It’s that time of year again. The school bell is about to ring. Soon kids will be pushing pencils and learning their A, B, C’s and 1, 2, 3’s. Made me think about trees and how we learn about them. A great way to start is the same way you learn about anything; with the A, B, C’s. So today, let’s look at the A, B, C’s of Canadian trees!
A, B, C’S OF CANADIAN TREES
A – Alder, American Beech, Apple, Arbutus, Ash, Aspen
B – Barberry, Basswood, Bayberry, Beech, Birch, Bitternut Hickory, Buckthorn
C – Cedar, Chestnut, Cherry, Chokecherry, Crab Apple, Cypress
D – Dogwood, Douglas Fir, Dwarf Hackberry
E – Eastern White Pine, Elder, Elm, English Walnut, Euonymus
F – False Cypress, Fir
G – Ginkgo, Golden Locust, Green Ash
H – Hackberry, Hawthorn, Hazel, Hemlock, Hickory, Holly, Horsechestnut
I – Ironwood – As the name suggests, the wood is very hard in this species that is used to make tool handles.
J – Jack Pine, Japanese Maple, Juniper
K – Kentucky Coffeetree, Kousa Dogwood, Kudzu (ok, it’s a vine & was hopefully eradicated from Canada, but there aren’t an awful lot of ‘K’ trees out there!)
L – Laburnum, Larch, Lilac, Linden, Locust
M – Magnolia, Maple, Mulberry
N – Northern Hackberry, Norway Maple
O – Oak, Ohio Buckeye, Osage Orange
P – Peach, Pear, Pine, Plum, Poplar
Q – Quince – A rarity in North America, due to its susceptibility to fire blight disease, the quince was once commonly used as a ritual offering at Greek weddings.
R – Redbud, Red Oak, Red Pine, Rhododendron, Rock Elm
S – Sassafras, Serviceberry, Siberian Larch, Slippery Elm, Smoke Tree, Spruce, Sumac, Sycamore
T – Tamarack, Trembling Aspen, Tulip Tree
U – Umbrella Pine –Perhaps not one you have heard of before, but it is also known as a ‘Stone Pine’ and is the source of the edible pine nuts that you find in pesto and other tasty dishes
V – Viburnum – The Genus that includes 150-175 species of flowering shrubs and small trees in the Adoxaceae family. They are evergreen in warmer climates, but deciduous in cooler ones.
W – Walnut, Western Redcedar, Willow, Witch Hazel, White Ash, White Oak
X – Xylosma – Ok, I have left the bounds of Canada for this one, but I challenge you to find a tree starting with X. It is from the Salicaceae family, is commonly found in the tropics and sub-tropics and is primarily used for hedges and topiary.
Y – Yellow Birch, Yellowwood, Yew
Z – Zanthoxylum – If you haven’t heard of this one, I’m not surprised. It’s not actually native to Canada, but the ‘Prickly Ash’, as it is commonly known, is frequently used in the making of bonsai trees
What other trees can you add to the A, B, C’s of trees?