It is the top floor of the forest which includes inhabitants such as bats, fox squirrels, orioles, and warblers. Canopy Understory Shrub and Vine Layer Floor Basement Iowa's Trees 9

23 Communities of Trees Where a certain tree species grows depends on a number of environmental factors, including topography, soil, temperature, moisture, and exposure. Upland woodlands are found on areas above stream bottoms or flood plains. In Iowa, oaks and hickories typically dominate drier upland woodlands, mixed with white ash, basswood, and walnut trees. Understory species in upland communities include sugar maple, ironwood, and saplings of larger canopy trees. Another upland woodland community exists on more moist, well-drained soils with north- and east-facing slopes. This community is dominated by oak, sugar maple, and basswood trees. Bottomland or lowland forests occur on floodplains and low-lying terraces in stream valleys. Typically, a lowland forest contains lush growths of cottonwood, silver maple, and green ash trees. Willows are usually found on the wetter bottomland areas. UPLAND FOREST White Oak Shagbark Hickory American Basswood Sugar Maple LOWLAND FOREST Silver Maple Eastern Cottonwood Black Willow Stream or River 10 Iowa Association of Naturalists

24 Iowa Tree Families Iowa s trees come in all shapes and sizes from majestic oaks to dense cedars, from graceful elms to spreading willows. A brief description of Iowa s most common trees follows. For more detailed information, consult additional resources listed later in this publication. Conifer Trees Pines are evergreen trees that produce cones and are called conifers. Pines are only one group of conifers; the others include cedars, firs, and spruces. Typically, species of conifers can be grouped by similar characteristics, especially based on type and arrangement of leaves. These characteristics include clumped needles, scaly leaves, flat needles, and square needles. Conifers in Iowa exist today in many habitats, but, historically, only five species of conifers were present in Iowa. These were white pine, balsam fir, eastern red cedar, common juniper, and Canada yew. Conifer needles and leaves Clumped Needles: The Pines (Genus Pinus) Pines have leaves that are grouped together in bundles. Depending White Pine on the tree species, bundles may contain two, three, or five leaves or needles per bundle. The white pine (Pinus strobus) has needles in bundles of five that are very slender, soft, and flexible. White pine is the only pine native to Iowa. Many introduced species, such as Austrian pine and Scotch pine, are commonly planted as windbreaks and ornamentals. Iowa's Trees 11

25 Scaly Leaves: The Cedars Red Cedar The leaves of eastern red cedar may be scalelike or awl-like or may have both types of leaves on the same tree. It has an evergreen foliage with a dark green, blue-green, or reddish cast. It grows in a variety of habitats, from rocky cliffs to eroded land to poor gravelly soils. The fruit is a small berrylike cone that is blue and round. This juniper is native throughout Iowa. The northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) is often used for cemetery and windbreak plantings. It is not native to Iowa and has flattened scales. Flat Needles: The Firs (Genus Abies) Firs are tall, pyramid-shaped evergreens with flat one- to two-inch needles with blunt ends. Firs make popular Christmas trees because they tend not to lose their needles as readily as other conifer species. Fir cones are rarely found intact; the scales tend to fall off before the cones fall to the ground. The balsam fir has a very pleasant fragrance that makes it popular for Christmas trees. It is native to northeastern Iowa, where it is rare and grows on steep, sheltered slopes. Square Needles: The Spruces (Genus Picea) Spruces are popular in windbreaks. These evergreens have pointed needles and branches that drop low to the ground. Many spruces, such as white spruce (Picea glauca) and Colorado blue spruce, are not native to Iowa but are widely planted throughout the state as windbreaks and ornamental trees. White Spruce 12 Iowa Association of Naturalists

26 Human and Wildlife Uses of Conifers Deciduous Trees Conifers are often planted because they make excellent windbreaks and noise buffers. Many people also plant farms of conifers to be sold as Christmas trees. From a lumber standpoint, conifers are used for pulp, posts, poles, railroad ties, and housing finishes. They provide excellent nesting habitats and winter shelter for wildlife, while cedar berries and other seeds are eaten by a variety of wildlife. Deciduous trees are trees that lose all of their leaves each year. In temperate regions such as Iowa, deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall. We can classify deciduous trees in many ways, including fruit types. Trees that Produce a Nut Oaks (Genus Quercus) Known as Iowa s state tree, oaks are the main canopy tree species in the state. Most oaks have lobed leaves with either rounded or pointed edges. The wood is hard and strong and is used extensively for furniture, flooring, veneer, railroad ties, and barrels. Acorns are the fruits of oaks and valued food for wildlife including turkeys, squirrels, chipmunks, blue jays, and many other birds and mammals. Oaks also provide homes and nesting cover for wildlife. Burr Oak White Oak Iowa's Trees 13

