Other Tree Species along The Jean Melrose Bevan Memorial Heritage Tree Walk
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
This living fossil is best identified by its unique fan-shaped leaves. When young, it is spindly but can grow to great heights (60 metres). There is only one species now but other species have been identified from geological records dating back 270 million years. Native to China, the trees have spread worldwide. Each tree is either male or female with the fruit only on the female tree. The seeds are a specialty food in Asia, but male trees are usually planted in Canada, because of the perceived unpleasant odour of the fruit.
Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica)
Also called black tupelo, sourgum or pepperidge. This member of the dogwood family is rare in Canada, growing only along the edge of Lake Erie. A small tree, it is pyramidal in shape when young but the top flattens out as it matures. The leaves are simple and alternate with a dark green glossy surface and turn a distinctive bright red in the fall. The fruit is plum-like and because the pollen flowers and seed flowers are on different trees, the fruit is usually only on the female trees. The name "Nyssa" refers to a Greek nymph in myth.
Common Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)
Also called False Elm. The Hackberries, being related to Elms, were classified in the same family, but are now included in the Hemp family, Cannabaceae. They are planted to replace Elms. They are native to Ontario on Point Pelee and along Lake Erie. The simple leaves are long, pointed and lopsided. The distinctive bark has narrow ridges with wart-like growths that resemble molten metal.
River Birch (Betula nigra)
This is a native of the southern United States and typically grows to 35 metres tall. The tree has a tendency to multiple trunks. The simple double-toothed small leaves are triangular and short-stalked and have a silvery underleaf unique among birches. The bark is a combination of shades of orange, white and red, which peels in ragged sheets. The tree has separate male (catkin) and female (cone) fruit. The sap is sweet and was used in earlier times to make a popular soft drink called birch beer.
Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
These small trees, members of the Cassia family, are native to Canada only in its southern-most point at Pelee Island, but have been naturalized as an ornamental further north. The heart-shaped leaves have veins radiating from the leaf base. The spectacular pink/purple pea-like flowers grow in clusters and bloom directly along the branches and trunk in early spring before the leaves come out. The fruit pods stay on the branches through the winter.
Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa)
Native to the Mississippi Valley, these large-leaved medium-sized trees are often planted beyond their range because of their showy flowers. Like many Carolinean species the large leaves appear late in the spring. Flower clusters with petals fused into a large tubes appear after the leaves. The large bean-like fruit remains on the tree in winter, hanging like large brown icicles.
These trees are common and widespread in the south-eastern United States and are easily recognized by their star-shaped leaves, winged branches and straight central trunk. The dangling seed balls are obvious on the tree in winter. Its resinous fragrant gum was used medicinally and for chewing gum.
Tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
The straight trunk of this tree, also known as yellow poplar, can be up to 35 m tall. As a Carolinean species its distinctive tulip-shaped leaves come out later in the spring, and its large yellow flowers bloom in late May. It is native to Canada in the Niagara Peninsula, and along the shore of Lake Erie. There is only one other species in this genus, a small tree of China. This is an ancient tree, with flowers that are pollinated by beetles. This may indicate that it developed before bees.
Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata)
In Canada this member of the Walnut family is found in southern Ontario and along the shores of the St Lawrence. The leaves are compound with 5-7 leaflets, widest at the middle and pointed at both ends. The fine teeth have little tufts of hairs. The bark which gives the name is smooth and grey striped when young but matures into long shaggy plates, curled at both ends. The round fruit has a thick husk and the nuts inside are the main source of edible hickory nuts, and are an important food source for squirrels. This tree produces the best quality hickory wood, but is not widely available commercially.
Other species you will see...
Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry (Native)
Colorado Blue Spruce
Flowering Dogwood (Native)
Norway Spruce (Invasive)
Artwork by Julian Mulock
The Jean Melrose Bevan Memorial Heritage Tree Walk Anderson Lane Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario http://jmbevantreewalk.org/