Category Archives: trees

Larch (Larix laricina) by Ellenor Koppers and Alex MacVeagh


A larch is the only deciduous softwood that generally grows up to 65-147 ft tall and 60 cm wide. Its leaf is a needle, that are generally found in circular clusters around the branch.Its bark is very thick with deep grooves and can have reddish tint. Its sex organs come with the needles in groups of two or three, males are yellow, females are pink and resemble roses.


Larches can grow in a variety of climates and soil, but prefer wetter areas such as bogs or muskegs and tolerates burns making it a pioneer in the Boreal forests. The Larch is cold tolerant, and can be found as far north as the arctic tree line. It is found throughout Canada, some parts of alaska, and the Northeastern United states.

Where the Larch can be found on campus:

The larch can be found in small to large pockets in the state forest, with occasional specimens in the Woodlot.

Uses, economic and/wildlife: Used to make wooden snowshoes and the knees in wooden boats. It is also a common pulpwood.

Interesting Facts:

Tamarack is Algonquin for “wood used for snowshoes.”

Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) by Lexi Rich and Caitlyn Town



Quaking Aspen is a deciduous hardwood. The average height of a mature tree is 40-50’ with a 20-30’ spread. The bark has a smooth texture with a color of green-white to gray. Marked by thick black horizontal scars and black knots. The leaves are some what round and have a flattened, long petiole.


Quaking aspens are used to make toys, popsicle sticks, tongue depressors, clothes pins, crates and paper pulp. Appealing to the eye the quaking aspens adds yellow color to the fall. The leaves of a quaking aspen also appeal to the ears with soft sound. Quaking aspens help wildlife in many different ways. Deer and snowshoe hare eat the leaves of a quaking aspen. The deer the leaves mostly in the fall and early winter. Beavers use the leaves as building materials for their homes. Grouse depend on the buds of the leaves during the winter. The tree itself is a home for a variety of birds and butterflies.


Quaking Aspens live in moist soils and along the edges of pine and spruce forests. Quaking Aspens are pioneer species. Pioneer species means the first to grow back after a forest fire or clear cutting a field. Quaking Aspen range from New England through Canada. Also in the state of Alaska. They also range south into California, Arizona and New Mexico.

Where to Find on Campus:

Quaking Aspen are on campus along the tree lines in the state forest. They are also found in a few mature trees across the road in the school’s wood lot.

Bigtooth Aspen (Populus grandidentata) by Hannah Young and Lauren Townsend


Bigtooth Aspens grow anywhere from 60 to 80 feet tall, and have smooth gray bark for approximately the first 30 years of their life, and then their bark becomes grooved. The leaves are green and turn a yellowish green in the fall, and have margins with large teeth. They grow seed producing flower clusters called catkins that are about 2 to 3 inches long, tan colored, and droopy. The catkins are later produced by small silky fruits.



The Bigtooth Aspen is a deciduous hardwood tree used by humans to make paper, and wooden boxes and crates. Beavers, eastern cottontails, muskrats, and meadow voles use the Bigtooth Aspen as a food source. Beavers, raccoons, opossums, turkeys, eastern gray squirrels, and bald eagles use this tree for shelter.



Bigtooth Aspen are native to North Eastern and North Central America. They’re a pioneer species, and are shade intolerant, meaning they require large amounts of sun to survive. Due to this, they usually grow on the forest tree line. These trees grow in fertile soil containing sand, clay, and humus: a combination of decomposed leaves and other plant life.


Where to Find on Campus

They grow in pockets on the tree lines of the State Forest, and in a stand of three large specimens in the wood lot across the road from the academy.

American Basswood (Tilia americana) by Sarah Ward and Caleb Davidson


American Basswood has alternate, ovate leaves that are about as wide as long, with a flattened or heart-shaped base, finely serrated margins, and a short tip at the top of the leaf. The flower’s open in early summer.  Flowers of American Basswood mature into rounded fruits that ripen by late summer. Buds of most basswoods range from reddish brown to bright red to green in winter. Young bark is smooth and has a shiny light gray color, whereas mature wood is lightly cracked and split with a medium gray to brown color; also with darker grooves.   A mature basswood tree height is 80 feet tall with a 40 foot spread.  It’s growth rate is medium, unless in an open area it can grow faster. Basswood is a deciduous Hardwood.  American Basswood has some diseases and a host of pests that may negatively impact the growth of this large tree.



The weak wood of this tree is both lightweight and odorless, making it the wood of choice for packing food into boxes and crates. However, the inner bark of this and other Basswoods is very tough, and the Native Americans cut it into thin strips and used it for rope, mats, and even bandages.



American Basswood require full sunlight and partial shade. American Basswood prefers moist, well-drained, deep, rich soils of variable pH, but adapts to average soils that are seasonally dry. It thrives in full sun to partial sun


Interesting Facts:

The basswood is known as the bee tree because of the bees that get honey from the tree.  The flowers and fruit can be ground into a paste for an excellent fruit substitute for chocolate, which is amazing because who doesn’t love chocolate! (Not including Tim Hollis).


Where On Campus Can It Be Found?

The American basswood can be found in places along the trail in the state forest tree lines.

Striped Maple (Acer pennsylvanius) by Taylor Hollis and Dylan Braley


The Striped Maple is a Hardwood tree. The average height of the Striped Maple is 16-33 ft tall. The leaf of the Striped Maple is finely toothed and rough edges. The bark is very distinctive with a


The Striped Maple is in the north eastern parts of the United States.This tree is pretty common on campus.You can find it along the trails in the  state forest. Greenish color and white stripes.