27 Red Oak Two main groups comprise our native oaks: white oaks and red oaks. White oaks have leaves with rounded lobes and acorns that mature in one growing season. The light brown wood is watertight and is often used for making barrels to hold liquids. Native white oaks include white oak (Quercus alba) and burr oak (Quercus macrocarpa). The burr oak s acorn is the only one in Iowa with a fringe of bristles around the acorn s cap. Red oaks have short bristles or points at the end of each leaf lobe. Red oak acorns require two growing seasons to mature, and the wood is generally pinkish to reddish brown. Common red oaks include red oak (Quercus rubra), pin oak, and black oak. Horsechestnuts (Genus Aesculus) The horsechestnut family consists of trees with opposite palmately-compound leaves. Horsechestnuts grow fairly quickly, and their fruits are important food for wildlife. These trees are commonly grown for ornamental plantings. The wood is lightweight and is used to make artificial limbs. The Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra) has a fruit that is a large nutlike seed with smooth, shiny, dark brown coat and a leathery, spiny covering. The buckeye grows naturally in wooded river valleys across most of south and central Iowa. Ohio Buckeye 14 Iowa Association of Naturalists

28 Walnuts and Hickories (Genus Juglans and Genus Carya) Black Walnut The walnut family includes walnut, hickory, butternut, and pecan trees. Members of this group have compound leaves and fruits with a hard nut and a green, semi-fleshy covering that turns black with age. Because of their sweet, oily nature, the nuts are an important food for wildlife and humans. The heartwood of walnut trees is used for gunstocks, furniture, and cabinets. Hickory wood is important for making handles of hammers, axes, and other tools because of its hard nature. It is also used for charcoal and meat-smoking. Species in this family include black walnut (Juglans nigra), butternut (Juglans cinerea), shagbark hickory (Carya ovata), bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis), and pecan (Carya illoensis). Shagbark Hickory Iowa's Trees 15

29 Trees that Produce Soft Fruits Mulberries (Genus Morus) The red mulberry (Morus rubra) is a very common tree of floodplains and fencerows. Its berrylike fruit is a favorite food of birds and other wildlife. As they feed on the fruits, animals spread mulberry seeds. Mulberry leaves are variable in size and shape with toothed margins and heart-shaped bases. Its wood is used locally for fenceposts, but it isn t exported commercially. White mulberry is an introduced species found throughout the state. Red Mulberry Rose Family Trees in the rose family have fruits that may be applelike, plumlike, or cherrylike. With the exception of black cherry, these trees are usually short and shrubby (less than 30 feet tall) and grow in open woods, fencerows, and pastures. Trees in this family may also have thorns or prickles on their branches. Many species are found in dense thickets and thus are important cover for wildlife species. Humans and wildlife relish the fruits Prairie Crab American Plum 16 Iowa Association of Naturalists

30 of many of these trees. Examples of trees in this family include the prairie crab (Pyrus ioensis), American plum (Prunus americana), hawthorns (Crataegus), black cherry (Prunus serotina), chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), mountain ash (Sorbus americana), and serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea). Black Cherry Other Trees Produced by Seeds Birches River Birch Most people think of white and peeling bark when they think of birch trees. However, many members of this family have smooth bark. The leaves are simple with toothed edges. This family includes the hornbeams and birches. The fruits are eaten by wildlife year round, as they persist during winter months. The male flowers, called catkins, are also an important winter food for some wildlife. Wood from the hornbeams is very strong and was used historically for mallets, tool handles, levers, and wheels; birch wood is soft and is used for paper and pulp. Typical species in this group include river birch (Betula nigra), paper birch (Betula papyrifera), yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis), hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), and ironwood or hop hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana). Ironwood Iowa's Trees 17

31 Elms The elm family consists of elms and hackberries. Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) is best identified by its rough, warty bark and toothed leaves with unequal bases. Hackberries resist wind damage and drought, and people are encouraged to plant them as street and shade trees. Its fruit is a dark purple seed that persists on twigs into the winter, making it a useful winter food for songbirds. Its wood is used for furniture, sporting goods, and plywood veneer. The tall, graceful American elm (Ulmus americana) was once the most popular street and yard tree in America. Its demise was due to the spread of Dutch elm disease, caused by an introduced fungus. Today, large American elm trees are rare. American elms are fast-growing, adaptable trees that develop a vase-shaped crown. The leaves have unequal bases and toothed edges. Elms produce a one-seeded winged fruit called a samara. The wood is white, hard, heavy, and strong and was once used for veneer, boxes, and furniture. Another elm, the slippery elm (Ulmus rubra), is also native to Iowa, and its wood has similar uses. Honey Locust Locusts Members of the locust or legume family have compound leaves and fruits that are pods. A common example is the honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos). Typically, honey locusts bear thorns on their branches or trunk, but cultivated varieties have been produced without thorns. Locust trees are now popular shade trees. The wood of this species is hard and durable and used for fence posts, railroad ties, furniture, and fuel. The fruits are eaten by wildlife and, historically, by humans. Another native legume is the Kentucky coffee tree (Gymnocladus dioicus). 18 Iowa Association of Naturalists

