Posts Tagged 'trees'

Beech Sproutling

This curious thing is what you get when a beechnut sprouts. Considering the number of beechnuts dropped by a mature tree, these aren’t commonly seen. Does the parent tree’s shade and/or chemistry suppresses upstarts?

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Sapsucker sap-sucking.

Previously tapped holes. And even more previously tapped ones seen further to right on this old yew.

And this yellow belly we hear tell of? Subtle, and not shown to advantage in this under-tree light. The bird was named with corpse in hand, as used to typically be the case. Sharp-shinned Hawk, anyone? Note that any invertebrates attracted to the sap flowing in these sap mines may also get slurped up by the YBSS.

Blooming Now

Red maple.
Wych elm.
Apple.
Cherry.
Star magnolia.
Ginkgo.
Henbit deadnettle. (These are tiny, you’ll need to get down on your knees to see the detail.)

Witches’ Broom

A hackberry tree, Celtis occidentalis. Notice the clumpiness in the canopy?
A slightly closer view of one fo the clumps. (They were all out of hand’s reach.) This is witches’ broom, a gall-like growth of branches sprouting in multiples. Hackberry is particularly susceptible. In this case, it seems to be caused by a combination of a fungus and a mite. I gather the mite carries the fungus…

It is thought to be:

“attributed to two agents acting together: a powdery mildew fungus (Sphaerotheca phytoptophila) and a minute, wormlike, eriophyid mite (Eriophyes celtis, synonym Aceria snetsingeri) about 200 microns long.”

The mite’s name has recently been changed to Aceria celtis.

Evidently there are strains of hackberries that are immune to it. People think it’s unsightly. People!

This specimen is in Prospect Park. There are two young hackberries outside our window here. You may remember that the city’s street tree survey insisted they were hawthorns. We fixed that. Just the other day I noticed that one of them had some witches’ broom in it. I don’t think the tree had any there last year. I’m not positive, but I don’t feel like they were there.

Prunus serotina

There are still, after all these years, parts of Green-Wood I’ve never been. I came across this massive black cherry only recently.
It was after a big wind and bits of the scaly bark and branches were scattered about.
The mature bark is very different from the younger stuff from way up there.
Turning over the loose pieces on the ground, I found a Nabis genus damsel bug.
And a springtail! (And something even smaller I can’t tell what).

Catalpa

Hey, wait a minuted! It turns out I’d never seen a catalpa seed before.
The pods, sure, all the time, but always already empty.
Both the Northern and Southern catalpas are found in our region. They also hybridize. And there are a number of other species in the Catalpa genus that have gotten around as ornamentals.

Monday Galls

Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres
At the tips of a young oak, small round nestled in filamenty nests. Galls (not Gauls, pace Casesar) with exit holes. Big question in the wonderful world of galls is: what emerged, the gall inducer or the inquiline (parasite)?

Not just on the bud tips.

Possibly something in the Andricus gall wasp genus. This is a large genus. As I understand it, each species makes a unique gall. These tiny wasps stimulate the tree by chemical commands and the tree grows a gall in response. The tree is being hijacked, but not really damaged (?).

But wait! I’d originally thought this tree was a red oak but could it be be a bur oak? Will have to double check this.

If it’s a bur, then Andricus quercusfrondosus sounds like a possibility. This source notes that this species creates autumnal growths for the the agamic or asexual generation. Yes, gall wasps, which were once all called gall flies, alternate an asexual generation and a sexual generation. According to the cited piece, the agamic or sexual generation isn’t known for this species.

More complications: found a similar if not same gall on a definite red oak, which will be the subject of another day.

To summarize: galls are complicated.

Sassier!

There’s a suggestion that this is the oldest sassafras in NYC.
The tree is still going strong.
Now we come to an issue of tense. There are two trees here, just a few feet apart. Are these two actually, essentially, the same tree, a clonal pair, the last of a sassafras colony?
There seems a good possibility that this is so.
From certain angles, they line up and merge together.
Elsewhere in Green-Wood, a sprouting of sassafras. What might this spot might become… in 150 years?
(An ancestor, presumably of somebody, at the clones.)

Sassy!

A venerable sassafras (Sassafras albidum) in Green-Wood. May be the state record holder for tallest: 69′ in 2016. 138″ in diameter at 4.5′ height.
More interestingly, at least to me, is the question of age. Does this pre-date the establishment of the cemetery in 1838? If not it must come close.
Sprouting adjacent. Sassafras is a clonal organism.
You would be correct in your supposition that this magnificent bark is habitat. Just think of all the life forms that have lived upon and beneath it!
I was lucky enough to see this in my orbit of the tree. A piece of bark over a foot long had fallen off and on the inside was this Eumenes wasp mud pot nest.

Stay tuned for more sassafras tomorrow. Yes, more!

Good Bones

A couple of red oaks.
Gates of tuliptree, or… Ents, yes, there are definitely Ent possibilities in these two.
An uncharacteristic tuliptree. Usually they are quite straight and single-boled.


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