Oaks of Northern Minnesota

Seven species of oak trees are native to Minnesota, according to the website of the Minnesota DNR. Three of these are found in northern Minnesota; the Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa), Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra), and Northern Pin Oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis). There are two main groups of oak trees, the white oaks and the red …

Hawk’s Nest in our Sweetgum Tree

A pair of hawks have built their nest in the sweetgum tree in our front yard in Louisiana. The nest is too high for us to see any chicks, but there are calls that sound like chicks and the two adult hawks seem to be tending a brood. Identification of the hawk’s species was difficult …

Conifers; Utah’s Wasatch National Forest

A winter trip to Utah offered the opportunity to appreciate conifers in a different part of the country. The photos below show three trees seen along the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, east of Salt Lake City. Lodgepole Pine The Rocky Mountain Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta subspecies latifolia) is found at middle …

Sweetgum Balls

The American Sweetgum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua) is the second most common tree in Louisiana forests (the most common is the Loblolly Pine). Sweetgums are also plentiful in our local suburban landscape despite a significant drawback, the spiny seed-carrying balls that fall from their branches by the hundreds this time of year. The sweetgum is a …

Attractive Fungi

What’s our first thought about fungi? Fungal infections? No doubt certain occurrences of fungus are unpleasant (athlete’s foot, black spot on roses). However fungi are critical to all life, particularly because over 90% of plant species benefit from a symbiotic relation with fungi termed mycorrhiza. Occasionally fungi in the form of mushrooms are attractive. Following …

Magnolia and Mimosa

This is one more look at trees of SE Louisiana, where Magnolia and Mimosa trees bloom in the late spring. The next blog post will shift focus back to the lake country of Minnesota. Magnolia Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) are highly valued trees that are strongly associated with the southern United States. It is the …