Trees on the Yale Nature Walk

Tree ID: 23
Date of tree entry: April 19, 2016
The Dwarf Mountain Pine sits in the Cretaceous Garden adjacent to the Peabody Museum. Though it is a small and easy to miss, do not dismiss this special tree. It produces buds and cones that can be used to make pine syrup for an interesting flare to your saturday morning pancakes. It can be recognized by its height of about the average human knee, its dark green foliage, and needle-like leaves. Often planted in gardens and landscapes for its relatively small size, the tree is native to Southwestern and Central Europe, in habitats of high elevation.
Tree ID: 21
Date of tree entry: April 19, 2016
Several Scotch Pines (also known as Scots Pines) tower majestically over the Cretaceous Garden near the Peabody. These trees are distinct in that they boast bark that is very thick and dark on their lower trunks. However, as one's eyes follow the trunks towards their tops, the Scotch Pine's bark becomes flaky and orange. The longevity of these trees is surpassed by few; often times, these pines will live for 150 to 300 years, with some of the oldest living Scotch Pines being over 760 years. The Scotch Pine makes up a large portion of coniferous forests in the Northern Hemisphere. Unfortunately, this species has become the target of fatal infestations of Pine Wilt Nematodes and is steadily declining. Still, this species of pine is dominant in places like Russia, Eastern Europe, and the continental United States.
Tree ID: 26
Date of tree entry: April 19, 2016
The dawn redwood is a fast growing decidious tree and a true "living fossil," because its fossilized remains were discovered before living plants were found. It dominated forests of the Northern Hemisphere before almost going extinct in the Age of Mammals. It was saved from extinction in the 1940's and can be found today in parks and large gardens at heights of 200 ft tall and up.
Tree ID: 52
Date of tree entry: March 2, 2016
This mighty tree stands tall and proud in the Grove Street Cemetary. The red oak, ever regal, outshines all the trees near it.
Tree ID: 18
Date of tree entry: March 12, 2016
The Gleditsia triacanthos, or honey locust as its commonly called, is a decidious tree native to the central United States. It blooms relatively late in the spring and produces yellow leaves in autumn. The tree gets its name from the sweet, sticky pulp it produces. Alternatively, the tree is known as the "thorny" locust due to the spines or thorns that it bears on wood of its main trunk or the base of its branches. The honey locust has also historically been used for a wide variety of medicinal practices, particularly in Native American culture. Today, the honey locust has a number of applications: its fruit is used in agriculture to feed livestock; its dense wood is used to make furniture and fences; and its unique compounds may have medicinal uses for treating diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. This honey locust is located at the corner of Yale University Science Hill parking lot near the intersection of Whitney Avenue and Bishop Street.


Tree ID: 38
Date of tree entry: March 3, 2016
This 1.78m specimen of Taxus x media is an evergreen with needle-like dark green foliage that sways in the university president's front yard on Hillhouse Avenue. Poisonous if ingested, it is a hardy, spreading conifer that can tolerate a wide range of soil and sun conditions, as well as pruning. This is a hybrid of Taxus cuspidata and Taxus baccata that was first bred in the early 1900s. Although it is slow-growing, it can grow to roughly 5 feet tall by 10 feet wide if left unpruned.
Tree ID: 41
Date of tree entry: March 3, 2016
This ginkgo tree is located in the backyard of President Peter Salovey's house, between Hillhouse and Whitney Avenue. A living fossil, Ginkgo biloba has been found in fossils from as far back as 270 million years ago. The species originated in China and has a history of being used for medicinal purposes. Ginkgo trees are prized in Asia because of their importance in Buddhism and can be found in palace and temple gardens. They are a hearty species and survive well in cities so can also be found in devleoped areas from New York City to Tokyo. Before its foliage has been lost, the tree can be easily recognized by its unique fan-shaped leaves. The foliage turns from green to a golden-yellow color in the fall. Male trees are preferred because female trees produce fruit that emits a foul odor.
Tree ID: 34
Date of tree entry: March 3, 2016
The majestic Austrian pine stands tall in a small courtyard near Luce Hall on Hillhouse Avenue. Horticulturalist Dr. Carl Whitcomb noted that the Austrian pine "rivals all pines in durability under adverse conditions," making it one of the toughest of all European pines. Austrian pines are medium to fast-growing, generally reaching between 40 and 60 feet and spreading 25 to 35 feet. Mature trees can grow to be over 500 years old. The Austrian pine is native to Austria, northern Italy, and the former Yugoslavia, but has been widely planted in eastern and midwestern North America because of its bold texture, fullness of foliage, dark-green needles, and adaptability to urban conditions.
Tree ID: 46
Date of tree entry: March 3, 2016
Liquidambar styraciflua is known as the American sweetgum. It is a deciduous tree that can be found in southeastern U.S., as well as southern Mexico and Central America. The sweetgum is a fast-growing tree that develops a significant taproot that tolerate high moisture levels in soil. It is used for its lumber, and is one of the most common sources of hardwood and plywood, but also produces spectacular colors as it drops its leaves in the fall. The sweetgum is a monoecious species and is pollinated primarily by wind. The sweetgum produces a resin that can harden and be used for chewing gum as well as medicinal purposes. Some other fun facts about the American sweetgum include that it provides protection and food for many forest animals, including squirrels, deer, doves, and chipmunks. It can be especially resistant to attack by insects, which makes them very helpful trees in reforestation projects and reclamations of former mineral mines. Finally, sweetgum trees can fix nitrogen and promote soil health. Our American sweetgum is situated in a beautiful green area between OML and Kroon Hall. It offers a calming presence in the heart of the science buildings at Yale, and is surely a special tree to observe, especially in the autumn.
Tree ID: 43
Date of tree entry: March 3, 2016
This tree is a member of of the Malus genus, otherwise known as a crabapple tree. It is in the family Rosaceae, but the exact species of this tree is unknown especially since there are 35 unique species and 700 different varieties of this particular tree. . While the fruit of the crabapple may resemble a typical apple, the flavors are worlds apart! The crabapple fruit is very sour and bitter in taste leading to the common misconception that crabapples are actually dangerous to consume. Urban myths have it that the crabapple is poisonous, but this is not, in fact, true. Crabapples are perfectly safe to eat despite their terrible flavor, and despite containing small amounts of cyanide in their seeds (as regular apples do), they do not pose a threat to children or pets who might ingest the seeds. Crabapple trees overall are pleasent and relaxing trees which are great as backyard plants, however they can vary in size and be from 15 to 40ft tall at maturity.