WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Fruit/Nut

Flower

Northern Red Oak

Quercus rubra

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Leaves:

4-9 inches long, oblong shape with 7-11 bristle tipped lobes, regular U-shaped sinuses extending about halfway to the midrib, tufts of hair on veins on underside

Fall Color:

red to brown

Branching:

alternate

Fruit/Nut:

acorn solitary or paired, .5-1 inch long, with a flat, thick, saucer-like cap

Flower:

blooms April-May; male flower is a green catkin, 1-4” long, composed of many tiny flowers, female flowers are more reddish-green and appear as small slender spikes in the axils of new growth

Twigs:

buds in clusters

Bark:

smooth early then with shallow orange-reddish fissures separated by flat silvery ridges (like ski trails)

Height:

generally 50–70 feet

Life Span:

100-150 years, but may live to 400 years

People love it because…

Red oak was historically and still is a very important timber tree due to the strength and beauty of its wood. The wood is used in flooring, furniture, and more.

It is also a very important ornamental tree. One of its many special features is that it is easier than most trees to transplant and it can tolerate the conditions of cities and towns amazingly well. It is valued for the shade it provides, its brilliant fall colors, and a high degree of safety thanks to the superior strength of its wood.

Wildlife love it because…

Red oak acorns are eaten by blue jays, wild turkeys, squirrels, small rodents, whitetail deer, raccoons, and black bears. Deer also browse the buds and twigs in wintertime. 

Fun Fact

Years when the oak trees collectively produce many acorns (every 2-5), are generally followed by an increase in wildlife species that feed on them.

 

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Fruit/Nut

Flower

Shagbark Hickory

Carya ovata

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Leaves:

long (8-14 inches) pinnately compound leaf with 5 (rarely 7), slightly hairy leaflets; 3 leaflets at end larger than the side leaflets, leaflets are widest at the middle and pointed at the tip

Fall Color:

golden yellow

Branching:

alternate

Fruit/Nut:

large (1-1.5 inches) nut with thick, green, 4-ribbed outer shell turning brown at maturity

Flower:

tiny male flowers in catkins and female flowers in spikes emerge before leaves

Twigs:

stout and somewhat fuzzy

Bark:

smooth and gray on young stems, breaking up and becoming shaggy with large plates curving away from the trunk

Height:

generally 40–80 feet

Life Span:

150-200 years

People love it because…

The heavy, strong, shock-resistant wood is used for bows, furniture, flooring, tools, ladder rungs, and drum sticks.

It makes excellent firewood and is used to smoke meat for “hickory smoked” flavor.

Its sweet nut, similar to pecan, is edible. 

Wildlife love it because…

Black bears, foxes, mice, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, and a number of birds enjoy the nuts.

Fun Fact

A yellow dye can be made from the inner bark.

 

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Fruit/Nut

Flower

Black gum (also known as Black Tupelo)

Nyssa sylvatica

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Leaves:

Oblong (2-5 inches long), wider toward the pointed tip than at the base, shiny above, leaf edges smooth

Fall Color:

ranges from pastels in the shade to brilliant red in the open

Branching:

alternate, horizontal from trunk

Fruit/Nut:

clusters of 4-5 small (.5 inch) purple, oval shaped drupes (“berries”)

Flower:

Small, greenish-white flowers appear in April – May during leaf set, male and female flowers on different trees

Twigs:

slender, leaf scar at base of buds resembling a monkey face

Bark:

gray and smooth on young trees, blocky on older trees resembling alligator hide

Height:

Generally 30-70’

Life Span:

50-100 years

People love it because…

Its splendid fall colors make it a desirable landscape tree.

Honey made from the nectar of tupelo flowers is light and mild-tasting. In
Florida, tupelo honey production is a million-dollar a year business.

Wildlife love it because…

Flowers serve as an important source of nectar for pollinators in spring.

Its young sprouts are eaten by white-tailed deer. The fruits are enjoyed by thrushes and other songbirds, wild turkeys, black bear, foxes, raccoons and opossums from August through October. It is one of the most important
food sources for fall song bird migration.

Fun Fact

Often found near streams or wetlands, it’s Latin name Nyssa refers to a water-loving nymph from Greek
mythology, and sylvatica means “of the woods”.

