A GUIDE THROUGH THE NORTHEASTERN DECIDUOUS FOREST

Trees are the largest and most conspicuous of the plants which cover our planet. They are of utmost importance to our continued existence and welfare. Consider these everyday products which are derived primarily from trees: wood, paper, fruits and other foods. Add to these benefits the role played by trees in maintaining atmospheric oxygen, not to mention shade and beauty which they add to our daily life.

The forests of northeastern U.S. are included in the Eastern Deciduous Forest. In addition to the deciduous trees there is a generous mixture of evergreen trees in northern New England and the higher elevations of the Appalachians.

Included here are some of the typical trees of this region. Many are widespread with ranges that extend southwards into the central South, and westward into the Midwest and portions of southeastern Canada.

slide2a.JPG (9713 bytes) NORWAY SPRUCE, Picea abies (Family: Pinaceae). This tree, introduced from northern Europe, is now widely planted in the U.S. as an ornamental. Unlike pines, spruces have needles attached singly to the branches.
slide3a.JPG (9661 bytes) EASTERN HEMLOCK, Tsuga canadensis (Family: Pinaceae). This is the only common hemlock of the area; its range extends southward along the Appalachians. Note the flattened branches, short needles and tiny cones.
slide4a.JPG (9732 bytes) NORTHERN WHITE CEDAR, Thuja occidentalis (Family: Cupressaceae). The leaves of trees of this family are more scale-like than needle-like; cones are small and brown when mature. This species is found both on limestone soils and in bogs.
slide6a.JPG (9170 bytes) WHITE OAK, Quercus alba (Family: Fagaceae). This oak, along with others of the "white oak group", has leaves with rounded lobes and sweet acorns used as food by Indians. Most hardwood flooring and wooden barrel come from this species.
slide7a.JPG (7937 bytes) CHESTNUT OAK, Quercus prinus (Family: Fagaceae). Also a large forest tree of the white oak group, this tree has leaves with large, rounded teeth along the margins.
slide8a.JPG (7565 bytes) NORTHERN RED OAK, Quercus rubra (Family: Fagaceae). This species and the next listed are in the "red oak group": leaf lobes are pointed and acorns are bitter. Note the size and shape of leaves and acorns of this tree and use a comparison for others in the group.
slide9a.JPG (8717 bytes) PIN OAK, Quercus palustris (Family: Fagaceae). The common name refers to the lateral branches that tend to angle downward. As compared to the previous species, the leaves and acorns are smaller.
slide10a.JPG (7194 bytes) AMERICAN ELM, Ulmus americana (Family: Ulmaceae). This is the largest and most familiar of the elms. Its case shape suits it for planting on campuses and along city streets. However, it is subject to Dutch Elm disease, caused by a fungus.
slide11a.JPG (10320 bytes) HACKBERRY, Celtis occidentalis (Family: Ulmaceae). Unlike the related elms, hackberries bear drupes and have a warty bark. Although there are several southern species of hackberries, this the only one common north of Kentucky.
slide13a.JPG (9045 bytes) WILD BLACK CHERRY, Prunus serotina (Family: Rosaceae). This is the only one of the many woody species of the rose family to reach true tree proportions. Although the pulp of the fruit is edible, other parts of the tree may be poisonous to man livestock.
slide14a.JPG (7915 bytes) SUGAR MAPLE, Acer saccharum (Family: Aceraceae). Like all maples, the samaras (key-shaped fruits) are arranged in pairs. This very useful tree serves man as a source of sugar, shade, beauty and an excellent hardwood.
slide17a.JPG (8499 bytes) YELLOW BUCKEYE, Aesculus octandra (Family: Hippocastanaceae). The large cluster of yellow flowers and compound leaves with 5 pointed leaflets is typical of this species. Inside of each fruit are two buckeyes which are poisonous.
slide18a.JPG (9000 bytes) WHITE ASH, Fraxinus americana (Family: Oleaceae). The compound leaves consist usually of leaflets; the samaras occur in large clusters as seen here. The foliage, blue-green in summer, turns a purplish-pink in the fall.
slide19a.JPG (9108 bytes) GRAY BIRCH, Betula populifolia (Family: Betulaceae). Unlike most birches, the bark of gray birch does not peel off. Gray birch occurs mainly as a pioneer tree in recently disturbed area.
slide20a.JPG (11336 bytes) NORTHERN CATALPA, Catalpa speciosa (Family: Bignoniaceae). This rather shaggy tree bears in May or June clusters of large white flowers with orange-yellow throats; the resulting fruits seen here appear in late summer. Because of their shape, the tree is sometimes called the "Indian cigar" tree.
slide1a.JPG (8337 bytes) EASTERN WHITE PINE, Pinus strobus (Family: Pinaceae). Recognize this beautiful tree by its blue-green needles arranged in bundles of 5, and its long slender cones. Because the early European settlers found it so useful, few large specimens remain.
slide5a.JPG (8935 bytes) AMERICAN BEECH, Fagus grandifolia (Family: Fagaceae). This large tree has leathery simple leaves that turn bronze in the fall. Note the pointed buds.
slide12a.JPG (8613 bytes) TULIP POPLAR, Liriodendron tulipifera (Family: Magnoliadaceae). Shown here is the trunk of a fully mature specimen over a hundred feet in height. This fast growing tree is common and widespread throughout the east. The wood, marketed as "yellow poplar" has many and varied used including house construction and furniture.
slide15a.JPG (9195 bytes) SILVER MAPLE, Acer saccharium (Family: Aceraceae). Because of its habitat, it is also called "water maple". Note the leaves which are deeply dissected; underneath they are a silvery green. Because the wood is weak and brittle, it’s a much less desirable and useful tree than is the sugar maple.
slide16a.JPG (10444 bytes) STRIPED MAPLE, Acer pensylvanicum (Family: Aceraceae). Growing as a small tree or shrub, this attractive tree inhabits cool, moist places, and is more common in the mountains.

Copyright, 1984, JLM VISUALS. All rights reserved by JLM Visuals. The written description accompanying these slides may be reproduced in quantity for non-commercial classroom use or transferred to a single audiotape for non-commercial use without further permission. Rights to the use of these photographic slides have been secured from the following individuals(s): Thomas E. Hemmerly. http://members.aol.com/jlmvisuals/

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