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Author Topic: What kind of trees are they?  (Read 2808 times)

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Offline CHARLIE

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What kind of trees are they?
« on: August 22, 2001, 08:48:51 AM »
Question #1. When on vacation in Florida, we were traveling up through the Ocala National Forest and I noticed that the pines on both sides of the road were small, skinny things that were pretty crooked. I asked my father-in-law what kind they were and what they were good for. He told me they were 'Spruce Pine' and not good for anything. I'm doubting that this is the right name and I imagine if nothing else they are good for mulch. What kind of pine is it? Can someone tell me without seeing a picture? :-/

Question#2.  While traveling down the Salt Springs Run (short river) I saw what looked like paper birch growing next to the shoreline. I didn't think paper birch grew in Florida.  Was it paper birch (white bark) or was it a different kind of tree? ::)

Question#3. Along the shorelines of the rivers were trees that were the shape of a maple leaf, but were quite a bit smaller. I asked my father-in-law what kind of tree it was and he said it was a 'Water Maple'.  Is there such a thing as a 'Water Maple'?  If not, what kind of tree was it? They weren't huge trees.::)
Charlie
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: What kind of trees are they?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2001, 01:26:48 PM »
One of those southern (Florida Foresters) needs to respond!
~Ron

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: What kind of trees are they?
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2001, 04:13:23 PM »
Question #1:  There is a spruce pine (Pinus glabra) that grows in northern Florida.  But, it grows in association with hardwoods, such as cumcumber tree, sweetgum, beech, and hickor; as well as shortleaf and loblolly pine.  Occurs as a scattered tree and occaisionally in pure stands.

Question #2:  Flordia is a little south for most birches except for river or red birch (Betula nigra).  Grows on shorelines  But it doesn't have the white bark like paper birch.

Also, you're a little south for sycamore.

Quesion #3:  I can't find a water maple, but there is a Florida maple (Acer barbatum).  Similar to sugar maple, but smaller leaves and are blue-green in color.

Silver maple (acer negundo) also grows in northern Florida.  These grow mainly along creek and river banks.  Also, used as a landscape tree.

Remember, I've never been further south than Richmond, VA :D   :P
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Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: What kind of trees are they?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2001, 05:00:47 PM »
Think ya got em all, Ron.
The Ranger, home of Texas Forestry

Offline Tom

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Re: What kind of trees are they?
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2001, 05:11:23 PM »
Charlie,

There is a forest of Sand Pine on US 19 which passes through the Ocala forest and the area is just south of and includes Salt Springs.  It is an area of rolling sand hills, an old dune line I suppose.

I stopped at the Forest welcome station one day and ask the same question.  They have pamphlets on the forest of Sand Pine as if it is a really big thing and there were a few large wood signs along the road describing what the forest was.

The following link is a good article about the tree although it doesn't address the acreage I just described. http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~arbor/sandpine.html

The "Paper Birch" you described was most likely, as Ron stated, "Red Birch".  There is quite a bit of it in fairly pure stands on the rivers around here.  One spot I am intimately familiar with is the Fl 2 and Ga 94 crossing of the St. Mary's River at St. George, Ga.  That area has a large and thick stand.

The Maple tree you saw was probably Fla. Maple (Acer barbatum), again as Ron stated.  You have seen this tree on the back of my property at the creek growing from the marsh.  I was told by one of the local foresters that if you had the patience (the trees are tiny),  you could make syrup from the sap because they are related to the sugar maple.

Wow Ron,  You're good.
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Offline CHARLIE

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Re: What kind of trees are they?
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2001, 09:46:14 AM »
Thanks Ron and Tom! :)   Looking at the picture of the 'Sand Pine' on that web site makes me think that I wasn't looking at that kind of tree.  Wish I could find a picture of a 'Spruce Pine'. :-/  The pine stands I saw, the trees were tall, but skinny and a real crooked trunk.

Does the 'Red Birch' have white bark?  The trees I saw were right on the shoreline and had snow white bark. I know that birch like wetlands.

I'll accept that those are 'Silver Maple' but they sure are different than our 'Silver Maple'  ('Soft Maple') up here. Our 'Silver Maples' become some pretty danged big trees. The leaves are little smaller than the 'Hard Maple' ('Sugar Maple') and just turn yellow in the Fall (Not as colorful as the 'Sugar Maple').

I still am a bit puzzlemented    ::)
Charlie
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: What kind of trees are they?
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2001, 03:44:18 PM »
It's not that I'm good, just have a good dendrology book.   :D

Silver maple and red maple are real hard to tell the difference.  Crush the leaves.  If it stinks, it's silver maple.

Lumber graders up here complain about silver maple, but will readily admit there isn't much, since it requires wet sites.  What they call silver maple is poor texture red maple.  They throw it out.  Both silver maple and red maple are considered soft maple.

One thing to remember is that trees of the same species will vary somewhat in appearance over their range.  Same goes for quality.  

Sand pine (Pinus clausa) is a small tree of poor form.  Commonly found on sterile sandy soils.  It resembles the northern jack pine, and holds its unopened cones for several years.  Perhaps the least important southern pine species, except for a cover crop.

Range:  Florida (except the extreme northeastern & southwestern portions) and the Gulf Coast to Alabama.  Sounds more like sand pine than spruce pine.
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Offline Tom

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Offline CHARLIE

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Re: What kind of trees are they?
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2001, 08:11:01 AM »
Thanks again Ron and Tom! I might learn something yet in spite of myself.8) 8)  Tom thanks for that picture. The large tree that is foremost in the picture doesn't look like the trees I saw, but the spindley tree to the left and behind it does.  Of course with a lot of trees for competition, the ones in the forest wouldn't be as big as one that is in the open by itself. I appreciate all the help :)
Charlie
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