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EmmaleeT@msn.com

http://OakHillNH.com
 

 
News | Trees
 

Celebrate Our Beautiful Trees

Species

War Against Tree Seedlings

Tree Defoliated June 2011

Tree Threats

Pignut Hickory tree

Celebrate Our Beautiful Trees
The name of our complex  Oak Hill celebrates the trees that grow here and were mercifully spared when the condominium was first built. They are the glory of our home.  Fortunately our woods has multiple species of trees and is not a monculture often seen when trees are grown for lumber.   Since we know this area was farmed at one time, the forest is at least secondary growth.   We enjoy the trees and we must be good stewards.  Help protect the Oak Hill trees.  To read about the threats to our trees see Threats.

This page discusses the tree species that are most common at Oak Hill and in Roby Park.

Lichens

You may notice lacy patches growing on rocks and on older trees.  These are lichens and consist of a fungus and a green algae in a mutually beneficial relationship.  The fungus benefits from the food produced by the green algae and the algae benefits from the substrate provided by the fungus.  Scientists call this a symbiotic relationship.

Lichens are normal and do not indicate that anything is wrong with the tree nor do they harm the tree.  Acids produced by lichens help to break down rocks into soil.

In some cases multiple lichens grow together and cover most of the tree trunk. This does not mean the tree is dying.

 

Species

Deciduous Trees
In our New Hampshire climate the broad leaved trees that shed their leaves in the fall and remain bare until spring when they grown new leaves are called deciduous trees.

Oak Trees
There are good numbers of Oak Trees on the campus and in Roby Park.  The good news is that the Asian Longhorn Beetle does not like Oak Trees.

Black Oak has notched leaves with sharp points at the end of each lobe.

 

The White Oak has lobed leaves, but the ends of the lobes are rounded rather than having sharp points.

Hickory Trees
There  are good numbers of Pignut Hickory Trees on the property. The hickory tree has a compound leaf with 5-7 leaflets.  To determine that a leaf is compound with leaflets, look at those that have fallen from the tree.  A leaf falls.  If it is a compound leaf you will see a stem with smaller leaves attached.  In some seasons the Pignut Hickory trees produce abundant crops of nuts to delight the squirrels. Hickory trees do not seem to host the Asian Longhorn Beetle which means they will be very valuable to Oak Hill if the infestation near Worcester makes it to Nashua.

Compound leaf of Pignut Hickory.  This leaf has 7 leaflets, one of which is at the end of stem or terminal leaflet.

Seedlings of the Pignut Hickory have 3 leaflets making them resemble Poison Ivy which also has 3 leaflets.

Pignut Hickory nut.

Maple Trees

The maples are the primary trees that give us the fall foliage.  They have simple leaves, and seeds with wings.  Sugar Maples are one specie of maple tree at Oak Hill. We also have Red Maple.  If the Asian Longhorn Beetle reaches Nashua, we will lose all the Maple Trees.

 

Sugar Maple

The star of the eastern fall foliage season, the Sugar Maple blazes with red, gold, and orange in the fall.

The Sugar Maple has leaves 6" long with 5 lobes.  There is deep notch between the terminal lobe and the second lobes.

The seeds of the Sugar Maple are paired winged that make an acute angle or nearly parallel.  Seeds are produced in late summer.

You can see some seeds on the tree to the left.
 

   

Aspens

Big Tooth Aspen

Grows near Building #3 and along the path to Bay Ridge.  Bark is darker than that of the Quaking Aspin.  Leaf more oval with blunt teeth along the margin.  Grows in New England, south to Kentucky and Virginia and west to Minnesota. 

Big Tooth Aspen

Quaking Aspen

Small to medium size tree.  Bark white to yellowish white or light green, with black warty spots.  Leaves are heart shaped and have pointed teeth along the margins and long, flattened leafstalks that lets them flutter and rustle in a breeze giving the tree its name.

Most stems originate as root suckers that form extensive clones of trees.  One clone in the Wasatch Range covers about 107 acres.  Landscapers spraying herbicides take note.

