Trees on the Yale Nature Walk

Tree ID: 13
Date of tree entry: April 18, 2014
The weeping beech is a variety of European beech developed in England in 1836 and first introduced to the States in 1847. This particular weeping beech drapes its branches over the gentle slope of Farnam Gardens on Prospect Street. It’s hard to miss—gnarled roots emerging around the trunk and knobby branches bending low to the ground, like some kind of living dinosaur! In the late spring, summer and into autumn, the canopy creates an umbrella-shaped room, almost fully enclosed on all sides, dark green leaves creating the roof and walls. This tree appears actually to be three individual trees but in fact beeches reproduce vegetatively (they create clones by rooting many branches from one tree) so these three “trees” are identical and come from the mother tree, farthest up the hill.
Tree ID: 10
Date of tree entry: April 18, 2014
Decaisnea fargesii is commonly known as dead man's fingers or the blue bean tree. This shrub is native to western China and other western Asia countries such as Nepal, Bhutan, and northeastern parts of India, though its common names originate from Ireland. This shrub is often as wide as it is tall, and this particular measured to 7m in the winter of 2014. It commonly flowers in the summer while its fruit ripen in the fall around Halloween. This plant is distinctive for its blue sausage-shaped fruit, which give its various common names. Although the fruit is edible, the tree mostly serves an ornamental or decorative purpose when grown in non-native parts of the world.
Tree ID: 12
Date of tree entry: February 11, 2014
The white fringe tree, Chionanthus virginicus, is a small but beautiful tree found in the Marsh Gardens. This tree is characterized by its resplendent white flowers, which bloom in May or June. The tree also has small olive-like fruit, which develops in August or September. It is deciduous and loses its leaves in the winter. This exposes the smooth gray bark. The white fringe tree is found throughout the eastern United States from Texas to Florida and south of New York. This tree is native to Missouri.
Tree ID: 24
Date of tree entry: April 17, 2014
This tree is considered a "living fossil", meaning it looks very similar to fossils that are millions of years old. Interestingly, it is the only surviving tree in the entire order of ginkgoales: the order, family, genus, and species are all used to describe a single type of tree. Perhaps more interestingly, ginkgo trees are older than the T. Rex.
Tree ID: 15
Date of tree entry: April 16, 2014
Despite its name, this magnificent tree hails originally from China, but was likely planted around early Japanese Buddhist temples. It proudly overlooks the Yale Farm, and its spreading canopy provides a lovely patch of shade in the summer for student farm interns to eat lunch and nap under. It is an "urban-tough" tree, highly recommended for city street planting because it can tolerate the heat and pollution of summer air in a bustling city like New Haven. Careful; the base of its trunk is guarded by a thorny shrub that eagerly tore holes in its surveyor's pants as she took its DBH.
Tree ID: 17
Date of tree entry: April 13, 2014
The Sugar Maple is known primarily for its sweet sap which can be processed into syrup and its colorful leaves which change to hues of crimson, orange, and yellow in the fall. Many people think that the Canadian Flag takes its image from the sugar maple, but it is instead recognizable as a fusion of the different maple leaves.
Tree ID: 28
Date of tree entry: April 13, 2014
Between the entrances of the Peabody Museum and Yale's Environmental Science Center, this small tree brings great beauty to the area with its bright yellow flowers, greenish twigs, and dark brown branches. Its scientific name, "Cornus mas", comes from the word cornu which means “horn” and refers to the hard wood of the Cornelian cherry, and the word mas translates to male and refers to the adaptability of the species.
Tree ID: 5
Date of tree entry: April 12, 2014
This yellowwood tree is found on the hill leading down to Marsh Botanical Gardens. Yellowwood is a medium sized (about 30 to 50 feet tall) tree that is native to North America. The tree is famous for its beautiful white flowers in late spring, early summer and yellow foliages in the fall. However, the tree is not found easily in the wild, and most wild yellowood population exists near limestone cliffs in the Midwest states like Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
Tree ID: 22
Date of tree entry: April 25, 2014
"Giganteum" doesn't even begin to describe the size of this species. Sequoiadendron giganteum can be as tall as 90m and as wide as 11m. It has fireproof, red/brown bark and evergreen leaves. Just imagine how big this tree will be in only a couple (thousand) years!
Tree ID: 25
Date of tree entry: April 11, 2014
Japanese Cedar

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