Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hymenopsorum flavum

The Sweet Shade is a nice evergreen tree with a narrow upright habit to about 40' and about 10-20' wide. The canopy tends to be pretty open. Not a common tree, but worth finding one. Works well in narrow areas. Flowers are interesting, late spring. 



This is a planting of 3 or 4, most of them are in the middle of the image and to the left down the driveway. 



Leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, lanceolate to oblong 2-6" long, generally folded up like a boat, and entire margins. Dark glossy green, the leaves are clustered at the tips of the stems lower surface lighter green.



Stems are brown, turning gray with age.



Flowers in late spring. Yellow flowers turn darker with age, five petals, and a long floral tube looking like a long cigar before the tips open and the petal reflex backwards. Flowers long and cylindrical before opening. Fragrant but high up in the tree and you are not likely to smell them. Terminal cluster of 16 or less flowers.



 Fruit is a dry capsule releasing lots of orange-brown flat seeds later winter.





Bark is gray and somewhat scaly.


Misidentification:
Might be mistaken for Tristianopsis laurina or Lophostemon confertus.


Location:
Aptos
219 or 221 Florence Ave. As seen in the picture above with multiple specimens.

Cabrillo College on the road between the Sesnon house and the Day Care building. Single specimen.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Corymbia citriodora - Lemon Scented Gum

The lemon scented gum tree is a wonderful Eucalyptus relative. Tall, open canopy, smooth bark, I really like the looks. The Capitola Mall is planted with lots of them and they seem to be very happy there. Capable of growing 100' tall, they usually hit about 60' in cultivation. The lower half or more of the tree is usually leafless. On younger trees the and older ones for that matter, the foliage tends to be on the outer edges of the canopy.



Leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, lanceolate to falcate, about 6-7" long. Variable to say the least. At least on different trees.





Flowers are small, whitish in clusters of 3. These buds fell to the ground, otherwise they are 50 feet up.



Capsuled small, urn shaped, in threes.



Smooth gray bark all the way to the ground. Fantastic bark, love the smooth bark all the way to the ground.



This color was found on many of the trees in SLO during summer.



Misidentification:
Fragrance of the foliage is important to consider, and the trunk is key as well, though not the only one with smooth bark.

Location:
Capitola Mall

Ailanthus altissima - Tree of Heaven

The tree of heaven, what a funny name and I suspect that most horticulturalist think it might be from that other area. Very fast growing, 50+ feet in cultivation. Can actually look pretty nice but often it's lopsided. Weak wooded and weedy to boot. This is the tree that grew in NY city, in the sidewalk cracks. 


Leaves are deciduous, pinnately compound, 1-2' long, with 11-25+ ovate to lanceolate 1-2" long leaflets have entire margins except for a couple of teeth at the base and a distinct gland on one of the teeth. Leaves are dark green with a whitish underside. 



Distinct gland on the one side of the leaf base.



Trees are dioecious, male and female trees. Small yellowish green flowers in the spring. Male flowers smell bad when open. 



Bark is smooth when younger but developing shallow fissures. Stems are thick, reddish colored and have heart shaped leaf scars. 




The fruit found on females only is a samara, about 1" long and is twisted so it spins when it drops to the ground. The female trees look their best when covered with red fruit.



Misidentification:
Perhaps Koelreuteria, either can have similar looking foliage.
Reader suggests Rhus typhina as well. I agree, we don't see them here but in colder climates for sure. Rhus typhina has very hairy stems and more deeply dissected leaf margins. Attractive plant in the fall. Thanks for the feedback.

Location:
Aptos
Soquel Dr at Capitola Rd

Santa Cruz
Some on Chestnut heading up the hill toward Mission, no address, just in the wild area there.

Watsonville
121 Carey Rd. (corner of Carey and GreenValley Rd)

Erythrina caffra - Coral Tree

The Coral Tree is a medium sized deciduous (Semi-evergreen) tree growing in a rounded spreading habit to 30-35' tall and wide. Typically looses its foliage mid winter. Damaged by cold weather. 



