1. Red maple (Acer rubrum)

ii.) Red maples have an opposite leaf arrangement and a simple leaf complexity. Leaves typically have 3-5 toothed lobes and its twigs and buds are reddish in color.

iii.) I found this tree near the Main Oval on Ohio State’s Columbus Campus. I would consider the habitat to be urban because of its proximity to buildings and residential areas.

iv.) Red maples have fairly short lifespans in comparison to other trees; they typically only live to be between 80 and 100 years old (source: https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Plants-and-Fungi/Red-Maple).

v.) Identifying different types of maples on campus has been a fun activity for me on my walks to class. I enjoy being able to test my arborist skills and connect to the trees around me throughout my day.

2. American basswood (Tilia americana)

ii.) Leaves on the American basswood are toothed and heart-shaped with an alternate arrangement and simple complexity. Its leaves are never lobed which can help tell it apart from similar species.

iii.) I found this basswood directly beside the red maple I found near the Oval, which would once again be considered a more urban environment.

iv.) Basswoods are considered to be good “streetside” trees, meaning their roots cause minimal damage to surrounding buildings and infrastructure. No wonder I found it between a road and a building! (source: https://homeguides.sfgate.com/basswood-trees-76551.html)

v.) I spent a solid fifteen minutes trying to identify what this tree was a few days ago. I was studying it very intently during class changes, meaning lots of people were walking around me. It was fun to be able to take a moment out of my busy day to pause and stare at a tree for a long time.

3. Northern red oak (Quercus rubra)

ii.) Northern red oaks have an alternate leaf arrangement, a simple leaf complexity, and lobed leaves. Its buds are hairless while the buds of a black oak are hairy, which is helpful to know when trying to tell them apart. Their bark has deep furrows that often appear red in color.

iii.) I found this oak on the edge of the Oval, which I would still consider to be an urban environment.

iv.) Northern red oaks are most popular for the strength of their wood, and are often used to make furniture, houses, and railroad ties. Simultaneously, these trees are used for medicinal purposes throughout Native American communities (source: https://www.threeriversparks.org/blog/species-spotlight-red-oak-trees).

v.) Whenever I see oaks on campus they are typically huge and old, but the one I found for this assignment seemed younger. It made me think about how much more of history trees get to see than we do, and made me wonder what else this tree will see in its lifetime.

4. Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)

ii.) Sycamores have an alternate leaf arrangement and a simple leaf complexity. Their leaves are large, usually 6″-10″, and have 3-5 lobes with teeth on the ends. They are also easily recognizable by there bark, which is spotty and sometimes resembles cowhide.

iii.) I found this tree amongst other sycamores on the Oval. I would still consider this section to be an urban environment, even though the trees were farther away from buildings.

iv.) I was not aware that sycamores are the tallest species of deciduous tree in the eastern United States, typically being 75-100 feet tall (source: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/sycamore/sycamore-tree-care).

v.) The sycamores on campus are by far my favorites trees to see. I remember as a freshman wandering around the Oval in misty-eyed awe about how huge the sycamores were. I am so grateful to be able to see these giants every day!

5. Kentucky Coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioica)

ii.) Coffeetrees have an alternate leaf arrangement and a pinnately twice-compound leave complexity.

iii.) I found this tree next to Derby Hall close to the Oval, which I would consider an urban environment.

iv.) The etymology of this tree’s scientific name was interesting to me: Gymnos is the Greek word for “naked” and klados is the Greek word for “branch”. I find that ironic because of how many leaves this tree has! (source: https://www.uky.edu/hort/Kentucky-Coffeetree).

v.) At first glace, I had assumed that this tree was a black walnut or some other tree with lots of small leaflets. It was exciting to find a tree that I had never heard of before on campus.

6. Shingle oak (Quercus imbricaria)

ii.) Shingle oaks have an alternate leaf arrangement and a simple leaf complexity. Unlike most other oak species, its leaves are unlobed and typically 3″-7″ in length.

iii.) I found this tree on the Oval, which is an urban environment.

iv.) It is believed that shingle oaks may have earned their common name because settlers found their wood to be strong enough to serve as shingles on houses (source: https://naturalresources.extension.iastate.edu/forestry/iowa_trees/trees/shingle_oak.html).

v.) It took almost a full twenty minutes to convince myself that this was an oak tree; I had no idea that an oak existed without lobed leaves, who knew! This was a fun thing to find on campus.

7. Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)

ii.) Ginkgo trees have an alternate leaf arrangement and a simple leaf complexity. Their leaves are slightly lobed and have a distinguishable fan-shape.

iii.) I found this tree in the middle of the Oval, farther from other buildings but still close to sidewalks and benches. I would consider this to be an urban environment.

iv.) Ginkgo trees have been around for a really long time. Some of its earliest leaf fossils were dated back to 270 million years ago (source: https://www.arborday.org/trees/treeguide/TreeDetail.cfm?ItemID=1092).

v.) I had a particularly fun time taking photos of this tree on campus. Because the tree was so tall, I had to take off my backpack and get a running start to jump and grab a branch to take up-close photos of. As I was doing so, a friend of mine happened to be walking by and shouted to me, “Hey Rose! What the heck are you doing?”. It was fun to explain why I was leaping around the Oval and she said that she wished she was in this class with me.

8. Black walnut (Juglans nigra)

ii.) Black walnuts have an alternate leaf arrangement and are pinnately compound. The leaves are narrow and toothed, ranging from 7″-17″ in length. In the summer and fall, large green nuts can be found hanging from their branches.

iii.) I found this tree in the middle of the Oval, farther from other buildings but still close to sidewalks and benches. I would consider this to be an urban environment.

iv.) Parts of the black walnut contain a chemical called juglone, which is toxic to other plants and typically prevents the growth of anything else around it (source: http://www.museum.state.il.us/muslink/forest/htmls/trees/J-nigra.html).

v.) I did not realize until after I took photos of this tree how many other black walnuts I saw on the Oval. It was interesting to notice what had been around me every day without my knowledge.

In summary…

Overall, this assignment helped me cure my “tree blindness”. It was fun and exciting to spend some time getting to know the trees that I walk by every single day without batting an eye. I hope to be able to point out these trees to my friends the next time I am walking to my next class.