 

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Fruit/Nut

Flower

American beech

Fagus grandifolia

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Leaves:

oval leaves, 2-5 inches long with sharp incurved teeth. Strong veins run parallel to each other from mid-vein to leaf edge

Fall Color:

yellow to bronze, dead leaves often stay on tree through winter

Branching:

alternate

Fruit/Nut:

two pyramidal shaped nuts enclosed in a prickly bur, .5- 1 inches

Flower:

male flowers are small and yellow and clustered together into ball-like structures; female flowers are even smaller with reddish-bordered scales found on the ends of new twig growth

Twigs:

slender with slender lance-shaped, pointed buds

Bark:

gray and smooth, even at maturity

Height:

generally 50–80 feet

Life Span:

300-400 years

People love it because…

People love it because…
Its split resistant wood is used for furniture and flooring as well as firewood.

The beautiful bark, golden fall color, shade-producing canopy, and longevity
make it a valuable landscape tree.

Beech nuts (ground into a flour) and the inner bark served as a food source
for Native Americans; early settlers roasted the nuts like coffee.

Wildlife love it because…

The nuts are preferred by squirrels, chipmunks, bears, deer, grouse, turkeys,
and others.

Studies have shown that when beech nut production is high, black bears have more cubs because the high fat content the mothers gain from the nuts
translates to more milk for young.

Fun Fact

 Settlers used the presence of beech trees as an indication of fertile soil, so often cut them down in pursuit of
agriculture.

 

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Fruit/Nut

Flower

White Oak

Quercus alba

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Leaves:

typical oak leaf shape, 4-9 inches long, with 7-9 rounded lobes, no bristles on tips of lobes

Fall Color:

orange-yellow, dark red or purple

Branching:

alternate

Fruit/Nut:

single or paired acorn, .5-1.5 inches long, cap with warty scales covering top third of nut

Flower:

male flowers in 1-3 inch catkins, females in spikes at leaf axils appearing in spring with leaves

Twigs:

slender, reddish brown, and smooth

Bark:

light ashy gray, somewhat scaly, variable

Height:

generally 50-80 feet

Life Span:

150-250 years

People love it because…

The wood is strong and impermeable to water so is used in furniture, flooring, and especially items holding liquid such as wine barrels and kegs.

White oak is an excellent ornamental tree because of its broad round crown, dense foliage, and purplish-red to violet-purple fall color.

White oak bark contains a high level of tannins and is used in herbal treatments as an astringent, antiseptic, and an anti-inflammatory.

Wildlife love it because…

It is an excellent food source. The acorns are a staple for wildlife including squirrels, blue jays, crows, red-headed woodpeckers, deer, turkey, quail, mice, chipmunks, ducks and raccoons. Leaf buds also are eaten by several bird species, and all parts of the tree are a favorite food for deer.

Fun Fact

White oak was combined with other oak lumber to build the famous USS Constitution or “Old Ironsides”.

 

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Fruit/Nut

Flower

Sweet birch (also known as black birch)

Betula lenta

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Leaves:

2.5-5 inches long, oval with heart shaped base and irregular, doubly serrate edge

Fall Color:

bright yellow

Branching:

alternate

Fruit/Nut:

small samara arranged in an upright, .5-1 inch long cone-like structure

Flower:

male flowers 3-4 inch long drooping catkins, female flowers upright, light green and .5-1 inchs long

Twigs:

slender, shiny, reddish-brown with lenticels and zig-zag appearance; strong wintergreen odor and taste when scratched

Bark:

smooth reddish-brown on young trees, brownish black later on, with prominent horizontal lenticels

Height:

50–70 feet

Life Span:

100-150 years

People love it because…

The color of the heavy and hard wood deepens with exposure to air, making it look like mahogany, which is why it is commonly used to make furniture and cabinets.

Sweet birch was once a source of commercial supply for oil of wintergreen.

Also known as methyl salicylate, this oil was historically used to alleviate headaches and reduce fever. Synthetic salicylic acid is the main ingredient in modern aspirin. It was also used as a flavoring.

Wildlife love it because…

Black birch is browsed by deer. The seeds, buds, and catkins are eaten by a variety of birds and small mammals including rabbits and porcupine.

