Now that it has been a year and a half since I took my first tree class, I no longer see new things everyday and everywhere I go.
Wait. That is not true. Obviously I do. What I mean is that I don’t see specific things that I learned about on trees for the first time all the time.
So I got excited when I was in Patterson Park the other day and saw the fruits of an Ash tree. These fruits are only around for a little while, but they are referenced constantly in Tree ID, because the fruit is the best way to distinguish between a Green Ash and a White Ash.
Both have samaras, or winged fruits, like the helicopters Maples are so famous for. In the Green Ash, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, the fruit tucked in-between the wings is LEAN and GREEN*. In the White Ash, Fraxinus americana, not pictured, the fruit is just a fat almost round ball at the tip; it is WIDE and WHITE*. *This refers to the shape only, the color is the name of the tree. Both species’ fruities are green.