Leaves are alternate, trifoliate, each leaflet dark green, rhomboid to ovate shaped, with a somewhat elongated tip. The base can be more flattened resulting in a deltoid shape. Leaflets 2-5" long, laterals smaller that the terminal. Prickles (sometimes called thorns) along the mid vein.



Stems are stout, green when young, and usually covered with shape prickles, usually dark colored. Leaves can be clustered at the tips appearing whorled.





Flowers are beautiful and very tropical looking. They are orange - scarlet red, 2" long, about 1" wide and borne in a 1' long panicle.



Fruit is a pod with constrictions between the bright red seeds. I have not seen them set fruit here, these pictures were taken in SLO.





Older stems and bark is pretty cool. Often multi stemmed, light tan color with shallow ridges.



A variegated species, seen in warm climates only.



Misidentification:
Could be E. crus-galli the cockspur coral tree, but they have narrow trifoliate leaves. You can see one of these at city hall or in the Salvia garden at Cabrillo.

Location:
Santa Cruz
Floral Park  - Pleasure Point - 3 trees
3020 Pleasure Point Dr.
115 Toledo - very large specimen

Nyssa sylvatica - Tupelo tree

The Tupelo tree (Tupelo honey) is a medium to large deciduous tree from the US, grown for the amazing fall color. Lateral branches are perpendicular to the main stem, sort of like a pin oak. Has the potential of reaching 80' in its native habitat. Many specimens in Santa Cruz have the tops removed, hopefully accidentally. 





Leaves deciduous, alternate, simple, obovate to oblong, 3-5" long, entire margins, dark green in summer, brilliant reds in fall. Lower surface lighter green.



Young stems light green, small lateral buds.



Flowers green, with the leaves, pretty easy to miss.



Fruit is a small round bluish drupe. These are not ripe and in pairs.



Bark is silver gray and slightly checked.



Misidentification:
Not sure.

Location
Santa Cruz
Mission Plaza in the lawn
River St and Front St Parking garage - 2 trees smallish and lacking terminal leader.

Leucadendron argenteum - SIlver Tree

The Silver tree is a beautiful small evergreen tree growing 20-30 feet tall and generally quite narrow. There is nothing else like this tree for the amazing color. Rare, endangered, short lived, fussy, frost sensitive, - what horticulturist wouldn't want to grow it? 






Foliage is alternate, simple, narrowly lanceolate, 4-6" long, entire margins, and covered with silky hairs. Foliage is dense covering the stems though can be restricted to the ends of the branches.







Flowers are monoecious, this one male. Females will produce a woody "cone", usually at the top of the trees.



Bark is way cool, looks like a an elephant leg.



Propagation is not really hard, but timing is everything. Trees are estimated to live 15-20 years in their native habitat, but may live longer without fires that rip though that habitat. The trees at the Arboretum have to be 25 years old. But they are intolerant to frost with the tips burning and they do seem to die without much notice.

Misidentification:
Hardly… silver foliage is a gardeners dream.

Location:
Aptos
140 Baltusrol Dr.

Capitola
101 Saxon Ave

Santa Cruz
231 Morrissey Blvd (side street)
316 Berkeley Way (largest ones outside of the UCSC Arboretum)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Gleditsia triacanthos inermis 'Sunole' - Sunburst Honeylocust

This is the golden leaved version of the thornless honey locust tree. More compact than the species and slower growing to 30+ feet. The chief difference being the foliage is yellow in spring and turning light green in summer or looking burnt, but that's a pest problem. Horrible pest problem here, Pod Gall Midge.



Leaves are similar to the other cultivars except they are light yellow early spring, turning light green by mid summer. Still the same mixture of pinnate and compound pinnate leaves depending on the rate of growth. 



Here is a shot of a bad infestation of the midge.



Really all the other parts of the tree are more or less the same as the species and other cultivars of Gleditsia.

'Suncole' seems to be the proper cultivar name but most people use the trademarked name Sunburst.

Misidentification:
Robinia pseudoacacia 'Frisia' perhaps. The other golden foliaged "locust" has larger leaflets than Gleditisa. Neither are really common.

Location:
Aptos
Soquel Dr and Hardin Way - Corner

Soquel
4831 Soquel Dr

Santa Cruz
West Marine parking lot