The flowers provide food for pollinators and it acts as a host plant for somemoths and butterflies.

Fun Fact

Seedlings establish easily on old stumps or logs, leaving the birch roots exposed when the old log rots away.

 

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Northern Red Oak

Quercus rubra

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Leaves:

4-9 inches long, oblong shape with 7-11 bristle tipped lobes, regular U-shaped sinuses extending about halfway to the midrib, tufts of hair on veins on underside

Fall Color:

red to brown

Branching:

alternate

Fruit/Nut:

acorn solitary or paired, .5-1 inch long, with a flat, thick, saucer-like cap

Flower:

blooms April-May; male flower is a green catkin, 1-4” long, composed of many tiny flowers, female flowers are more reddish-green and appear as small slender spikes in the axils of new growth 

Twigs:

stout and somewhat fuzzy

Bark:

smooth and gray on young stems, breaking up and becoming shaggy with large plates curving away from the trunk

Height:

generally 40–80 feet

Life Span:

150-200 years

People love it because…

The heavy, strong, shock-resistant wood is used for bows, furniture, flooring, tools, ladder rungs, and drum sticks.

It makes excellent firewood and is used to smoke meat for “hickory smoked” flavor.

Its sweet nut, similar to pecan, is edible. 

Wildlife love it because…

Black bears, foxes, mice, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, and a number of birds enjoy the nuts.

Fun Fact

A yellow dye can be made from the inner bark.

 

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Shagbark Hickory

Carya ovata

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Leaves:

long (8-14 inches) pinnately compound leaf with 5 (rarely 7), slightly hairy leaflets; 3 leaflets at end larger than the side leaflets, leaflets are widest at the middle and pointed at the tip

Fall Color:

golden yellow

Branching:

alternate

Fruit/Nut:

large (1-1.5 inches) nut with thick, green, 4-ribbed outer shell turning brown at maturity

Flower:

tiny male flowers in catkins and female flowers in spikes emerge before leaves

Twigs:

stout and somewhat fuzzy

Bark:

smooth and gray on young stems, breaking up and becoming shaggy with large plates curving away from the trunk

Height:

generally 40–80 feet

Life Span:

150-200 years

People love it because…

The heavy, strong, shock-resistant wood is used for bows, furniture, flooring, tools, ladder rungs, and drum sticks.

It makes excellent firewood and is used to smoke meat for “hickory smoked” flavor.

Its sweet nut, similar to pecan, is edible. 

Wildlife love it because…

Black bears, foxes, mice, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, and a number of birds enjoy the nuts.

Fun Fact

A yellow dye can be made from the inner bark.

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Black Gum (also known as Black Tupelo)

Nyssa sylvatica

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Leaves:

Oblong (2-5 inches long), wider toward the pointed tip than at the base, shiny above, leaf edges smooth

Fall Color:

ranges from pastels in the shade to brilliant red in the open

Branching:

alternate, horizontal from trunk

Fruit/Nut:

clusters of 4-5 small (.5 inch) purple, oval shaped drupes (“berries”)

 

 

Flower:

Small, greenish-white flowers appear in April – May during leaf set, male and female flowers on different trees

 

Twigs:

slender, leaf scar at base of buds resembling a monkey face

Bark:

gray and smooth on young trees, blocky on older trees resembling alligator hide

Height:

Generally 30-70’

Life Span:

50-100 years

People love it because…

Its splendid fall colors make it a desirable landscape tree.

Honey made from the nectar of tupelo flowers is light and mild-tasting. In
Florida, tupelo honey production is a million-dollar a year business.

Wildlife love it because…

Flowers serve as an important source of nectar for pollinators in spring.

Its young sprouts are eaten by white-tailed deer. The fruits are enjoyed by thrushes and other songbirds, wild turkeys, black bear, foxes, raccoons and opossums from August through October. It is one of the most important
food sources for fall song bird migration.

Fun Fact

Often found near streams or wetlands, it’s Latin name Nyssa refers to a water-loving nymph from Greek
mythology, and sylvatica means “of the woods”.

