Trees on the Yale Nature Walk

Tree ID: 78
Date of tree entry: February 6, 2018
Hello! We're glad you've come to meet a good friend of ours, Magnolia grandifloria, "the Southern Magnolia", or as we have affectionately named her, Maggie Magnolia. Of course "her" is a misnomer since Maggie has perfect flowers, but read our section on reporductive structures for more about that. While most famous for growing in the southern portion of the United States, Magnolia grandiflora can actually grow as far north as Maine and Washington. It has broad leaves and is an evergreen, meaning it does not lose its leaves in winter. For this reason, and for its beautiful flowers, it is used as an ornamental tree. Magnolia grandiflora is the offical state tree of Mississippi and its flowers are the official state flower of Louisiana. Maggie is the (un-)official pride and joy of the Marsh Botanical Gardens. They are large and can grow to about 60-80 ft tall, but this depends on the habitat and some stay fairly small. Other names you may have heard this tree called by are Bull Bay, Evergreen magnolia, or Great Laurel magnolia. Look for creamy white flowers with a rich fragrance, broad, leathery leaves that are dark green on top and brown on bottom, and an overall oval or pyramidal shape. Enjoy your visit with Maggie!
Tree ID: 80
Date of tree entry: February 6, 2018
Pignut hickory (Carya glabra) is a common but not abundant species in the oak-hickory forest association in Eastern United States. Other common names are pignut, sweet pignut, coast pignut hickory, smoothbark hickory, swamp hickory, and broom hickory. The pear-shaped nut ripens in September and October and is an important part of the diet of many wild animals. The wood is used for a variety of products, including fuel for home heating. A North American native, Pignut Hickory is usually seen at 50 to 65 feet in height with a 30 to 40- foot-spread but is capable of slowly reaching 120 feet in the forest. The deciduous, 6 to 12-inch- long leaves create a coarse, oval canopy, and the strong but irregularly-spaced branches resist breakage in storms, making it useful as a shade tree.
Black locust tree at Marsh Botanical Garden
Tree ID: 81
Date of tree entry: February 6, 2018
The black locust is native to United States, although it has been planted all over North America, Europe, Asia, and South Africa. The species, Robinia pseudoacacia, is a deciduous angiosperm that is considered by many to be an invasive species. The wood of the black locust is very durable and used for many human purposes. Historically, Native Americans used the wood to make bows and tools. The flowers of the tree are strongly fragrant and pleasing to look at, although they often only appear for 7-10 days between May and early June.
Tree ID: 77
Date of tree entry: April 23, 2017
The Himalayan Pine is a beautiful tree native to the Himalayas, Karakoram, and Hindu Kush mountains. It is a coniferous evergreen that grows in altitudes of ~2000-4000 meters. The tree can grow up to 50 meters in height, but is more often 10 to 30 meters tall. It grows quickly and can thrive in moist environments. The branches of the pine can extend outward very far and are covered in blue-green needles all year. It is also known as the Blue Pine, the Bhutan Pine, and the Himalayan White Pine. This particular pine is in a wonderful location right on the corner of Hillside and Prospect, and is in a great place to take a walk or relax and enjoy nature.
Tree ID: 74
Date of tree entry: April 23, 2017
This tree, also known as “cigar tree” for it’s cigar-shaped, cylindrical seed pods, is located up Prospect Street behind the Marsh Botanical Garden. It is most commonly called the Southern catalpa, since it it is native to a small group of southern states. This medium-sized, deciduous tree typically grows to about 9-18 meters tall (depending on whether it is a small or medium tree) and 1 m in diameter. It also has an irregular, broad-rounded crown. Due to its production of clusters of showy white flowers with purple and yellow markings, it is often planted as an ornamental shade tree. The tree has uses beyond this, also used for general construction work, pharmaceutical purposes, and conservation.
Tree ID: 76
Date of tree entry: February 23, 2017
The Pawpaw, otherwise known as the Asimina triloba, is a small tree that bears the largest edible fruit in its native United States. Located close to Hillside Place, the Pawpaw stands (somewhat) tall in the Marsh Botanical Gardens. The Papaw is deciduous and growns as far south as northern Florida, as far north as southern Ontario, Canada, and as far west as Nebraska and Texas. The leaves of the tree grow at the ends of the branches, it grows perfect flowers with six petals, produced in early spring. The fruit of the tree, perhaps its most intriguing aspect, ripen in around September and stay ripe until winter, when it begins to soften and ferment. Sometimes called the "poor man's banana," the Pawpaw fruit has a blend of tropical flavors, including bananas, pineapples, and mangoes and has a custard-like consistency. The fruit is remarkably unsusceptible to insects and disease in comparison to other cultivated fruits, which has made the Pawpaw of interest to organic farmers as it lacks the need of pesticides.
Tree ID: 75
Date of tree entry: February 9, 2017
The Amur Cork Tree, named for its corky inner bark, is an interesting specimen. The Ainu people in Japan used parts of this tree, which they call shikerebe-ni, as a painkiller. It is also a widely-used source of huàng bà, an important herb used in traditional Chinese medicine. However, in the United States, it crowds out native species, diminishes other trees’ access to light with its shelf-like branching, produces many seeds, and does not have many seed predators. Consequently, this tree is able to successfully outcompete native trees (e.g. oaks, hickories) and shrubs; it also suppresses the growth of canopy trees. Consequently, it has become invasive in parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Virginia. In fact, in Massachusetts, it is considered a "noxious weed."
Tree ID: 63
Date of tree entry: April 17, 2017
This tree is located in the residential neighborhood bordering Prospect St, and close to the vegetation in Marsh Botanical Gardens. The red maple is one of the most common and widespread deciduous trees in Eastern and Central North America. It is super adaptable and has taken on a large variety of morphological characteristics based on its local environment. Many of its features, especially its leaves, are quite variable in form. At maturity it often attains a height of around 15-25 m (50-85 ft). Its flowers, petioles, twigs and seeds are all red to varying degrees. Among these features, however, it is best known for its brilliant deep scarlet foliage in autumn.
Tree ID: 65
Date of tree entry: February 8, 2017
A tall conifer located near the Yale Greenhouse, this Austrian Pine is especially easy to identify due to the placement of a name card on its trunk. To otherwise identify this tree, turn your head up and look towards the sky. The branches extend way above your head and the trunk stands straight and tall. Generally the Austrian Pine can grow to reach 40 to 60 feet, although this one is just about 40 feet. The Austrian Pine is extremely hardy, and can survive in many urban environments since it can grow even with pollution or abnormal levels of salinity in the air. You might even say that the Austrian Pine's motto is survive and thrive.
Tree ID: 72
Date of tree entry: February 8, 2017
The empress tree, also commonly known as the foxglvoe, princess, or kiri tree, originated from western and central China. Following its introduction to the United States, it has become popular because of its highly decorative floral blooms as well as its ability to grow extremely quickly. It is known for its extremely large leaves and pale violet flowers, which typically appear in late spring. Each of its capsule fruits produce up to two thousand winged seeds, which were also historically used as a packing material by Chinese porcelain exporters.