This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Five barks, no dogs

Our first dendrology quiz! See if you can guess the species identity of the five flaky-barked trees pictured below. No two are the same. If you can identify more than two, you are a true Jedi master. A couple clues are given below.

Some hints: photos #2 and #3 are in the same family, but different genera; #2 is locally common, but you're more likely to encounter #3 at Disney World in Orlando than in Ann Arbor; photos #4 and #5 are in the same genus; the common name of photo #1 is derived from a British name for a type of maple. Click "read more" for the answers.

#1 is a sycamore (Platanus sp.), named after the European sycamore maple but not a member of the maple family.

#2 is Zelkova serrata, a medium-sized tree widely planted in Ann Arbor in public places; it is in the elm family as is #3 Ulmus parvifolia or Chinese elm. This elm is not to be confused with the ratty common Siberian elm. The true "Chinese" elm is quite happy but very rare in Ann Arbor.

The last two are maples, the latter being paperbark maple (Acer griseum), and the former being the closely related and equally worthy Acer triflorum (the one pictured was grown from a seedling found in Nichols Arboretum).

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