32 Maples (Genus Acer) Maples are very popular and easily recognized shade trees, probably best known as a source of maple syrup. Most maples have simple leaves, palmately lobed and opposite in arrangement. However, the box elder is a maple tree that has a compound leaf, resembling the ashes. The trees are also known for their winged samara or helicopter fruits. Maples that grow fast have weak limbs and soft wood and are known as soft maples. Examples of soft maples include box elder (Acer negundo) and silver maple (Acer saccharinum). Silver maple trees grow very tall (60 to 100 feet) and are very popular shade trees. However, the wood Box Elder is weak and limbs often break during ice and wind storms. This soft wood also makes them valuable for wildlife dens. Black maple and sugar maple are two species of hard maples. Compared to soft maples, they grow much more slowly and Silver Maple have a harder, heavier wood that is more valuable. Hard maples are important as shade trees and produce beautiful orange, red, and yellow colors in the fall. Ashes (Genus Fraxinus) Ash trees are common shade trees because they grow rapidly, thrive in a variety of soils, and are easily transplanted. The leaves are compound with toothed edges. The fruits are paddle-shaped and are dispersed by the wind. Ash wood is very hard and is used for sporting goods such as baseball bats, oars, paddles, snowshoes, and hockey sticks. Examples include the green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) and white ash. Green Ash Iowa's Trees 19

33 Willows (Genus Salix) Most Iowans identify willow trees with the weeping willow, a popular cultivated shade tree. However, weeping willows are not found natively in the state. Iowa does have several representatives of the willow family, which typically grow along wetlands and waterways. These examples include black willow (Salix nigra) and sandbar willow. Willows have small fluffy seeds that are dispersed by wind and are attached to tiny, long, silky hairs. Black willow wood is used for artificial limbs, paper pulp, and furniture. Fish often bask in the shade willows provide along streams. Willow roots stabilize stream banks of Iowa s deep soils. Black Willow Poplars (Genus Populus) Eastern Cottonwood Poplars are closely related to willows and are usually found in moist areas. The fluffy cottony seeds drift through the air and colonize new locations rapidly. Poplars are very fast-growing, and some species can reach heights of 100 feet. The leaves have thin, flattened stems that allow them to shake in the slightest breeze. Poplars have light, soft wood used for paper pulp, pallets, boxes, and veneer. Native species in Iowa include eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides), bigtooth aspen (Populus grandidentata), and quaking aspen. White poplar is a poor shade tree and is non-native. All poplars are popular food for beavers and are frequently found in beaver dens and food caches. Poplars are also used by winter browsers like rabbits and deer. Bigtooth Aspen 20 Iowa Association of Naturalists

34 Basswoods (Genus Tilis) Use of Tree Products Basswood, or linden, grows quickly and often produces sprouts from the bases of their trunks, forming characteristic sucker shoots. Young trees have silvery smooth bark. The leaves are large and heart-shaped with toothed margins. Fruits are dry round seeds that dangle from a leaflike bract. Their fragrant flowers are favorites for honeybees, and basswood heartwood decays easily, making a hollow space for wildlife homes. The wood doesn t impart taste or odor to food, so it is commonly used for honeycomb frames, boxes, crates, and toothpicks. The list for tree uses is seemingly endless. Trees provide lumber, paper products, resins, fruits, nuts, rubber, coffee, chocolate, fuel, cork, tannin, medicines, and adhesives, just to name a few. Trees are a renewable resource that keep giving and giving, as long as we manage them wisely. Iowa's Trees 21

35 How Trees Benefit the Environment It is hard to imagine a world without trees. Their roots help reduce soil erosion by anchoring trees into the ground and holding soil in place. Trees act as buffers between streams and cropfields to reduce soil runoff and bank erosion. Their leaves deflect heavy rains, allowing the water to percolate slowly into the soil. Trees provide valuable shelter for wildlife. Farmstead windbreaks and shade trees protect homes, buildings, and livestock from icy winter winds and summer sun. Well-managed woodlots can be a source of fuel and other products. Urban trees beautify streets, homes, and parks. They also produce oxygen, clean the air, reduce noise, lower summer temperatures, protect from winter winds, attract songbirds, and create natural elements in the city. Useful Resources "Forest and Shade Trees of Iowa," Peter Van der Linden and Donald Farrar, Iowa State University Press, Ames, IA, "Identification of Conifer Trees in Iowa," Paul H. Wray, Iowa State University Extension, Ames, IA, "Identification of Hardwood Trees in Iowa," Paul H. Wray, Iowa State University Extension, Ames, IA, "Iowa Supplement to Project Learning Tree," Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Des Moines, IA, "North American Trees," Richard Preston, Iowa State University Press, Ames, IA, "NatureScope Trees are Terrific," National Wildlife Federation, Washington, D.C., "Tree, Eye Witness Books," Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, "Tree Growth," Amy Kuehl, Iowa State University Forestry Extension Notes, Ames, IA, "Trees, A Golden Guide," Herbert S. Zim and Alexander C. Martin, Golden Press, New York, NY, "Tree Project Handbook," Trees Forever, Marion, IA, "Trees for Kids," Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Des Moines, IA, Iowa Association of Naturalists

