Tree Walk in Highland Park, NJ

Sourwood/Sorrel tree (Oxydendrun abroreum) - behind Wells Fargo bank on S. 4th with red fall foliage
Sourwood/Sorrel tree (Oxydendrun abroreum) – behind Wells Fargo bank on S. 4th with red fall foliage

Last Sunday we were treated to a tour of various trees in Highland Park, New Jersey, led by tree expert Karen Swaine. The tree walk is part of a Highland Park Borough monthly series of walks on topics like architecture, history or nature.

I learned that the red ball on this older post is from a kousa dogwood tree. There is a kousa dogwood on the side of the bank.

zelkova
Zelkova (Zelkova serrata) – these trees are a substitute for disease-prone American Elms

Zelkova trees can be found on Raritan Avenue and on side streets in Highland Park.

Ginkgo at 317 Denison - arguably oldest species of trees on Earth
Ginkgo at 317 Denison – arguably oldest species of trees on Earth

When viewing the Ginkgo tree, several knowledgeable people in our groups said the female version of the tree stinks. Karen explained tree planters try to plant only male trees, but as in the case with this tree, one can’t easily tell if it’s a male or female when it’s small. The female has edible nut-like seeds, but you have to remove the smelly fleshy coating.

There is a blue atlas cedar tree in front of Congregation Etz Ahaim. I would like to photograph it, but I didn’t have time to do so before I put together this post. It turns out the blue atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica glauca) is native to the Atlas Mountains in Algeria and Morocco. Coincidentally, several of the members of Congregation Etz Ahaim are also from North African countries.

London planetree
The above English Ivy wrapping around the London planetree is what you don’t want: the ivy should be removed (Karen sent me this note: this particular IVY is English Ivy (Hedera helix) which has roots that dig into wood. Other ivies and vines, like Boston Ivy, Virginia Creeper (native), or even Climbing hydrangea, have roots that “cling” and don’t do damage). Also, I learned that the trees that I labeled as sycamores are really London planetrees, which is a hybrid of the American Sycamore and other species. But I was told a lot of people still call them sycamores, even if they are really a hybrid.

sugar maple
sugar maple

It takes a lot of sap to make a little maple syrup.

pear tree
Pear tree on North 2nd Avenue

For more Nature Notes:
Nature Notes

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