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Genus: Aesculus Species: glabra Family: Hippocastanaceae (Horsechestnut family)

Common Name: Ohio buckeye, fetid buckeye

Leaf: opposite, palmately compound, 5 leaflets, finely serrate, pubescent when young, glabrous when mature. Green petiole.

Bud: Pronounced terminal bud, imbricate, ovoid, 2/3" long, med. Brown, prominently keeled scales, hairy on margins. Lateral buds smaller.

Twig: Stout, pubescent becoming glabrous, strong odor when bruised. Monopodial, true terminal. Classic broad Y-branching of twigs.

Bark: Ash gray, thick, generally smooth with some deep fissures, becomes platy and scaly.

Fruit: capsule, outer shell is echinate ("spiny"), broadly ovate. Usually solitary seeds, but not always. Poisonous to most animals, but hungry squirrels will eat in extreme conditions.

Flower: Noticeable white/greenish/yellow flower in May, especially on plants getting some sun. Terminal, flower and fruit develop on DETERMINATE shoots. Example of strong DETERMINATE branching.

Habit: Ragged oval to rounded. Med.-large tree. Branches hang toward ground then arch back up again. "Halloween Tree", branches often look like tentacles hanging down and reaching up at the ends. FORM: more pyramidal in youth, often becoming rounded, and then more ragged with age. Sometimes main leader will lean over. See large open grown plant behind bus stop at college and 17th street for typical habit. Also a pruned and maintained tree in Chadwick arboretum by Ag Admin. Parking lot .

Fall Color: yellow to pumpkin. Leaves drop early, usually due to a leaf anthracnose. One of first trees to leaf out and first to drop.

Eco/Notes: Climax forest/understory. Does not do well in landscape / bright sun. National champion in KY, 148'. Reward for finding champion in Ohio. Limited potential as wildlife tree, does not provide food for many species.

Key ID Feature(s): Bud is primary winter ID feature. Note bud scales, spiny fruit, Y-branching "Halloween" habit, odor of twigs. Should be an easy tree, but some students will frequently miss this one.

Genus: Carya Species: ovata Family: Juglandaceae (Walnut/Pecan)

Common Name: Shagbark Hickory

Leaf: alternate, pinnately compound, 5-11 leaflets (usually 7-9), three terminal leaflets are larger than the rest. Acuminate tip, serrate margin. Dark yellow-green. 10" to 20" Long (very large, even on saplings). Leaf margins ciliate.

Bud: imbricate, terminal large broadly ovate, approx 4. Overlapping loosely fitting brown scales. Very pubescent.

Twig: stout, slightly downy to smooth and shining, reddish brown to light gray. Lenticels longitudinal.

Bark: Mature trunks shagging into large wide strips that peel at both ends.

Fruit: Hickory nut. Roundish, 1-1", Brown. Favored food by foraging animals.

Flower: spring, monoecious, male catkin-like.

Habit: large tree, 80-feet. Oblong crown ascending/descending branches. Narrow root collar.

Fall Color: early, yellow-brown.

Eco/Notes: Climax. usually lower mesic slopes, BBQ smoke. Hickories are NOT fire resistant, and are selected against in a fire prone ecosystem.

Key ID Feature(s): bud, bark, stem. Ciliate margins (when leaves are available).





Genus: Catalpa
Species: spp.
Family: Bignoniaceae (Trumpet creeper or Catalpa family)

Common Name: Catalpa, Cigar Tree.

Leaf: Whorled (sometimes looks opposite) Cordate with an acuminate (pointy) tip. Pinnate veins. Leaf scar is roundish, often D-Shaped.

Bud: Usually no obvious terminal bud. Lateral buds are small and covered with overlapping, red-brown scales.

Twig: Stout, greenish-brown, and later reddish-brown in color.

Bark: Smooth reddish brown when young, becoming platy and scaly when older.

Fruit: long thin cigar-shaped "capsule". Looks bean-like but contains paired, wind-dispersed seeds fringed with hairs.

Flower: big showy panicle, spring.

Habit: med-large tree, 50-60'.

Fall Color: None. Leaves usually fall while green.

Eco/Notes: none.

Key ID Feature(s): fruit, whorled bud arrangement, leaf scar.




Genus: Cercis Species: canadensis Family: Fabaceae (pea, legume)

Common Name: eastern redbud.

Leaf: alternate, simple, broad ovate, heart-shaped, with acute tip. Swelling where petiole meets leaf (pulvinus).

Bud: No terminal. Leaf and flower buds are usually adjacent on twig. Flower buds located just above vegetative bud. Flower buds larger and more rounded. May have more than one flower bud, but only one veg. bud. Flower buds may be absent on shaded twigs or on juvenile plants.

Twig: zig-zag, dark red-brown, slender, dots.

Bark: young: unremarkable smooth gray-brown w/orangish highlights, older dark brown-black with orangish poking through. Scaly. Very mature bark is very coarse.

Fruit: pod (legume), 2-3" long, " - wide, usually pretty flat.