36 Notes Iowa's Trees 23

37 Notes 24 Iowa Association of Naturalists

38 Iowa's Trees is one in a series of seven booklets that are part of the Iowa Plants Series. The booklets in the series include: Iowa Plants Iowa's Spring Wildflowers Iowa's Summer and Fall Wildflowers Benefits and Dangers of Iowa Plants Iowa's Trees Seeds, Nuts, and Fruits of Iowa Plants Iowa's Mushrooms and Other Nonflowering Plants Iowa's Shrubs and Vines (IAN-301) (IAN-302) (IAN-303) (IAN-304) (IAN-305) (IAN-306) (IAN-307) The Iowa Association of Naturalists also has produced five other booklet series that provide readers with a clear, understandable overview of topics concerning the Iowa environment and conservation. The booklets included in each of the other five series are listed below. Iowa Physical Environment Series Iowa Weather Iowa Geology and Fossils Iowa Soils Iowa Wildlife Series Iowa Mammals Iowa Winter Birds Iowa Nesting Birds Iowa Reptiles and Amphibians Iowa Fish Iowa Insects and Other Invertebrates Iowa's Natural Resource Heritage Changing Land Use and Values Famous Iowa Conservationists Iowa's Environmental Laws Conservation Careers in Iowa Iowa Wildlife and People Iowa Wildlife and Management Keeping Iowa Wildlife Wild Misconceptions About Iowa Wildlife State Symbols of Iowa Iowa Food Webs and Other Interrelationships Natural Cycles in Iowa Iowa Biodiversity Adapting to Iowa Iowa's Biological Communities Iowa's Biological Communities Iowa Woodlands Iowa Prairies Iowa Wetlands Iowa Waterways Iowa Environmental Issues Iowa Habitat Loss and Disappearing Wildlife Iowa Air Pollution Iowa Water Pollution Iowa Agricultural Practices and the Environment People, Communities, and Their Iowa Environment Energy In Iowa Iowa Waste Management (IAN-701) (IAN-702) (IAN-703) (IAN-601) (IAN-602) (IAN-603) (IAN-604) (IAN-605) (IAN-606) (IAN-501) (IAN-502) (IAN-503) (IAN-504) (IAN-401) (IAN-402) (IAN-403) (IAN-404) (IAN-405) (IAN-406) (IAN-407) (IAN-408) (IAN-201) (IAN-202) (IAN-203) (IAN-204) (IAN-205) (IAN-101) (IAN-102) (IAN-103) (IAN-104) (IAN-105) (IAN-106) (IAN-107) Booklets may be ordered through the Iowa State University Extension Service at a cost of $1.00 per booklet. When ordering, be sure to use the IAN number to the right of each listed booklet title. Please send written orders and payment to: ISU Extension Service Printing and Publications Building Iowa State University Ames, IA This publication is printed on recycled paper.

39 York County Envirothon 3 rd -4 th Leaf Key: Backyard Species Directions: Choose a leaf or branch to identify from your 3 rd -4 th grade York County Envirothon Study Species for Read the two choices at number 1. Choose which choice, a or b, is the most like your sample. Go to the number listed after your choice. Continue following the numbers of the key until you find the name of your sample. 1a. The leaves are evergreen... go to 2 1b. The leaves are deciduous. go to 3 2a. The leaves are needle-like. go to 4 2b. The leaves are scale-like. Eastern Red Cedar 2c. The leaves are broad with sharp, pointed teeth. American Holly What is a dichotomous key? A tool for identifying plants or animals based on choices between alternative characteristics. Dichotomy is the distinct difference between two things. 3a. Leaves are arranged oppositely on the branch. go to 5 3b. Leaves are arranged alternately on the branch. go to 6 4a. The needles are in bundles of 5 and inches long. Eastern White Pine 4b. The needles are single, short, flat, and have two white stripes on the underside. Eastern Hemlock 5a. Leaves are lobed. Go to 14 5b. Leaves have no lobes. Flowering Dogwood 6a. The leaves are compound. go to 7 6b. The leaves are simple. go to 8

40 7a. The leaves are pinnately compound. go to 9 7b. The leaves are palmately compound. go to 10 8a. Leaf margins are entire or smooth. Eastern Redbud 8b. Leaf margins are toothed or bristle tipped. go to 11 9a. Each leaflet is oval or elliptical in shape. Black Locust 9b. Each leaflet is lance shaped. Black Walnut 10a. Typically three leaflets per leaf. Poison Ivy 10b. Typically five leaflets per leaf. Virginia Creeper 11a. Leaves are palmately veined. go to 12 11b. Leaves are pinnately veined. Go to 13 12a. Leaves have fine teeth, and are star-shaped with five pointed lobes. Sweetgum 12b. Leaves have coarse teeth with 5-7 lobes. Sycamore 13a. Leaves are oval with 7-9 lobes and bristle tips. Red Oak 13b. Leaves are oval with fine teeth and no bristle tips or lobes. Bradford Pear 14a. Leaves usually have three lobes. Red Maple 14b. Leaves usually have 5-7 lobes. Norway Maple

41 York County Envirothon- 3rd and 4th Grade Forestry Study Species Identification Packet Backyard Species Table of Contents: Deciduous Simple Leaves: 1. Callery Bradford Pear (exotic) 2. Flowering Dogwood- opposite 3. Norway Maple (exotic) SEED PROVIDED 4. Redbud SEED PROVIDED 5. Red Maple- opposite 6. Red Oak SEED PROVIDED 7. Sweetgum SEED PROVIDED 8. Sycamore Deciduous Compound Leaves: 9. Black Locust 10. Black Walnut SEED PROVIDED 11. Virginia Creeper - vine 12. Poison Ivy vine Evergreen Leaves: 13. American Holly 14. Eastern Hemlock SEED PROVIDED 15. Eastern Red Cedar- opposite 16. Eastern White Pine 17. Sources

