Shumardi Oak - Quercus Shumardii
The Shumard Oak is a favorite for yards because of the beautiful autumn colors it develops; orange, yellow, gold, deep reds, and purples. This is also a perfect tree for urban areas where it might contact pollution, condensed soil, or drought. The Quercus Shumardii is best grown in Hardiness Zones 5 through 9. It is a perfect selection for providing shade and is appreciated for its ornamental value as well. This is a moderately growing tree, and you can expect it to grow between 13 and 24 inches. It's a sun lover, so be sure to let it grow in an area that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. The Shumard Oak also prefers wet soil but can tolerate drought occasionally and also transplants with ease. It does also handle a little bit of occasional flooding.
The Shumard Oak is loved by squirrels, deer, raccoons, and various birds for its nuts and the safety of its branches. This oak is also popular with butterflies. It's also a fairly tall tree known to grow about 80 to 115 feet at full maturity. You can easily identify the younger twigs by their lighter shade of green. Fruits and nuts won't appear until the tree is around 25 years old. The acorns are edible as long as they are leached and roasted properly to avoid consuming any toxins. Lumbers appreciate this oak for its mechanical superiority. It's a popular wood for cabinetry, flooring, furniture, paneling, and much more. Easily identified by five lobes on each leaf that will produce tiny acorns and little hairy redbuds. The Shumard Oak is a deciduous tree; it will drop its leaves in the fall and produce new leaves. There are tiny blooms produced on this tree, and they will be white or green and blend into the tree.
Water Oak - Quercus Nigra
The Water Oak is a relative to the Red Oak. It is native to the eastern and south-central portions of the United States. You can observe this tree in coastal states as well, such as New Jersey and New York. It's common in inland states like Kentucky, Oklahoma, and the southern portion of Missouri. This tree can withstand altitudes up to 1,500 feet. This is a moderately sized tree that can grow up to 100 feet tall and has a trunk that will grow up to 3 feet in width. When this tree is young, its bark will be sleek and brown. As the tree develops, its bark will turn a gray-black with coarse ridges. On the branches, the leaves alternate and will stay on the tree until mid-winter. The upper part of the leaf is a dull green, and the underside is a pale blue-green.
This tree is observed to be not just a shade tree but also an ornamental tree. It's loved for the beauty and interest it adds to a landscape. As it matures, it developed a sophisticated round shape. The Water Oak is a quick grower, approximately 24 inches every year. The Quercus Nigra loves sunlight but can tolerate some shade as well. It is most fruitful in soils that are loamy, well-drained, wet, acidic, and clay soils. It does well in moist locations but does the best in well-drained areas without much contact with harsh drought. It is also adaptable to heavy compressed soil. This tree will attract various wildlife, including quail, white-tailed deer, wood ducks, squirrels, wild turkeys, and many others. The deer will rely on this tree during the wintertime when food is sparse by consuming buds and young twigs. The Water Oak transplants very easily and adapts well to new environments. Every nut is held in place by a short cap with little scales on top of it.
Carolina Rose - Rosa Carolina
The Carolina Rose is a quaint shrub that blooms in May through August and is pink in color. There are five petals on the flower, and they dot the greenery conservatively. It's typically used as a hedge and beloved for attracting birds and butterflies. They benefit from both the flowers and hips. The Rosa Carolina shows the most success when grown in full sun and watered on a regular schedule, in the summer especially, usually the morning times. In the summer, it's popular to add mulch to the soil to keep the roots cool from the heat. The perfect time to prune the plants back is in late winter before spring comes. Another common name for this plant is the prairie rose because it is frequently found in wide-open prairies. It can also be spotted by train tracks, roadsides, wide-open fields, and various other terrains. This flower can be found in both dry and wet locations. It does produce a fruit that starts dark green and changes into a bright red color the more it ripens.
The Carolina Rose is tolerant of shady areas but does its best in full sun areas. This plant is highly beneficial to bees as they appreciate the nectar for making honey. They make beautiful borders with attractive and noticeable flowers as well as autumn rose hips. It can easily be cultivated by seed or transplant. The edge of the leaves are serrated, and the branches they grow off have thorns present on them. Even though the leaf edges are serrated, the serration does not continue to the leaf base. The leaves will fall off of the Carolina Rose in the fall and return in the spring months. In the winter season, the twigs will typically change colors or show various colors, including green, brown, and dark red. As the plant matures, it will broaden out and cover more space than during its youth.
Sourwood - Oxydendrum Arboreum
The Sourwood tree is a brilliant and showy plant that grows between 20 and 50 feet tall, and its branches will spread out about 10 to 25 feet out. The most successful trees are grown in the Hardiness Zone 5 through 9. Oxydendrum Arboreum loves sunlight and does well in full sun but is also happy in partial shade as well if it has to. The most nurturing soil for the sourwood is organically rich, acidic, moist, well-drained soil. This tree will not survive a drought, so it must be kept watered lovingly. In the wild, it's most well known for its appearance on the rocky slopes of the Appalachian Mountains. Its roots are shallow, and the tree seems to respond to its environment better if it doesn't have to compete for ground space. When the sourwood is mature, its bark is typically gray in color and scaly. The leaves are typically a deep green with fine-tooth edges. Every fall, the leaves will turn a brilliant crimson red color. The leaves are said to have a very bitter taste which lends to its name sourwood. Hikers will often make tea out of the leaves to help quench their thirst. The tea is also said to be beneficial for dysentery and diarrhea.
The flowers produced by the tree are extremely popular, with bees providing wonderful nectar for honey. The particular honey created by this tree is prized and considered more valuable than other variations of honey. Few places in the country also develop a jelly from the nectar of its flowers, called Sourwood Jelly. The flowers on the Oxydendrum Arboreum are white and extremely fragrant. They droop off the tree, similar to the lilies of the valley. Whitetail deer love the twigs produced by the sourwood. Not only does this tree have ornamental value and medicinal value, but it makes a considerable contribution to wildlife as well.
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