Flower: pink, sometimes white. Spring, come out before the leaves all along twigs. Seen on campus, very noticable, often planted in front of conifers for accent.

Habit: small tree, trunk often divided near ground. Often wider than tall 20-30' high, 25-35' wide, but distorted by shade.

Fall Color: yellow, turns later in fall than most trees.

Eco/Notes: Woodland edge. Does not fix appreciable nitrogen. Be careful and be aware of different forms of bark. This tree is frequently missed on tests.

Key ID Feature(s): zig-zag branch, flower and vegetative bud adjacent on twig, bark, fruit. Example trees: Young weeping-form redbud west of Kottman Hall (Don't confuse with weeping mulberry on north side of Kottman!). Very old red-bud on west side of Ag-Admin bldg.




Genus: Corylus Species: americana Family: Betulaceae (birch)

Common Name: American Hazel

Leaf: alternate, simple, curved-acuminate, doubly serrate

Bud: imbricate, globose, gray, pubescent.

Twig: glandular-pubescent, (3-sided), sympodial

Bark: Light grayish brown and smooth, later develops a slight criss-cross netted pattern.

Fruit: downy, ruffled involucre. Hazel nut. Smaller than the European hazel (a.k.a. "filbert") that we eat, but is equally edible.

Flower: monoecious, male catkin 1-3" long. Early spring. Female not obvious.

Habit: Med-large, multi-stemmed shrub. 10-15' high, wider than tall. "Leggy" base. Rounded top. Numerous arching leaders from close base area.

Fall Color: not much. Yellow-green, sometimes tinged with red.

Eco/Notes: Good food, but not too common in this area.

Key ID Feature(s): bud, stem, habit, catkins.




Genus: Fraxinus Species: quadrangulata Family: oleaceae (olive)

Common Name: Blue Ash

Leaf: opposite, pinnately compound, 7-14", 5-11 leaflets. Ovate-lanceolate, shotstalked, cuneate, glabrous above, pubescent along midrib near base beneath.

Bud: dark gray to reddish brown, usually pubescent.

Twig: stout, 4-angled and often corky-winged, glabrous when mature. Crescent bud scar.

Bark: thin, gray, divided into scaly plates, older trees more pronounced fissures. Quite different from white and green ash.

Fruit: Samara, with a wide wing, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long; flattened seed.

Habit: A medium sized tree reaching up to 70 feet tall with a short bole and a irregular crown.

Fall Color: yellow, looses leaves much later than other ashes.

Eco/Notes: Tolerant of limestone soils. Underused as urban plant. Fairly rare tree with a limited range, common in SE Ohio, SW Indiana.

Key ID Feature(s): stems, bark.




Genus: Juglans Species: nigra Family: Juglandaceae

Common Name: Black Walnut

Leaf: alternate, even-pinnately compound, rather large, 1-2 feet long, 11-23 leaflets. Often no terminal leaflet. Serrate. "Camel Face" leaf scar.

Bud: pale, downy, true terminal, monopodial growth.

Twig: stout, gray, downy, soapy odor/flavor from "Juglone", chambered pith, color saliva yellow when chewed.

Bark: brown (darker chocolate brown when cut), deep narrow furrows, sort-of diamond shaped pattern.

Fruit: Irregularly furrowed nut (edible) in round thick, green indehiscent husk. Strong soapy odor. Turns fingers yellow. September to October. 2-3"

Flower: April-June

Habit: med. Tree, forms straight bole under competition.

Fall Color: Not much, yellow-green, often defoliates early from leaf anthracnose before appreciable color developes.

Eco/Notes: Produces juglone, results in allelopathy = avoidance of competition Juglone leaches from leaves, fruits, roots. Inhibits growth of some (not all) herbaceous and woody plants. Kills tomatoes, certain grasses tolerate juglone so this tree is good for lawns. Note different plant species grow beneath this tree.

Key ID Feature(s): leaf scar, bark - cut to check color, odor, (maybe fruit on ground or in tree)




Genus: Lonicera Species: spp. Family: caprifoliaceae (honeysuckle)

Common Name: Honeysuckle

Leaf: opposite, ovate

Bud: small

Twig: thin, usually pubescent, straw-colored.

Bark: Brown, often very thin, w/ narrow, vertical strips.

Fruit: berry, small, round, usually red, sometimes blue/black.

Flower: sometimes fragrant (e.g. L. fragrantissima - winter honeysuckle)

Habit: shrub

Fall Color: - -

Eco/Notes: most species seen in Ohio, esp. in urban areas are invasive exotics such as L. maackii, L. tatarica, L. japonica. For this course you will generally be asked to identify L. maackii so study that plant in guide. Vigorous grower, seeds spread by birds, shades out native vegetation, and forest regeneration and is very destructive to forest understory. Forest edge, understory, but will also behave as invader on disturbed sites.

Key ID Feature(s): opposite branching, habit, red berries (for this course).




Genus: Parthenocissus Species: quinquefolia Family: Vitaceae (grape)

Common Name: Virginia creeper

Leaf: palmately compound, 5 leaflets, obovate, crenately-serrate.