42 Callery Bradford Pear Pyrus calleryana Identification Features: Leaves have alternate arrangement. Leaves are simple. Leaves are shiny, green, and slightly toothed. Leaves are heart-shaped or ovate and 2-3 inches long. Small, sometimes stinky white flowers appear in spring before the leaves. Brown fruits are smaller than ½ inch. This small tree can reach up to 40 feet tall. Tree in Spring Habitat: Callery Pear is native to Asia. It was introduced to Maryland in It s an exotic species. Roadsides, old fields Cities and Suburbs Wildlife Value/Impact: Pear trees are larva host plants to over 100 species of butterflies and moths including the Saddleback Looper. Native varieties of pear species host more insects than the Bradford Pear. Some birds eat the fruits of Callery Pear including European Starlings, Mockingbirds, and Cardinals. Callery pears compete with native early successional trees in old fields and hedgerows. Leaf Human Value: Many people like the look of the white flowering tree in spring and enjoy that the leaves don t get eaten by many insects. Some native and more beneficial alternatives to Bradford Pear are Allegheny Serviceberry or White Fringetree. Introduced Range Fruits Flower 1

43 Flowering Dogwood Cornus florida Identification Features: Leaves have opposite arrangement. Leaves are simple and 3-5 inches long. Flowers Leaf margin is entire or smooth. Leaves turn bright red in fall. Buds look like miniature garlic cloves or onions. Flowers look large and white (but the white parts are actually leaves, and the flowers are yellow in the center). Seeds are egg shaped red drupes in clusters of 2-5 visible in fall. Bark is broken into small blocks like alligator skin. Small tree that grows about 30 feet tall. Leaf Habitat: Forest understory (grows beneath taller trees). Wildlife Value: Drupes Drupes are eaten by squirrels, chipmunks, mice, grey fox, black bear, skunk, beaver, white-tailed deer, quail, cardinals, mockingbirds, robins, turkey, and woodpeckers. Leaves and twigs are eaten by white-tailed deer, beaver, and Eastern Cottontails. Dogwoods are larval host plants to over 115 species of butterflies and moths including the amazing Monkey Slug, also known as the Hag Moth and the beautiful Stinging Rose Caterpillar. Dogwood flowers provide nectar for pollinating insects like bees, beetles, and butterflies. Tiny insects like aphids, and scale insects eat the juices of dogwood bark or leaves. Human Value: Decorative tree for yards and businesses. Berries are poisonous to humans. Native Americans used the bark for many different medicines. Flowering Dogwood is planted to improve soil because leaf litter decomposes quickly, providing nutrients to the soil. Wood is used for handles, charcoal, golf club heads, roller skate wheels, knitting needles, and more! Wood is hard, strong, and shock resistant. 2 Grey Squirrel Eating Drupes

44 Norway Maple Acer platanoides Leaf Identification Features: Leaves have opposite arrangement on the branch. Leaves are simple. Leaves are palmately veined with 5-7 lobes and coarse teeth. Flowers are bright yellow-green in the spring before the leaves grow. Fruits are samaras which hang in clusters in late summer. Leaves and twigs ooze milky sap when cut or torn. Medium tree about 65 feet tall with a dense round shape. Habitat: Norway Maples were introduced to North America from London in It s an exotic species. Norway Maple is the most widespread maple in Europe. In the United States it s planted in cities and suburbs. Norway Maple invades forests next to suburban areas. Wildlife Value/Impact: The maple family is larval host plants to over 250 caterpillar and moth species. It s unknown whether the exotic Norway Maple is as beneficial as native maples. Research has shown that forests invaded by Norway Maple have less wildflower diversity than forests with native Sugar Maples. Trees provide shelter and nesting sites for wildlife. Human Value: Norway Maple is listed as a Noxious Weed by Connecticut and Massachusetts state governments. It is prohibited in Massachusetts. Native maples like Sugar Maple should always be planted instead of Norway Maples. Flowers Introduced Range Samaras Sugar Maple Samara 3

45 Eastern Redbud Cercis canadensis Leaf and Seedpod Identification Features: Leaves have alternate arrangement on the branch. Leaves are simple. Leaves are heart-shaped, 3-5 inches long. Leaf margin is entire or smooth. Flower is ½ inch long pink or purple in clusters along the twigs, branches, and trunk before leaves emerge in spring. Fruits are flattened, dry, brown seedpods 2-4 inches long. Each pod contains flat brown seeds. Small tree up to 30 feet tall. Habitat: Understory tree in woods, valleys, hillsides, hilltops Wildlife Value: Redbud is the larval host plant for over 15 species of butterflies and moths including the American Dagger Moth. Hummingbirds drink nectar from redbud flowers in the spring. Honeybees collect pollen from redbud flowers in the spring. White-tailed Deer eat the twigs and leaves. Bobwhite quail and songbirds eat the seeds. White-tailed Deer Insects like weevils eat the seeds and leaves. Human Value: Native Americans used the bark and roots of Eastern Redbud to make tea and to treat whooping cough and other illnesses. Eastern Redbud flowers are edible. Flowers with Bee 4

