Ecology Lab - identifying trees

The invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been making its northward invasion into eastern Canada since 2002.  It affects many tree species, including the ashes (Fraxinus spp.) and the American Beech (Fagus grandifolia).  The latest Advanced Ecology lab asks the students to identify the trees on the South Drumlin at Trent University, and then predict what surrounding tree species will replace the ash and beech trees if EAB arrive at the site and the trees are killed by EAB.

Since it's winter, identifying trees is mainly done based on its bark and buds, and not so much on its leaves.

Beech (Fagus grandifolia)
Beech (Fagus grandifolia) - bark is thin, smooth, and people usually like to carve their names on it.

White Ash (Fraxinus americana)
White Ash (Fraxinus americana) - bark with thin and firm intersecting ridges that form diamond patterns.

Basswood (Tilia americana)
Basswood (Tilia americana) - bark with narrow, flat-topped ridges.

Ironwood (Ostrya virginiana)
Ironwood (Ostrya virginiana)- bark broken into short, narrow, longitudinal strips that are loose at the ends and easily peeled off.

Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis)
Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis) - this is a tree species that we were not expecting to see on the site.  It is a young tree and has pale, vertical lines on its bark.

Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis) buds
The buds of C. cordiformis are sulphur-yellow, flattened, with two to four large, abutting scales.

Some guidelines for predicting tree replacement are: rate of seed germination, growth rate, share tolerance, seed dispersal, etc.

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