Deciduous tree commonly found on flat and low grounds from the coastal plain into the piedmont frequently reaching 90 to 100 feet high with rapid growth and a long life. In the pioneer days, lumber from willow oaks was used to make pulpits, pews, wagon axles and flour barrels. It is a prolific acorn producer which provides food for game birds, deer and small mammals.
This was once a common tree found along city streets in North America, reaching heights over 100 feet. The American elm has been devastated in many parts of its natural range by the Dutch elm disease that was introduced into the United States on a shipment of logs from Europe in the 1930’s. The wood has valuable uses in the furniture industry. It was once steamed to bend for wheel hoops and baskets. Of special note, the American Elm tree in Betty Mauldin Park is the second largest elm in the state of Georgia.
Native to the Mississippi River Valley, this species of hickory can grow to a height of 100 to 130 feet. This is a very valuable tree because of the popular nuts which are used for baking and candies. Georgia produces over 50% of the pecans produced in the United States. The word “Pecan” is derived from the Algonquin origin which means “a nut requiring a stone to crack.” It is the only major tree nut that grows naturally in America.
This small tree is native to Southeast Asia but has become a popular addition to southern landscapes because of its colorful variety of flowers that bloom in summer. It is well suited for urban settings due to its long life, pest resistance and ability to withstand drought conditions. To develop a tree shape, three to five nicely spaced shoots should be selected as the main trunks.
This is a common red oak found in the southern landscape. It grows 80 to 90 feet tall and has a broad, wellrounded crown of spreading branches ideal for shading city streets. Furniture, lumber and flooring are a few of its uses. It also provides acorns for squirrels, song birds, turkey and quail. The top of this Southern Red oak has been broken out – probably during a wind storm.
This is a cone bearing tree that has fruit-like structures with woody scales, each bearing seeds or pollen. The tree can grow to 100 feet high with a pyramidal head and drooping branches. It grows natively from Canada down to Georgia in the Appalachian Mountains at higher elevations. It is a slow-growing tree that may take 250 to 300 years to reach maturity. Some trees will live 800 years or more.
This is a fairly short lived tree reaching 50 to 60 feet tall. A member of the pea family, it is native to the southeastern United States. The bark of the black locust is poisonous to cattle, but rabbits sometimes feed on the bark during the winter and songbirds eat the seeds which are toxic to people. The hardwood is very dense and resistant to rot. It makes good fence posts, railroad ties and wagon hubs.
This is a relatively pest-free tree that grows 70 to 80 feet high. Early Americans used the leaves and extracts from the tree for fabric dyes and leaves were often used to stuff mattresses. It has an edible nut about 3/4 inch long that has a triangular shape maturing in September –October. Wildlife readily consume the nuts, but heavy crops only occur every 2 to 3 years.
Red maples are found throughout Georgia. They commonly grow 60 to 90 feet high and have become a favorite ornamental shade tree because of their rapid growth in a wide range of sites. The fruit is red to yellowish-samara, paired with wings 3/4 inch long –ripening in the spring. It one of the first trees to flower in the spring.
The Sugar Maple is a prized tree for its beautiful fall colors which range from yellow to brilliant reddish-orange. It is also a source of maple syrup produced in several New England states. Sap is collected by drilling holes into the wood phloem of the tree and inserting tubes which allow the sap to flow into a collection bucket. Maple wood is used for Furniture, Flooring, Bowling Alleys, Bowling pins and Basketball courts.
This is a medium sized, slow growing tree that reaches a height of 60 to 80 feet. It is a white oak, producing an annual acorn crop and very hard, durable wood which holds up well when contacting soil. This makes it useful for fence posts and railroad ties. It often grows on rocky or sandy ridges and handles drought conditions well. The tree is common around old farmsteads in Georgia.
This is the largest pine in eastern North America reaching a height of 180+ feet. The largest remaining tree from our virgin forest is called the “Boogerman Pine” located in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Indian tribes collected the white, soft inner bark. The bark was dried and pounded into a flour-like product. The young male cones were also added to stews for their sweet flavor.
This evergreen is a medium sized tree with the leaves remaining on the branches for two or three years before falling in the spring, when pushed off by growing buds. If you have a holly that doesn’t produce berries, it is likely a male tree. They provide birds with a late season source of food when other food sources are exhausted.
This is an evergreen tree that is native to the southeastern United States. The leaves last two years and are 6 to 12 inches long, simple with smooth margins. They have a dark green surface that is leathery; underneath is rusty, bronze with yellow hairs. Flowers appear in late spring that are creamy white, 6 to 8 inches wide and fragrant.
It is a member of the olive family. The fall color is golden-yellow and one of the first trees to change color. The seeds are eaten by a number of game and nongame animals and birds. Green Ash was used by American Indians for bows and arrows and is used for furniture today. Many of the popular guitar companies use this wood in the construction of their products.