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James R. Fazio

    Featured Tree of the Week

    American Holly: A Mystic Icon

    By James R. Fazio | July 18, 2017

    Ilex opaca The American holly tree has been popular since the beginning of American history, having served Natives with wood for different applications and berries that were used for buttons and barter. It was said to be a favorite of George Washington, and more than a dozen hollies he planted are still evident today. The first scientific observation of the American Holly tree was recorded in 1744. Holly sparked spiritual status and a place in traditions dating back to ancient…

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  • Tree of the Week

    American Mountainash: The Witchwood Tree

    Sorbus americana Looking for a shield to cast off witches and malevolence? Travel back to 18th century Europe and residents would tell you to use mountainash wood as a guard to keeping witches away.…

    By James R. Fazio | July 4, 2017
  • Tree of the Week

    Hackberry: One Tough Tree

    Celtis occidentalis The hackberry has appropriately been called, “one tough tree.” Colonists had enough other trees to choose from that they didn’t pay much attention to the hackberry trees. They found them scattered throughout…

    By James R. Fazio | June 27, 2017
  • Tree of the Week

    Yellow Buckeye: A Rugged Beauty

    Aesculus flava (octandra) In 1784 while traveling near the Cheat River — in what is now West Virginia — sharp-eyed George Washington spotted a yellow buckeye with flowers that were purple instead of yellow.…

    By James R. Fazio | June 20, 2017
  • Tree of the Week

    Bur Oak: Tough Tree for Tough Places

    Quercus macrocarpa Despite its acorns being called “frilled,” there is nothing dainty about the bur oak tree. The frills around its gigantic acorn are wild and woolly, and the top of the cap is…

    By James R. Fazio | June 13, 2017
  • Misc Trees

    Why Leaves Change Color?

    Scientists don’t yet fully understand all of the complicated actions and interactions that produce the spectacular displays of autumn leaf colors that are a highlight of the fall months. Although not fully understood, several…

    By James R. Fazio | October 14, 2010