Cone armed, prickly. Three needles. Fascicles gnarly.
If you scratch the twig, it smells like wintergreen. Only Birch at high elevation and only species with paired alternate leaves > 3000'. Paired leaves are older branches. New growth stays a single leaf until > 1 year. 1 mm petiole. Shreddy bark. Use twigs as toothbrush.
Common wild shrub. Hemi-parasite. Needs to parasitism on adjacent trees to get going. Large green seed, simple leaf, green flowers. Difficult to grow. Deer and bear eat nuts.
Quercus falcata. Fagaceae. Red oak group. Alternate, simple, dark green pinnately veined leaves with middle lobe extended. Small acorns with cap covering most of the fruit. Deeper fissures in bark than other oaks. Upland (drier) habitats from KY south to Gulf Coast and out of the mountains in VA and NC south to coasts. Replaced by northern red oak to the north.
Acer rubrum. Aceraceae. Soft maple group. Similar to sugar maple but leaves have serrated margins. Has red colored blunt buds and red twigs in autumn. Very hardy tree found on a variety of sites. Prolific stump sprouted. Fruit a double samara in clusters that mature in the spring.
Juglans nigra. Judlandaceae. Large, pinnately compound leaves with 8-22 leaflets. Terminal leaflet absent or poorly developed (vs ajuga so cinerea--White Walnut or Butternut) that has developed a terminal leaflet. "Monkey face" leaf scars and twigs have chambered pith (Like a ladder), chocolate colored in Butternut but but lighter color in BW. BW has darker bark and BN bark ridges look like someone smoothed off the tops with a knife. BW but is round. BN nut is mioegg-shaped. Both species produce jug lone--a chemical in the roots that kills germinating seedlings. Yellow dye from roots. Walnuts you buy in the store are English walnuts which are less bitter than BW.
AKA Hazel or Common Alder. Alnus serrulata. Betulaceae. Alternate, finely toothed obviate leaves with sunken veins. Sticky red-purple buds on stalks. Fruit a nutlet in a small woody "cone". Riparian species. Forms symbiotic association with N-fixing actinomycetes (Frankis sp.) ???leaves crinkly and feel like rubber.
Quercus coccinea. Fagaceae. Red Oak group. Alternate, simple, pinnate leaves. Deep "C-shaped" sinuses extend
nearly to midrib. Shallow cap on nut. Concentric circles around pointed end of nut. Shallow fissures in gray bark. Larger tree that lacks distinctive form and "pin" branches of Pin Oak, and acorns are larger. Shade intolerant and on dry sites. Poor form (unkempt appearance) with lots of dead branches.
Carya Glabra. Juglandaceae. Pinnately compound leaves with 7-9 large leaflets. PH has glabrous leaflets, rachis and petiole. Twigs less stout than MNH, not tomentose and smaller buds. Bark nearly identical. PNH has thin walled husk and larger seeds than MNH.
Carya tomentosa. Judiandaceae. Pinnately compound leaves with 7-9 large leaflets. MN has rusty tomentose under the leaflets and on rachis and petiole. MN has stouter twigs often tomentose and larger buds than Pignut Hickory. Barks nearly identical. MN has thick husk and relatively small nuts inside.
AKA Sweet Birch. Betula Lenta. Betulaceae. Leaves singly serrated. Yellow birch (B. alleghaniensis) doubly serrated. Bark does not peel like most Betula species. Young trees smooth and black with obvious vertical lenticels. Twigs have wintergreen taste instead of bitter taste of cherries. Compared to Sweet Birch, Yellow Birch has less wintergreen taste, is found at higher elevations, and even when young the red-brown bark will be starting to peel.
Hamamelis virginiana. Hamamelidaceae. Leaves look like alder but have wavy instead of serrated margins. Base is oblique. Terminal bud is stalked and "naked" (no bud scales) that when held upside down looks like a deer hoof. Flowers have stringy yellow petals in the fall. Fruit is a two-beaked woody capsule that will forcibly eject the mature seeds. Wood used for water diving rods and inner bark used for astringent.
Amelanchier laevis (Allegheny) or arborea (downy). Rosaceae. Leaves are alternate, simple with serrated margins. Twigs, petiole and leaf undersides are pubescent for downy but glamorous ( or small amounts of pubescence on undersides of leaves) for Allegheny Serviceberry. Buds are long, sharply pointed with pubescence on Allegheny nut NOT pubescent on downy. Bark on both species gray/brown with verTical dark stripes. Fruit a pome (red-purple for downy, blue-black for Allegheny). Important species for wildlife.
Aesculus flava. Hippocastanaceae (or Sapindaceae). Opposite, palmately compound leaves with 5-7 leaflets and a long petiole. Stout twigs with large, sharply pointed tan colored buds. Bark is relatively smooth even on large trees. Fruit is a pear-shaped capsule containing roundish maroon colored seeds with a large white dot on one end. Indicator of fertile sites. Paste from fruit was used in book binding. Seeds carried for good luck (but are poisonous).
Cornus florida. Cornaceae. Leaves are opposite (can be whorled) with arcuate veins (curve from petiole to tip of leaf). Flowers are surrounded by 4 showy white bracts which are mistaken for the petals. Flower buds have distinctive Hershey kiss shape while vegetative buds are valvate. Fruit is a red drupe. Bark is square "blocky" (like the back of an alligator). Powdered bark a toothpaste, roots yield scarlet dye. Great wildlife value.
06/04/2015, 8:03 AM
Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 1/500 sec, f/8, 135mm (EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM), ISO 5000 (auto), Exp comp +1/3, CP
05/31/2015, 7:31 AM
Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, 135mm (EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM), ISO 250 (auto), Exp comp +1/3
Not very visible in photo. But as I was climbing down at camelback mountain I saw it rolling around in the dirt, basking in the morning sun.
It then stood on its hind legs with its tail sticking up, being bushy and slightly darker than its body.
Chuckwalla basking on rocks on Camelback Mountain.