Bud: sessile - partially embedded, round-conical, 2-3 scales, usually no terminal.

Twig: vine, more tendril like, tendrils branch and end in adhesive pads like fingers with suction cups, as vine ages, tendrils become much thicker and lighter in color than the hairy aerial roots of poison ivy.

Bark: brown, tendrils

Fruit: blue berries, appear in fall.

Flower: June-July, long stemmed clusters.

Habit: climbing vine. Does not need support, can attach to smooth surfaces with adhesive disks.

Fall Color: noticeable red, usually early.

Eco/Notes: Not poisonous. Can be destructive to conifer plantations.

Key ID Feature(s): tendrils, vine, fruit. Bud is NOT naked like Poison Ivy.




Genus: Quercus Species: rubra Family: Fagaceae

Common Name: Northern Red Oak

Leaf: Classic oak pinnate-lobed. Similar to black oak, but less pubescence under, usually a bit thinner than black oak leaf, and petiole can have red-tinge.

Bud: smooth, brown, scales have a kind of finished-leather look, connical.

Twig: stout, red-brown, glabrous. can see 1st and 2nd year acorns.

Bark: much smoother than black oak, usually has "ski-trails", is broken vertically but NOT very blocky.

Fruit: acorn, cap usually only covers or less of nut. Not as rough/fuzzy as black oak, usually the cap is smooth.

Flower: spring

Habit: large tree. Rounded crown, heavy structural branches.

Fall Color: brown to russet to red. More red in northern climes.

Eco/Notes: climax tree. red oak group. Sprouts in spring. Less desirable as food than white oak. Usually found on higher quality sites, hybrids profusely with black oak where ranges meet.

Key ID Feature(s): buds, bark, acorn




Genus: Rubus Species: occidentalis Family: Rosaceae

Common Name: black raspberry

Leaf: usually trifoliate, double serrate, with spiny pubescence.

Bud: imbricate, conical, green, soft, loose scales.

Twig: Ouch! Briers. Round. Green to purple with a white bloom that rubs off.

Bark: shoots typically only live 2 years and do not develop bark.

Fruit: clustered berry, black, June-July. Edible.

Flower: white spring

Habit: suckering shrub. Rose-like briers. Often reproduces by stolons = arching branches that root when they come into contact with soil = vegetative propagation. Creates these arches with both ends in soil that are very difficult for people to navigate through.

Fall Color: - -

Eco/Notes: pioneer invader. Important wildlife food. Good on breakfast cereal.

Key ID Feature(s): round twig, bloom, thorns.




Genus: Smilax Species: spp. Family: Liliaceae

Common Name: Greenbrier

Leaf: palmately parallel-veined with all veins originating at base, usually cordate, obovate, acuminate, but not always.


Twig: Green, smooth, climbing tendrils (modified stipules), armed with "prickles" or stem outgrowths

Bark: Green until fairly mature, turning brown

Fruit: berry, blue-black, July-August, clusters, food source for animals.


Habit: climbing vine

Fall Color: none

Eco/Notes: monocot, like grasses.

Key ID Feature(s): tendrils, prickles, hard green round stem.




Genus: Viburnum Species: prunifolium Family: Caprifoliaceae (honeysuckle)

Common Name: blackhaw viburnum

Leaf: opp/ simp. Broad elliptic-ovate 1-3", pale below, petiole reddish

Bud: Flower and vegetative buds valvate, short and pointy.

Twig: gray-brownish, sometimes hawthorn-like. Usually glabrous, short, stiff. Main stem is usually "sided", rather than round.

Bark: Dark brown to black, broken in square plates--like alligator hide but usually smother and finer than dogwood.

Fruit: berry, dark blue, edible but can be easily confused with V. lentago, "nannyberry" which is not very palatable.


Habit: Rounded head when open grown. 20-25' max. A large shrub or small tree with a twisted trunk and arching branches, rigid like hawthorn. Branches and spur shoots are obviously opposite and often right-angled, spur shoots reminiscent of fish skeleton or railroad tracks when present.

Fall Color: purplish-red to red to bronze.

Eco/Notes: useful wildlife tree.

Key ID Feature(s): opposite, valvate bud, bark, trunk and branches twisted and usually have "sides", not smoothly round. Confused with dogwood, notice branching, especially spur shoots when present.




Genus: Vitis Species: spp. Family: Vitaceae

Common Name: grape

Leaf: big grape leaf. Usu. Tri-lobed, irr. dentate margin, very cordate base.

Bud: false terminal, rounded, usu. 2 scales imbricate.

Twig: round, usually 2 rows of hairs, tendrils grow opposite leaves are modified branches.

Bark: older bark very characteristic, dark brown, long strips.

Fruit: berry, in bunches

Flower: - -

Habit: climbing vine

Fall Color: - -

Eco/Notes: exotic, can be food. Seed spread by animals like people.

Key ID Feature(s): bark, vine, tendrils opposite leaves.