46 Leaves Flowers Red Maple Acer rubrum Identification Features: Leaves have opposite arrangement on the branch. Leaves are simple. Leaves are up to 4 inches long. Leaves have three lobes with small teeth. Leaves turn orange or red before falling off in the fall. Flowers are reddish-orange, droop in clusters, and appear in spring. Fruits are called samaras. Each samara has a red, pink, or yellow wing. Bark is thin, smooth, and gray when young. Older bark may be dark grey, rough, and scaly. Red Maples can grow to be 90 feet tall. Habitat: Forests, stream banks, fields, understory Wildlife Value: Maple trees are larval host plants for over 285 butterfly and caterpillar species including the spectacular Crowned Slug and Spiny Oak Slug, and some of our giant silk moths including the Polyphemus Moth and Cecropia Moth. Maple is also host plant to the giant Imperial Moth caterpillar which reaches over 3 inches in length. The pretty pink and yellow Rose Maple Moth eats nothing but maple and oak as a caterpillar. Young Red Maple trees are a favorite food of White-tailed Deer. Maple samaras are eaten by squirrels and birds. Insects drink nectar from Red Maple flowers including Tiger Swallowtails, Mourning Cloak butterflies and bees. Leaf hoppers, scale insects, and beetles dine on the plant juices and wood of Red Maple. Woodpeckers, Screech Owls, Wood Ducks, Rat Snakes, and other animals may nest in holes in Red Maple trunks. Red Squirrel eating samara Samaras Human Value: Red maples are used to make paper, furniture, cabinets, plywood, floors and railroad ties. Red maples can be tapped for sap and made into maple syrup.

47 Red Oak Quercus rubra Leaves Identification Features: Leaves have alternate arrangement on the branch. Leaves are simple. Leaves have 7-11 lobes with several bristle-tipped teeth. Lower leaf surface has tufts of hairs where the veins branch. Male flowers are catkins in spring. Female flowers are spikes. Fruits are acorns inches long. Medium to large size tree that can reach up to 90 feet tall. Habitat: Forests, cities Wildlife Value: Oak trees are larval host plants for over 500 species of butterflies and moths including the Red-spotted Purple Butterfly, the Io Moth, and Spotted Apatelodes. Branches and leaves are eaten by white-tailed deer, elk, cottontail rabbits, and moose! Many mammals eat the acorns of red oak including the whitefooted mouse, eastern chipmunk, flying squirrel, and deer mice. Birds like the northern bobwhite, red-headed woodpecker, bluejay, and ruffed grouse eat the acorns. Many species of ducks also eat the acorns including the golden-eye duck. Many red oak trees hold onto their brown leaves in the winter, making them good shelter for a variety of birds and mammals. Acorn Flowers Human Value: Red oaks can be planted in polluted areas such as old coal mine spoils to restore a natural habitat. Traditionally acorns of many oak trees were used by Native American peoples as a food and medicine source. Red Oak acorns were soaked and boiled to remove bitter tannins. Chipmunk with Acorn 6

48 Sweetgum Liquidambar styraciflua Leaves Identification Features: Leaves have alternate arrangement and are simple, palmately lobed with 5-7 points. Leaves are toothed and look like stars. Leaves are aromatic. They have a pleasant smell when crushed. Flowers are tiny, green, and have no true petals. Tiny brown winged seeds are inside brown, spiny gum balls. Young twigs can develop wings of corky bark. A large tree that can grow over 100 feet tall. Goldfinch eating seeds Habitat: Wet woods, swamps, stream banks, old fields. Prefers sunny places. Wildlife Value: Seeds are eaten by finches, ducks, quails, chickadees, sparrows, wrens, squirrels, and chipmunks. Beavers use the wood for making dams. Young trees may get eaten by deer, Eastern Cottontails, mice, or beavers. Sweetgum is the larval host plant for over 30 species of butterflies and moths including two of our biggest moths; the Promethea Moth, which has a wingspan of 3 ¾ inches; and the Luna Moth, which has a wingspan of 4 1 / 8 inches! Sweetgums provide shelter for many birds and mammals. Treehoppers nibble the leaves of sweetgum. Luna Moth Flowers Human Value: Planted as a windbreaker and to help control erosion. Sweetgum wood is used for lumber, railroad ties, pulpwood for paper, and furniture. Sweetgum is planted along street sides for its shade and beauty. Leaves turn bright yellow to dark red in the fall. Sap is used as an ingredient in medicine and perfume. Native Americans made chewing gum from the sap, tea from the seeds and bark, and used the roots for many medicines. 7