Found around Building #3 and along the path to Bay Ridge. Widely distributed in North America although usually associated with the Rocky Mountains.

 

 

Eastern   Hophornbeam

I have found this small tree growing on the edge of the woods in several places.  The Hophornbeam is very resistant to wind and lives in the understory of the woods. 

The light green clusters are the fruits which contain the seeds which will ripen in late summer.  This tree was photographed on June 28, 2011.

Despite the odd name, this is a lovely little tree.


 

Staghorn Sumac Tree growing along Oak Hill Lane

 

 

Conifers
Conifers have needle-like or scale-like leaves that they do not shed all at one time in the fall. They stay green all winter. Conifers certainly do shed their leaves as evidenced by the piles of pine needles on the ground. Pine needles also called pine straw make good mulch. If only we could persuade Oak Hill to stop buying bark mulch and use the free pine straw.

Red Pine
There are three Red Pines that were probably planted on either side of the board fence across from Building #1 and across the street at the end of the parking lot.  Red Pines have 2 needles to a bundles and shorter, fatter cones.

White Pine
Most of the pine trees at Oak Hill are White Pines and the White Pine is widespread in Roby Park.  The White Pine is the tallest growing tree in the eastern US reaching as high as 207'. Of course it can't complete with the really tall tree like the Sequoia out west.

The White Pine is the only pine  that regularly has 5 needles to a bundle. The pine cone is long and thin.  Some of the White Pines were planted when the complex was built or shortly after.  You can always recognize that trees were planted when you see a line of trees of the same species. Nature does not organize into straight lines.   It is also probable that White Pines were planted in the Roby Park and on Oak Hill after the area was logged.   The good news about White Pines is that they will not host the Asian Longhorn Beetle.  See Threats

White Pines have  five needles to a bundle.  The cones are long and thin. and open when ripe.

During the ice storm of December 2008, upper branches of the White Pines fell.  This branch has small tightly closed cones which will mature the following fall.

In late May, the White Pine candles produce the yellow pollen which coats cars and makes some people sneeze.  Usually a good rain washes away the problem.

Eastern Hemlock
The ever green trees with the feathery needles are Eastern Hemlock.  A few are found on our campus.  Many more are in the Roby Park woods.

The Eastern Hemlock has lacy green branches, Above right the under side of each needle has two white lines.  The cone is short and held above the branch.  (Better picture coming.)

   

War Against Tree Seedling in the "Shrub Beds"

This summer I became aware of the landscaper's war against tree seedlings growing in what he calls the "Shrub Beds".  The Shrub Beds are the beds of bark mulch under the trees in several areas starting at the front gate and working up the hill.  The only purpose I can see for this bark mulch is that when it is first spread out it has a red color which is somewhat attractive.  By July the color has faded to brown.

The Oak Hill squirrels love the bark mulch beds because it is easy digging and in fall they dig holes to bury acorns and hickory nuts.  Then the next summer, when there are no acorns on the trees, the squirrels come back and dig up the acorns.  You will notice many empty holes in the bark mulch.  Each year some of these acorns sprout into small Oak and Hickory Seedlings.  So we have little green tree seedlings in our "Shrub Beds".  The landscaper considers these green seedling to be weeds.  Every other week when you see the yellow signs, he is spraying Round-up on these little tree seedling.  In a day or two the green seedling becomes a dead brown seedling.  What is the gain here?

 

This is shot of a "Shrub Bed" with a green Oak Seedling at the top right and two dead brown seedlings on the left.

These seedlings will probably not survive even without Round-up as the squirrels will continue to dig them up even after they have sprouted.  If you pull up a seedling you will see part of the acorn is still attached. 

If they survive the squirrels, the seedling will probably not be able to compete with fully grown trees for light, water, and minerals. 

If these seedlings are a big problem, why not bend over and pull them out.  We don't need chemicals here. 

How much do you think this is worth?

 

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