Content tagged with "Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines"

Shumard Oak

shumard oak
Quercus shumardii
Although sometimes only recognized by trained botanists, Shumard oak is, as Donald Culross Peattie notes, "worthy of recognition by name": it can rise to 100 feet in height and gain a trunk diameter of 5 feet, with wide-spreading, "muscular" boughs. More

Siberian Elm

Siberian Elm
Ulmus pumila
Introduced to the United States in the middle 1800s, this tree pays for its fast growth with brittle wood that is subject to storm damage, and its large limbs are subject to splitting from the crotches of older trees. If you are thinking of planting a Siberian elm, you might want to think again! More

Silver Maple

silver maple
Acer saccharinum
Under natural conditions, silver maple is a bottomland tree while its cousin the sugar or hard maple is essentially a hill tree. Silver maples grow quickly and are often planted as a shade tree in yards and on city streets. They pay for their rapid growth by having rather brittle branches that easily break off in windy and other inclement weather. More

Slippery Elm

Slippery Elm
Ulmus rubra
Found nearly statewide, slippery elm has fuzzy twigs and reddish hairy buds, which often attract attention in wintertime. Its inner bark is reddish and rathery slimy, which gives this tree its name "slippery." The redness of the inner bark gives it its scientific name "rubra." Isn't it interesting that this tree is named for characteristics of its inner bark? More

Smooth Sumac

photo of a Smooth Sumac seed head
Rhus glabra
This colony-forming shrub is most noticeable in early autumn, because it is one of the first plants to turn color—and boy, can it turn a brilliant red! If you're into wild edibles, you'll want to learn to identify smooth sumac, so you can make drinks and jellies from the clusters of fuzzy red berries. More

Southern Red Oak (Spanish Oak)

southern red oak
Quercus falcata
This tree has two names as well as two leaf types! No matter whether you call it southern red oak or Spanish oak, you can recognize it by its distinctive narrow, three-lobed leaves, which grow alongside similar leaves with 5 to 7, often sickle-shaped lobes. In Missouri, this tree occurs natively only in our southernmost counties. More

Sugar Maple

sugar maple
Acer saccharum
The sap of this tree is famous as a source for maple syrup, but its use in landscaping and for furniture is also widespread. In Missouri, sugar maple is a tree that inspires much “oohing and aahing” during fall color season. More

Swamp Chestnut Oak (Basket Oak)

swamp chestnut oak
Quercus michauxii
In Missouri, look for this oak in our Bootheel swamps. It's called "chestnut oak" because the leaves look something like those of true chestnut trees. Many know it as "basket oak," for its historic use as a material for making baskets. Yet another name is "cow oak," because cattle relish the particularly sweet acorns. More

Swamp White Oak

swamp white oak
Quercus bicolor
Sometimes called simply "swamp oak," this beautiful tree features bicolored leaves that are shiny, dark green above and downy white below. When a breeze sets them in motion, their wavy or lobed shapes add a calm grace to a summer's hike. More

Sweet Gum

sweetgum tree
Liquidambar styraciflua
The star-shaped leaves of sweet gum become even more striking in the autumn, when they turn various shades of gold, red, pink and purple, often on the same tree—sometimes even on the same leaf! More