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Category: Trees

Benefits of Trees

Benefits of Trees

The benefits of trees are often taken for granted in our modern society. As our population expands, mankind has been clearing out thousands of acres of forested land for homes, streets, and shopping malls. We’ve watched as the city’s atmosphere thickens with smog and the air quality gets worse and worse. And we continue to see a rising temperature trend across our metropolitan regions. What does this have to with trees (you wonder)? Aside from being the home and shelter…

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Ponderosa Pine Tree

Ponderosa Pine Tree

Named for their ponderous size, the Ponderosa Pine Trees are the giants of the forest. Also called the Western Yellow Pine, these trees are an essential part of the NW lumber economy. From their past usage as railroad ties and telegraph poles to today’s furniture veneer and lumber, this pine tree has produced billions of board feet of lumber for a multitude of uses. While many Ponderosa pines are 100+ feet, John Muir recorded the largest of these pines at…

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Blue Spruce

Blue Spruce

The Blue Spruce is probably best known for its role as a Christmas tree, however, it is a beautiful tree in the wild and becoming a very popular ornamental landscape tree as well. Also known as the Colorado Spruce, this tree is native to North America and was first discovered deep in the Colorado forests. The Spruce tree is a slow grower, less than one foot per year, but it can live over 500 years in the wild! It’s a…

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White Pine Tree

White Pine Tree

The White Pine Tree became very popular with early American settlers as these trees often stood over 200 feet tall with a 6 foot diameter. Many of the sail ships used the white pine for their mast. It’s even said the British conquest for this tree is one of the factors that started the Revolutionary War… the initial Colonial flag contained the emblem of a white pine. White pines are fast growing evergreens, initially, with their growth rates slowing over…

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White Birch Tree

White Birch Tree

The White Birch Tree is probably best known for its eye-catching white bark. Today, these trees are most often used for their landscape color or aiding thirsty hikers in their effort to locate streams. Many years ago, the Native Americans used this tree’s white bark for a multitude of items. The Indians in the New England states used the peeled bark of the trees for the skin of canoes, tee-pees, and even to wrap the shaft of spears for fishing…

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River Birch Tree

River Birch Tree

The River Birch Tree is probably best known for its peeling paper-like bark. The bark peels in reddish-brown and pink paper-thin layers that are quite attractive. It usually drops its lower branches over seasonal wind and rain storms, but overall it’s a very low-maintenance tree. I planted a river birch about 10 years ago at the advice of a friend when I was complaining about my swampy backyard. It was a match made in heaven. The tree has grown to…

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Honey Locust Tree

Honey Locust Tree

The Honey Locust Tree is probably best known for its ability to withstand the harshest elements of nature and mankind. It has proven to be tolerant of drought conditions, urban pollution and air quality, and the salt of wintertime road treatments. Their canopy and leaves cast a light shade, allowing grasses and other growth under the canopy, making it a popular landscape tree. The Honey Locust grows approximately 2 feet a year for the first 10 years, making it one…

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Sassafras Tree

Sassafras Tree

The Sassafras Tree is best known for its use in medicines, root beer, soaps, perfumes, and even toothpaste. The tree would be harvested for its bark, roots, and leaves. When crushed they produce a fragrant oil that was used in the products described above and even for orange clothing dyes. In the 1960s, the United States Food and Drug Administration linked the Sassafras oil as a carcinogen and its use in food and drugs sharply declined. Nowadays the Sassafras is…

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White Ash Tree

White Ash Tree

The White Ash Tree is a popular shade tree for parks and large areas, as it provides a tremendous amount of shade. It’s not as popular with residential landscapes because of its large spread and clearance needs. The White Ash grows quickly and develops a round or oval shape. The leaves are grouped in sets of 5-7 smaller leaflets, each 2-3 inches in length. This is a characteristic that makes them easier to spot if you’re sending your campers out…

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Sweetgum Tree

Sweetgum Tree

The Sweetgum Tree is a popular shade tree and can be seen in parks, landscapes and wooded areas all over most of the continental United States with the exception of a few of the colder northern states. The Sweetgum is easy to spot from its 5-point leaves that look like stars and it’s prickly balled fruit that resemble a medieval mace. The large glossy green leaves are very attractive and give the tree agenerous shade area. The tree’s narrow pyramid…

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