In Gabriel Hopkins article “Cure Your Tree Blindness” she talks about how, while they can be found just about anywhere, people don’t really pay attention to trees, be it because they don’t care or they just don’t realize the difference between them or the ways they “behave”. Her point with this is to convince the reader that it would be worthwhile to learn about the different trees and absorb the information that can be gained by observing them. Generally I think I have done I decent job of not being “tree blind”, when I was younger I could more easily remember the different types of trees and how to identify them, and I would almost make it a game to try to identify trees I saw, but that was in middle school and since then I haven’t had that much of a refresher and I have forgotten a lot of things.


Mulberry (Morrus alba)

This is a Mulberry tree I found at Glen Echo Park.

Mulberry has a simple alternate leaf arrangement, a toothed margin, and the irregular leaf shapes that can sometimes have inconsistent lobes. The easiest way to distinguish between different types of Mulberry is to look at the berries or flowers, however this tree didn’t have any berries or flowers on it, which makes it harder to Identify, I believe however that it is  a White Mulberry. White Mulberry gets its name from its white flowers, but the berries can be a variety of colors like pink, purple, black, or white. White Mulberry was brought to the U.S. from Asia because at the time they believed the silkworm industry would start in the U.S., White Mulberry being the silkworms main food source (Information on the Mulberry Tree). Mulberry trees are also popular among bird watchers, as  birds like to eat the berries. The berries are also safe for human consumption.

This image does a better job of showing the alternate arrangement as well as the toothed, irregularly lobed margins you can see on different leaves.

Literature Cited:

Morse, Sarah. “Information on the Mulberry Tree.” Home Guides | SF Gate, 7 Oct. 2016,,on%20catkins%20from%20old%20wood.&text=From%20the%20flowers%20come%20clustered,white%2C%20depending%20on%20the%20variety.


American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)

This is an American Sycamore that I saw near a stream at Glen Echo Park.

A sycamore tree is almost immediately identifiable by its distinctive bark, which has a peeled appearance and looks lighter as you go up the tree. The tree can also be identified by it’s alternating, palmate, simple leaves. Which look similar to a maple but the lobes are less pronounced and the leaves are generally bigger. Sycamore trees are generally known for their large size and the hollow trunk they are known for leaving when they die (

Its hard to get good pictures of leaves with trees as tall as sycamores, luckily this one fell next to me.

Literature Cited:

“Plant Database.” Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – The University of Texas at Austin,

     Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)

It’s a little cluttered, but this is a picture of a sugar maple I saw while walking up a steep slope at Glen Echo Park

Maples, much like sycamores have a palmate simple leaf, however maples have an opposite leaf arrangement, which is a good way to tell them apart. this maple can be distinguished as a sugar maple due to the non/toothed margins between the lobes and the smoother looking bark. Sugar maple is probably best known for being the national tree of Canada, as well as being used to produce syrup, a maple tree can yield 5-60 gallons of sap a year, which can be boiled down into syrup at a 32 to 1 gallon ratio ( sugar maples are also commonly used a in landscaping, I have one in my yard at home, as well as wood working and making furniture.

This photo does a better job of showing the palmate leaves (not the hand that’s mine)

Literature cited:

“Plant Database.” Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – The University of Texas at Austin,

Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)

This yellow poplar was at the edge of a little clearing in Glen Echo Park.

Yellow poplar is a very popular hard wood, identifiable by its tall strait trunk, which can be seen well in the picture above and it’s distinctive leaves, which are simple, alternate, and palmate, but have a distinctive wedge in the center. Yellow poplar is also called tulip tree because of the yellow , tulip-like flowers it grows (

Here you can get a better look at the alternate leaves, as well as their distinctive shape, with the wedge in the center.


“Plant Database.” Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – The University of Texas at Austin,

White Oak (Quercus alba)

This is a image of a white oak, its gust hard to make out whats what with the surrounding trees, It was growing by the path at Glen Echo Park.

White oak is a very common variety of oak, it has alternating simple leaves which can be easily identified by its deep lobes, some of which get relatively close to the center of the leaf. Another feature that helps recognize oaks is their acorn, white oaks can begin producing acorns in as soon as 20 years, but usually produce them when they are between 50-100 years old (White OakQuarcus Alba).  One thing I noticed in this plant which ended up relating to my other interests was that the leaves were a little discolored, initially I thought they were just drying out (which they may have been) but after looking into it I saw that it may have been caused by oak lace bugs (Corythucha arcuata)(Whats Wrong With My Plant), and I was familiar with lace bugs, they are Hemipterans, like stink bugs, in the family Tingidae, I just thought it was interesting.

This shows a better outline of the plants, note the discoloration.


What’s Wrong with My Plant? : Garden : University of Minnesota Extension,

“White OakQuercus Alba.” White Oak Tree on the Tree Guide at,

Hop-hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana)

I got this picture at a slightly hilly path at Glen Echo Park.

This tree by far ave me the most difficulty in identifying, using the fact it has alternating simple leaves, that have very small jagged teeth I believe I was able to limit it to a beech, american hornbeam, or hop-hornbeam the latter being the only one of the three that would have rough and peeling bark like this tree does. The density of the wood has earned it the nickname “ironwood”

the main identifying feature to go off of is the jaggedly toothed margin.


“Ostrya Virginiana.” Ostrya Virginiana (American Hop-Hornbeam, Eastern Hop Hornbeam, Hop Hornbeam, Hop Horn Beam) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox,,horizontal%20lenticels%20in%20young%20trees.&text=A%20native%20deciduous%20shade%20tree%20in%20the%20Betulaceae%20family.

Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

This hackberry tree was by the path and relatively low to the ground at Glen Echo Park

Hackberry trees have alternating simple leaves with toothed margins, the leaf can be identified by its somewhat lopsided shape and its peculiar texture. The tree does not have many uses besides landscaping, due to its durability in different environments, however its fruit is often eaten by a variety of different birds (Comon Hackberry).

In this photo you can get a better view of the leaf’s shape and texture.


“Common Hackberry.” UMN Extension,

Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor)

This is a picture of a young swamp white oak that was crowing near the path at Glen Echo Park

Swamp white oak is similar to white oak in that it has alternating simple leaves and a lobed, non-toothed margin however upon close inspection you can see that swamp white oak leaves are more narrow at the base, widen out at the end, and have more shallow lobes. Swamp white oak also has a darker green top to its leaves contrasted by a lighter bottom which makes the tree more visually appealing.This combined with its peely bark make it a common ornamental tree (Swamp White Oak).

here you can get a better look at the leaves, also you can see the different colored underside of one, although, I didn’t take a very good picture of it.


“Swamp White Oak.” Swamp White Oak | The Morton Arboretum,