49 Sycamore Platanus occidentalis Leaf Identification Features: Leaves are alternately arranged on the branch and are simple, coarsely toothed, and palmately lobed with 3-5 lobes. Sycamore bark is unique. It s smooth and white and peels off in large chunks. As it peels off it leaves a collage of white, brown, green, and grey- similar to a camouflage clothing pattern. Flowers are green or red and tiny in ball-shaped clusters. Fruits are brown balls hanging on stalks. The dry, hairy seeds are packed tightly together inside the fruit ball. This type of seed is called an achene. One of the largest hardwood trees, growing feet tall or larger. Some sycamores have been found with 15 foot diameter trunks! Habitat: Forests, stream and lake edges Fruit Flowers Bark and Screech Owl in Cavity Wildlife Value: Sycamore is the larval host plant for over 40 species of butterflies and moths including one of our most impressive moths, the Regal Moth, which reaches over 4 inches as a bright green caterpillar and as a bright orange moth has a wingspan of 6 inches! Birds like American Goldfinches, Chickadees, Finches, and Mallards eat Sycamore seeds. Mammals like beavers, muskrats, and gray squirrels eat Sycamore seeds. Beavers eat Sycamore bark. As Sycamore trees become older they may become hollow inside and become home to woodpeckers, owls, chimney swifts, woodducks and raccoons. Human Value: Sycamore wood is used for furniture, floors, butcher s blocks, particle board, pulp, and baskets. Sycamores are planted along stream edges to help prevent erosion. Sycamores are planted in backyards and cities to provide shade. Sycamores are planted to rehabilitate waste sites such as strip-mined areas. 8 Regal Moth Caterpillars

50 One Leaf Seedpods Black Locust Robinia pseudoacacia Flowers Honey Identification Features: Leaves have alternate arrangement on the branch and are pinnately compound with 7-19 oval leaflets. Each leaflet is about 1-2 inches long. The entire leaf is 6-12 inches long. Seeds are in a thin, flat pod 2-4 inches long. There are 2-14 seeds in each pod. Flowers are white and very fragrant in drooping clusters. Flowers bloom in late spring. Bark is light gray with deep furrows. Spines grow on twigs in pairs. They re sharp! Medium-sized tree that grows up to 80 feet tall. Habitat: Woods, fields, streamsides Wildlife Value: Seeds are eaten by squirrels, Northern bobwhite, mourning doves, wild turkey, white-tailed deer, and Eastern cottontails. Flower nectar is made into honey Bobwhite by honeybees. Flowers are pollinated by bees and hummingbirds. Locust is the larval host plant for over 65 species of butterflies and moths including the Silver Spotted Skipper. Woodpeckers make cavities in Black Locust for nesting. Many animals use Black Locust for cover. Human Value: Wood doesn t rot quickly in the ground, so it s commonly used for fenceposts, poles, paper, boxes, stakes, firewood, and railroad ties. Black locust seeds are poisonous to humans. Black locust is planted to reduce soil erosion. Black locust is planted near honeybee hives because the flowers produce a large supply of nectar the bees can make into honey. Spines 9

51 Identification Features: Black Walnut Juglans nigra Leaves are alternate. Leaves are compound. Leaflets are lance shaped. Leaves have leaflets. Each leaflet is 2-4 inches long with small teeth. Leaflets are paler below and hairy on the underside. The leaf stem has very fine hairs. Seeds are round nuts, 1-2 inches in diameter. Seeds ripen in the fall. Seeds are covered by a thick, green, spongy husk seen below. Male flowers are called catkins and look like dangling green earrings. They are visible as the young leaves are opening in the spring. Male and female flowers look different. One Leaf Flowers Habitat: Large tree up to 100 feet tall. Forests with moist soils, floodplains, and low on hillsides. Seeds Wildlife Value: Nuts are eaten by squirrels. Yellow-bellied sapsuckers drill holes in the bark to eat sap. Twigs are eaten by deer, mice, and Eastern cottontails. Walnut leaves are food for over 130 types of caterpillars and many other types of insects including aphids, lace bugs, and Luna Moths. Nut Shell Opened by Squirrel Human Value: Wood is used to make quality furniture, musical instruments, and guns. Shells are ground for use in many products including cleaning jet engines, filler in dynamite, and an ingredient in car tires. Nuts are harvested for use in baked goods and ice cream. 10

52 Virginia Creeper Parthenocissus quinquefolia Identification Features: Habitat: Leaves are alternate on the vine and palmately compound with five leaflets. Leaflets have toothed margins. Leaves are red when young, turn green, and turn bright red again in the fall. Small green flowers appear in the spring. Small clusters of bluish-black berries appear in early summer. Older vines have pale raised dots. Woody vine. Forests, forest clearings, fencerows, and stream banks. Leaves Wildlife Value: Virginia Creeper berries are eaten by birds, mice, skunks, chipmunks, squirrels, cattle, and deer. The leaves provide cover for small animals. Vines provide birds with perches, nesting sites, and places to find food. Virginia Creeper makes a great ground cover on shady slopes to prevent erosion. Human Value: Berries are highly toxic to humans and may be fatal if eaten. The sap can cause skin irritation for some people. Virginia Creeper bark has been used medicinally for many Berries purposes including a cure for diarrhea and cough syrup. Used in gardens because of its beautiful fall leaves. It looks great covering walls and fences. 11

53 Poison Ivy Toxicodendron radicans Identification Features: Leaves are alternately arranged on the branches. Leaves are palmately compound. Each leaf has three leaflets. Leaflets are oval. Poison ivy can grow as a groundcover, vine, or shrub. The vine has a hairy appearance. Flowers are small and green or white. Berries are small and whitish gray. Habitat: Can live almost anywhere. Dry or moist sites. Woods or fields. Roadsides and paths. Wildlife Value: At least 75 species of birds eat the fruits and seeds of poison ivy. Mammals including bears, deer, muskrats, Eastern Cottontails, squirrels, mice, and rats eat the leaves, stems, and fruits of poison ivy. Yellow-rumped Warbler Eating Poison Ivy Berries Leaves Flowers Berries Human Value: May cause rashes for humans who come in contact with any part of the plant. Therefore, poison ivy is generally removed where humans may come in contact with it. Poison ivy may be valuable as a native plant that can colonize disturbed areas protecting soil from erosion. 12