Native Americans claimed to use the wood of the striped maple as arrows and used the bark to make a certain drink. Some farmers use the dried out leaves of the tree as food for their cattle.

Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis) by Shayne Morgan

General Info:

The yellow birch can be classified by its peeling bark that has a reflective golden color on the underside of it. It is an important tree used for lumber. The tree has jagged oval shaped leaves that turn a gold/yellow colour in the fall.

Location on campus:

You can find this tree at the entrance to the wood trail and where the trail and road intersect near the ranger station in the state forest


Threats :

One threat to these trees is birch leaf blight a cosmetic fungal infection that causes the afflicted leaves to fall off early. This species of birch is more resistant than others to this.

Another affliction these trees may face are bark cankers. They are much like human sores in appearance. Bark cankers are formed from damage sustained from wind or pruning  accidents. The fungus that causes these cankers enters through cracks or cuts. This is only a threat if the trunk has sustained a large amount of damage from them.

The biggest threat to these trees are the bronze birch borer. The adult itself proves little harm as it eats the leaves that have already sustained damage. The larvae are the problem for the tree as they burrowed under the bark and can prevent the tree from receiving proper nutrients (  


This tree can be found in the North East part of North America. It grows in moist poorly drained soils in higher elevations


This tree is lumbered for flooring ,furniture ,doors ,veneering, and toothpicks and many other things


Red Oak (Quercus rubra) By William Anderson


Red Oak’s grow to an average height of 90ft. On younger trees, the bark is smooth and light gray, once they get older their bark turns reddish brown with broad, rounded ridges. The leaves are 7-9 lobed and usually a darkish green. Their acorns start out green but then turn a reddish brown, they are saucer-shaped and are downy within, its kernel is white and very bitter, though still eaten by deer, squirrels and birds.


The Red Oak is a deciduous hardwood and is one of the most important oaks for timber production in North America. It is a valuable source of lumber, and defective logs are used for firewood. It is used in flooring, interior trim, furniture, railroad ties, and fence posts.


The Red Oak lives throughout the eastern and central United States, southeast and south-central Canada, and parts of Western Europe

. It prefers soil that is slightly acidic.  

Where to Find on Campus

It can be found of all sizes throughout the TA campus.

Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) By William Anderson


Black Cherries grow to a height between 70 and 80 feet tall. For the first decade or so they start out with bark very similar to a young birches, black with white stripes, then the bark turns ripped and broken looking. The leaves are dark green and lance-shaped, and have a shiny tint to them. There fruit is dark purple and round with a bitter-sweet taste, though it is almost black when ripe.


The Black Cherry is a deciduous hardwood tree that is used for cooking and smoking foods, this gives it a unique flavor. Its timber is the what most of the American cabinetry is made from, though it is used frequently in furniture. It’s mostly known for its red coloring and high prices. Birds love their fruit, though humans only really use the fruit for jelly and jams.


The Black Cherry lives throughout the Eastern United States, Texas, Southern Oklahoma, Southeastern Canada, and parts of Mexico, but mostly in the Northeast, meaning New England and surrounding states. It grows in almost any soil as long as it is cool and moist and can handle fairly harsh conditions, being a New England based tree.

Where to Find on Campus

They can be found of all sizes throughout the TA campus.


Red Maple (Acer rubrum) By Emily Brown


The Red Maple is one of the most common species of tree in America. It is named after its red flowers, red fruit, red twigs, and its beautiful red leaves in the fall. They are fast growing trees that can grow up to 90’ tall, and can spread out in a wide canopy at around 40’ with enough sunlight. Red Maple fruits are called samaras. They have an enclosed seed at one end, with a thin wing-like projection at the other. Red Maple leaves are three-lobed, with small teeth, they can grow up to four inches long. These trees do not live very long compared to other trees, their average lifespan is 80-100 years old.


The Red Maple’s wood is used for furniture, flooring, musical instruments, cutting boards, bowls, etc…The fruits on the tree provide food for squirrels, chipmunks, and many other rodents. Rabbits and deer eat the shoots and leaves of the tree. If the trees leaves become wilted or dried, they become toxic to horses.


The Red Maple is one of the most widely distributed trees in eastern North America. They are found all throughout Canada and the United States.  It can tolerate many different soil types and locations. It ranges from swamps and poorly drained soils, to savannas and sand dunes. This tree is commonly used as a shade tree.

Interesting Facts

The nation’s largest Red Maple is located just to the south of Rhode Island in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. This tree was announced champion in 1997 and listed at being 141’ tall and just over 7’ in diameter. The Red Maple is also Rhode Island’s state tree.

Where to Find on Campus

These trees are scattered all around campus.

White Birch (Betula papyrifera) By Erik Lindahl


White Birch (paper birch)

Scientific name-  Betula papyrifera (this means “paper-bearing”)

Description: The white birch is a deciduous tree, that usually grows anywhere between fifty and seventy five feet tall

It grows a single tr

unk in the forest but as a landscape tree it may grow multiple trunks.

Usually only lives up to 140, so not that long as far as trees go.

Heart shaped leaves, and its white bark peels easily. Its bark also has horizontal slits.

Habitat: It is found in canada and in new england down to north carolina in the U.S. It is usually found on rolling terrain and floodplains.