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

American beech

Fagus grandifolia

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Leaves:

oval leaves, 2-5 inches long with sharp incurved teeth. Strong veins run parallel to each other from mid-vein to leaf edge

Fall Color:

yellow to bronze, dead leaves often stay on tree through winter

Branching:

alternate

Fruit/Nut:

two pyramidal shaped nuts enclosed in a prickly bur, .5- 1 inches

 

Flower:

male flowers are small and yellow and clustered together into ball-like structures; female flowers are even smaller with reddish-bordered scales found on the ends of new twig growth

 

Twigs:

slender with slender lance-shaped, pointed buds

Bark:

gray and smooth, even at maturity

Height:

generally 50–80 feet

Life Span:

300-400 years

People love it because…

People love it because…
Its split resistant wood is used for furniture and flooring as well as firewood.

The beautiful bark, golden fall color, shade-producing canopy, and longevity
make it a valuable landscape tree.

Beech nuts (ground into a flour) and the inner bark served as a food source
for Native Americans; early settlers roasted the nuts like coffee.

Wildlife love it because…

The nuts are preferred by squirrels, chipmunks, bears, deer, grouse, turkeys,
and others.

Studies have shown that when beech nut production is high, black bears have more cubs because the high fat content the mothers gain from the nuts
translates to more milk for young.

Fun Fact

 Settlers used the presence of beech trees as an indication of fertile soil, so often cut them down in pursuit of
agriculture.

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

White Oak

Quercus alba

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Leaves:

typical oak leaf shape, 4-9 inches long, with 7-9 rounded lobes, no bristles on tips of lobes

Fall Color:

orange-yellow, dark red or purple

Branching:

alternate

Fruit/Nut:

single or paired acorn, .5-1.5 inches long, cap with warty scales covering top third of nut

 

Flower:

male flowers in 1-3 inch catkins, females in spikes at leaf axils appearing in spring with leaves

 

Twigs:

slender, reddish brown, and smooth

Bark:

light ashy gray, somewhat scaly, variable

Height:

generally 50-80 feet

Life Span:

150-250 years

People love it because…

The wood is strong and impermeable to water so is used in furniture, flooring, and especially items holding liquid such as wine barrels and kegs.

White oak is an excellent ornamental tree because of its broad round crown, dense foliage, and purplish-red to violet-purple fall color.

White oak bark contains a high level of tannins and is used in herbal treatments as an astringent, antiseptic, and an anti-inflammatory.

Wildlife love it because…

It is an excellent food source. The acorns are a staple for wildlife including squirrels, blue jays, crows, red-headed woodpeckers, deer, turkey, quail, mice, chipmunks, ducks and raccoons. Leaf buds also are eaten by several bird species, and all parts of the tree are a favorite food for deer.

Fun Fact

White oak was combined with other oak lumber to build the famous USS Constitution or “Old Ironsides”. 

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Sweet birch (also kinown as black birch)

Betula lenta

WVBG Tree Trail Red Oak

Leaves:

2.5-5 inches long, oval with heart shaped base and irregular, doubly serrate edge

Fall Color:

bright yellow

Branching:

alternate

Fruit/Nut:

small samara arranged in an upright, .5-1 inch long cone-like structure

 

 

Flower:

male flowers 3-4 inch long drooping catkins, female flowers upright, light green and .5-1 inchs long

 

Twigs:

slender, shiny, reddish-brown with lenticels and zig-zag appearance; strong wintergreen odor and taste when scratched

Bark:

smooth reddish-brown on young trees, brownish black later on, with prominent horizontal lenticels

Height:

50–70 feet

Life Span:

100-150 years

People love it because…

The color of the heavy and hard wood deepens with exposure to air, making it look like mahogany, which is why it is commonly used to make furniture and cabinets.

Sweet birch was once a source of commercial supply for oil of wintergreen.

Also known as methyl salicylate, this oil was historically used to alleviate headaches and reduce fever. Synthetic salicylic acid is the main ingredient in modern aspirin. It was also used as a flavoring.

Wildlife love it because…

Black birch is browsed by deer. The seeds, buds, and catkins are eaten by a variety of birds and small mammals including rabbits and porcupine.

The flowers provide food for pollinators and it acts as a host plant for somemoths and butterflies.

Fun Fact

Seedlings establish easily on old stumps or logs, leaving the birch roots exposed when the old log rots away.

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