Holm Oak (Quercus Ilex)

Holm Oak (Quercus Ilex)
Holm Oak (Quercus Ilex)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy Autumnal Equinox to all Tree Huggers

Kudzu (probably Pueraria lobata) is at the height of its flowering cycle

#treetuesday introduces what is probably one of the most invasive species ever introduced into the Unites States  First introduced as a flowering ornamental at the Philadelphia Continental Exposition in 1876. In the 1930s and '40s, the government rebranded kudzu as a remedy for soil erosion and as cattle feed. 

 In the southern U.S. kudzu is reportedly used to make soapslotions, contribute to compost, and the fiber used to make baskets. 

***All of these photos taken near a street where I live in southwest VA where it rambles over abandoned trees and even over an invasive bamboo.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Aralia spinosa: The Devil's Walking Stick, a dangerous but colorful North American native

The thorns arising from the woody trunks and stems 

give this small tree its name.

Aralia spinosa, aka The Devil's Walking Stick or Hercules Club, is our #treetuesday woody plant of the week.  In the ginseng (Aralia) family it is native to eastern North America. It's been many years since I've seen a stand of them, but found these in a much cutover slope near Charlottesville, Va. 

Small white flowers develop into these showy maroon berries

 in the autumn 

The tri-pinnately compound leaves are another distinguishing 

characteristic of this handsome but straggly tree.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ginkgo biloba: an ancient and beautiful tree

#tree tuesday

Ginkgo biloba, commonly called the gingko  or the maidenhair tree, is an ancient and unique species with no living relatives. Often called a living fossil, the gingko is similar to fossils dating back 270 million years. It is native to China, was introduced early to human history and cultivation. It has various uses in traditional medicine, and its fruit is a source of food in Asian cooking.  The gingko, preferably the male of this dioecious species, makes a handsome and adaptable urban ornamental.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Autumn Leaves

#Tree Tuesday

First Day of Autumn

In 2014, the autumnal equinox brings the fall season to the Northern Hemisphere on: September 22 at 10:29 P.M. EDT. The days are getting shorter in the Northern Hemisphere. Day and night are approximately equal in length. 

Sun peeking through hickory tree leaves around noon.


Gathering up oak and hickory tree leaves using a gasoline-powered blower.