Learning how to tree ID

Hey everyone!

My name is Breonna, and I'll be working as an REU at the Garden this summer on a project dealing with Invasive Species Ecology. I'm a rising senior at the Ohio State University (OSU), and I'm majoring in Microbiology with a minor in Spanish. 

I came to college with a pretty strong idea of what I wanted to do, so I didn't give myself room to explore other fields, especially those in science. I realized sometime last year that I was missing out, and I knew I wanted to do something different this summer. Although I didn't have much experience with plants, I knew that I enjoyed anytime I spent outdoors, and I was really interested in bioconvervation. So, I applied for this internship hoping to gain some more experience, and I was lucky enough to be selected.

I have learned so much in these first 2 weeks of the program, but one of my favorite things has been species identification. Erica and Jesse, two other REU students working at the Garden who have much more experience in this than I do, helped me to identify some trees recently while taking a stroll through the Garden. I'll share some of what I learned here, though I can only remember parts of the common names.




Note the medium deep ridges in its bark and distinctively shaped leaves.



The full name is in the picture, but I remember this tree because of its grey stone-colored bark and ridges that look like eyes.


Ginkgo (male)

This tree has really distinct leaves. There used to be loads of Ginkgo trees around OSU campus, and what I remember most about them is the odd smell of their fruit. When I noted that I didn't see any on this tree, Jesse explained to me usually only males are included in gardens like these because their fruit smells so badly.


Scots Pine

This is one of my favorite trees because of its bright orange bark.



The camouflage-like color of this tree's bark makes it appear "sick".


More to come!