54 Leaves and Drupes American Holly Ilex opaca Identification Features: Leaves are evergreen, simple, broad, dark green, tough, and leathery with sharp, pointed teeth. Flowers of American Holly are small and white. They bloom in late spring. Holly fruits are called drupes. Holly drupes are bright red in the fall and winter. American Holly can grow up to 60 feet tall. Habitat: Understory of the forest Wildlife Value: Holly is the host plant for over 30 species of butterfly and moth larva. Many animals eat the drupes of American Holly including wild turkey, Northern bobwhite, cedar waxwings, squirrels, meadow voles, white-footed mouse, red fox, and Eastern box turtle. Insects like bees, wasps, and moths visit American Holly flowers to drink nectar and collect pollen. American Holly branches make great nesting sites for birds. Wreath Flowers Human Value: American Holly wood is used to make handles, rulers, piano keys, and violin pegs. Eastern Bluebird Eating Holly Drupes Holly leaves and drupes are often used for Christmas decorations. American Holly is planted around homes and parks for their beauty and as a wildlife attractor. American Holly drupes are poisonous to humans. 13

55 Eastern Hemlock Tsuga canadensis Leaves and Cones Identification Features: Leaves are evergreen. Leaves are needles attached singly to branches. Needles are flattened and about ½ inch long. Needles are dark and glossy above and light green with two white lines below. Seeds are in tiny cones ¾ inch long. Cones are egg-shaped. Under each cone scale are two small winged seeds. Large, long-lived tree. Some old growth forests have hemlocks that are up to 400 years old! Habitat: Cool, moist forests. Wildlife Value: Ruffed grouse, wild turkey, and songbirds eat the seeds. Many birds find shelter on the branches of Hemlock trees. The deep shade that hemlock trees provide helps keep forest streams cool. Flowers Human Value: Tannic acid was harvested from Hemlock tree bark and is used for tanning leather. Wood was used Crossbill Eating Hemlock Seeds in construction. State tree of Pennsylvania. Native Americans used hemlock wood as an ingredient in bread and soups. Tea was made from leaves which have high vitamin C content. Used in landscaping as a visual or wind screen. It can be shaped into rectangular hedges. 14

56 Eastern Red Cedar Juniperus virginiana Leaves Identification Features: Leaves are evergreen, scaly, and short. Red Cedar has two types of flowers. Male flowers are yellowish-brown and female flowers are light bluish-green. Flowers turn into berry-like cones that turn blue in September. Cones are about ¼ inch wide. Bark is reddish-brown and peeling off. Eastern Red Cedar can grow up to 40 feet tall. Cones Bark Habitat: Fields, roadsides, forest understory Wildlife Value: Cedar is the host plant for over 35 species of butterfly and moth larva including the Juniper Hairstreak. Young Red Cedars get eaten by white-tailed deer, mice, and Eastern cottontails. Cones are eaten by many birds and mammals including American robins, cedar waxwings, purple finches, American crows, woodpeckers, skunks, raccoons, and many more. Red Cedars are important cover for small mammals and make great nesting sites for birds. Earthworms like to live in the soil around Red Cedars. Many fungi like to grow on Red Cedar. Juniper Hairstreak Human Value: The wood of Red Cedar is used for fence posts, poles, paneling, furniture, pencils, pet bedding, and chests. Red Cedars are planted as Christmas Trees and as hedges. Red Cedars are planted in backyards and parks to attract wildlife. Red Cedar wood has insect-repelling properties, so it s used to help repel clothing moths by putting wood or shavings in closets and chests. Fungi, Gymnosporangium juniperi 15

57 Eastern White Pine Pinus strobus Identification Features: Leaves are evergreen. Leaves are needles in clusters of 5. Each needle is 2 ½ - 5 inches long and bluish green. White Pine flowers are shaped like small yellow cones. Seeds are in cones 5-8 inches long. Cones do not have prickles. Each cone scale holds 2 winged seeds. Large tree reaching feet high. Historically, White Pines have been found to reach over 150 feet tall and live over 400 years! Needles Bald Eagle Nest Habitat: Forests Wildlife Value: Seeds and needles are eaten by birds, squirrels, chipmunks, voles, and mice. Deer and Eastern cottontails eat the young twigs. Beavers, Eastern cottontails, and porcupines eat the bark of white pine. Needles are food for over 203 species of caterpillars including loopers, inchworms, the Pine Devil Moth, and the Imperial Moth. Many fungi parasitize White Pine including the honey mushroom and dye polypore. Birds make their nest in the Flowers branches of white pine, especially bald eagles. Human Value: Planted in parks and neighborhoods. Valuable timber is used for furniture, cabinets, house construction, matches, and paper. Historically used for ship masts because of their large straight trunk. 16 Cones

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