Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Spring 3d: Basswood and the Birches

Basswood (Tilia americana) is also known as linden.  Although several I know of grow in the neighborhood, all the photos are of one tree.  A branch growing adventitiously from the trunk is low enough for close-ups, but this leafed out days ahead of the crown, so I also took photos of a higher branch.   As of today, 5/27, the flowers have yet to bloom.  Each little cluster of flowers hangs beneath a long, pale bract; in the fall each cluster of fruit will be launched beneath its own little hang glider.

May 1st 

May 4th

May 5th

May 7th

May 11th

May 13th

May 16th

May 19th

May 21st

May 23rd

 May 26th

Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) is really a more northern tree, but it's planted in yards, like the two trees here.  It lowered from about May 6th (earlier?) to the 12th when the male catkins fell.

May 1st, 4th, 7th (2),
 11th, 13th, 16th and 21st.

Gray Birch (Betula populifolia) is a fast-growing and short-lived tree common in oldfields.  The tree here is in a yard.  It flowered from about May 7th to the 22nd when the male catkins fell.

Photos May 1st, 5th, 7th, 11th,
13th, 16th, 21st, 23rd and 26th.

I first met river birch (Betula nigra) in Georgia, where a specimen with the distinctive peeling pink bark grew outside UGa's Plant Science Building.  I was startled to meet with it again so far north.  Although largely a southern tree, its range reaches s e NY, and even the s e corner of New Hampshire.  [5/29: This tree pulled a fast one on me: after weeks of waiting for it to flower, I plucked what I though was an immature flower cluster only to discover it had maturing seeds inside!  It seems to have flowered weeks ago, but I never saw flowering catkins until I went back and studied the earliest photos--you can see them in the background lower right quadrant of the second photo.]

Photos May 5th (2), 11th (2), 16th,
19th, 21st (2), 23rd (2) and 26th.

Hard to believe this still isn't the end of Spring 3!  Next up: ash and hickories!

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