Winter Tree IdentificationPart 2-Trees with an "Opposite" Branching Pattern
Ashes (Fraxinus spp.) have a fairly uniform bark which somewhat resembles corduroy with diamonds forming an interlaced network of shallow furrows. The leaf scars are generally shield shaped with bundle scars forming a "u" shape. Buds are covered with 2 or 3 pairs of scales, while the terminal bud is dry and slightly rough. We have 5 species of ash in northeast Ohio, with the most common being white ash (Fraxinus americana) and green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica subintegerrima).
Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra) has thick, stout twigs, usually over 1/4 inch thick all the way to the tip. Bark is tight, becoming more furrowed over time, with a slightly yellow tinge to it. The twigs have large terminal buds in the shape of ovals. The bud scales are large, shaped like the bottom of a boat, and have small hairs along the edges which may only be seen with a magnifying glass. The leaf scars are rather large and triangular, with bundle scars arranged in three distinct groups toward the corners of the triangle.
Flowering Dogwood (Cornus Florida) has bark reminiscent of white oak, somewhat rough, light in color. The trees have slender twigs which may have a reddish tint to them. Buds are of two types, small buds which are fairly inconspicuous compared to the larger onion shaped buds which hold the next year's flowers. Buds are protected by two large scales. Stipule scars are absent, but leaf scars almost completely encircle twigs. 3 bundle scars are found in the crescent shaped leaf scars.
Maples (Acer spp.) Bark is variable, depending on the species. The bark is generally gray, and in sugar maples, appears in large plates with edges that appear looser as the tree ages. You may also notice a twist to the bark as you scan the tree from bottom to top. Maples have a crescent shaped leaf scar with three bundle scars. The terminal bud is egg-shaped and slightly larger than lateral buds. Buds are protected by two or more pairs of scales. Stipule scars are absent. 7 or more species of maples are found in Northeast Ohio.