The bark of a younger black birch

Native Trees: Black Birch

While preparing this post on black birch, I discovered a deficiency in my ability to identify trees: I have trouble distinguishing the leaves of several native trees! My excuse? The bark of the yellow birch, black birch, service berry, ironwood, and hornbeam …
Ramp flowers

Flowering Ramps

The usual debates over ramps, a wild, native member of the leek family, involve where to find, when to harvest, and how to prepare them. I harvest ramps from my favorite patch, which happens to be on my property, but they are …
Red Maple Springtime Display

Native Trees: Red Maple

If you had to pick one native tree to plant in your yard or encourage in your woodlot, you could do much worse than red maple. The red maple is the most common tree species in Pennsylvania and throughout much of the …
hemlock_cones_w

The Hemlock Forest

Extensive hemlock stands occupy many of the slopes leading into creek bottoms in this area. Unfortunately, across Pennsylvania and the northeast, many of these stands have been significantly compromised if not totally destroyed by the hemlock woolly adelgid. The trees pictured here have a …
Indian Pipe Flower

Indian Pipe

If you aren’t afraid of heading off the beaten path but haven’t come across Indian Pipe, it’s probably because it simply didn’t catch your eye. But what a treat when you do discover this exotic beauty! I generally encounter several clusters of …
Nasty Thorns - Multiflora Rose

Invasive Threat: Multiflora Rose

Introduced as an ornamental and then promoted for both erosion control and as a living fence, multiflora rose now enjoys few if any supporters among those who encounter it. If you aren’t familiar with this almost predatory invasive, trust the many who …
Black Raspberry

Any Day Outdoors

While preparing material for posts on invasive species, I was surprised to learn yesterday that I didn’t have any usable pictures. That was okay though; it provided an excuse to grab my camera and head into the fields and woods to see …
Bush Honeysuckle

An Invasion!

About a month ago, I finally cut out an ugly, invasive honeysuckle bush along my east property line. I worked with care because I wanted to save the seven-foot sugar maple that had managed to sprout and work its way, fairly straight, through …
Tulip Tree Twig with Buds

Tulip Tree Buds

The tulip tree’s “duck’s bill” bud readily identifies this tree during the winter months. For anyone wishing to practice their winter tree identification skills, the leaf scar, formed where the previous year’s leaf was attached, can be an important clue. It is …
Persistent Leaves on Young Beech

Beech & Winter Leaves

Small beech trees and white oaks of any age maintain  the previous summer’s leaves well into the winter. They are faded and dry, but their persistence is remarkable. Pictured here is a young beech. If you are not certain that it’s a …