ACTUAL Trees in the Land of the Laurels

June 9th, 2021

Dear Readers,

All of my previous tree identifying attempts were a total failure. I do apologize to my 9th grade biology teacher who attempted to grace us with his knowledge of all things Pennsylvanian trees…I have failed you.

Luckily for William and I, we had a friend of a friend of ours…who is now…and actually already was…our friend too, come out to our property to help truly identify the trees on our land. As a previous Pennsylvania State Forester, he knew what he was talking about. And he was incredibly helpful in allowing William and I to become more acquainted with our future home. 

To summarize, these are the most prevalent tree species on our wee bit of 2.9 something acres of land: 

Chestnut Oak~ that white oak I thought was a white oak, but then thought was a red oak…but really it’s a white oak…

Witch Hazel~ more of a shrub, really…but with tons of ancient medicinal benefits!

Sassafras~ the ones with the cool variety of leaves and lots of sass! Most of the ones we found were lil’ saplings though…they don’t seem to get enough sun to grow big and strong. An indicator for our sun exposure for our house? Hmmm…you sure can learn a lot from trees…especially the sassy ones.

American Beech~ I used to call them ‘elephant trunk trees’ as a kid.

Elephant trunk tree!

Black Birch~ I could’ve sworn these were cherry trees…but I was obviously wrong. But they sure do smell nice when you cut their bark just a tad.

Black Gum~ we were advised that if we had to take any tree down, this tree would be the least missed. 

Red Maple~ Keepin’ fall in the Land of the Laurels vibrant!

Hemlock~ we did spot some woolly adelgids on our hemlocks…as well as one hemlock totally demolished by this invasive species. Sadness….if anybody is a woolly adelgid warlock assassin, please contact me at the following: shelby@sustainingtree.com. Thanks.

Eastern White Pine~ HUGE! And blocks our view of the cell tower.

Black Oak~ I thought this was a scarlet oak? Either way, it is still a part of the Red Oak family!

Recognizing these trees was just part one of the puzzle. For William and I to place our home with the least impact to the land, while still obtaining the most sun exposure, we needed to know how big these trees can grow, and how long they can live for. Ye’ be warned…we have some ancients…

Chestnut Oak~ 200 to 250 years ~60 to 90 feet tall

Witch Hazel~ 30 to 50 years ~20 to 30 feet tall

Sassafras~ 100 to 150 years ~30 to 60 feet tall

American Beech~ 150 to 200 years ~60 to 80 feet tall

Black Birch~ about 200 years ~about 115 feet tall

Black Gum~ who knows? ~30 to 50 feet tall

Red Maple~ 75 to 100 years ~40 to 60 feet tall

Hemlock~ 150 to 600 years….let me just type that again, shall I? 150 to 600 years! (provided the bloody woolly adelgid doesn’t demolish them first…) ~40 to 60 feet tall

Eastern White Pine~ 200 to 250 years ~70 to 100 feet tall

Black Oak~ 175 to 200 years ~40 to 60 feet tall

So much tree knowledge. This wraps up the blog for this week. Short. Yes. But full of knowledge that is essential to the health and well being of our land? Absolutely. I, for one, am glad to finally be able to call our trees by their proper names…instead of: “that one over there with the twisty trunk at the bottom with the swirly cool roots…yeah, it’s right next to the one that looks like an elbow..”

Thanks for reading!!!!

Shelby

P.S. I apologize for the lack of photos of the actual trees…I will try to do better next time.

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© 2020 Sustaining Tree