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James R. Fazio

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    Northern Catalpa: Rarely Unnoticed

    By James R. Fazio | November 7, 2017

    Catalpa speciosa Catalpa is a hard tree to overlook. Trumpet-shaped flowers herald its awakening for the summer and are soon followed by some of the largest leaves in the northern hemisphere. Elephant ears would not be too far off the mark for their description. Finally come the seed pods — bean-like in shape draping the tree like green tinsel. There are two key species of catalpa in the United States — southern and northern catalpa. Originally, southern catalpa was more…

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    Sugar Maple: A Sweet Reward

    Acer saccharum Europeans were long familiar with the qualities of the maple wood. Species growing in the old world were used for the unpleasantness of pikes and lances. Imagine the happy surprise to find…

    By James R. Fazio | October 24, 2017
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    Silver Maple: The Paradox

    Acer saccharinum Silver maples, wrote naturalist Donald Peattie, “impart to every stream and bank where they grow, to every big red Hoosier barn and little white farmhouse, to all the village streets and the…

    By James R. Fazio | October 17, 2017
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    Red Maple: Sunset in the Forest

    Acer rubrum Red. The color of passion — and the extremes that go with it. It is love on the one hand and danger, warning, or even hate on the other. In the psychology…

    By James R. Fazio | October 10, 2017
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    Japanese Red Maple: An Autumn Staple

    Acer palmatum var. atropurpureum When Swedish doctor-botanist Carl Thunberg was privileged to travel to Japan late in the eighteenth century, he secreted out drawings of a small tree that would eventually become synonymous with…

    By James R. Fazio | October 3, 2017
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    Lacebark Elm: Tree of the Future

    Ulmus parvifolia Lacebark elm is a lot like a talented actor waiting as an understudy in the wings of the theater to replace a star. In this case, other elm species have been the…

    By James R. Fazio | September 26, 2017
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    Hybrid Poplar: The People’s Tree

    Populus deltoides x Populus nigra There are many crosses that go by the name Hybrid Poplar, but this one between Eastern Cottonwood from the United States and Black Poplar from Europe and North Africa…

    By James R. Fazio | September 19, 2017
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    Baldcypress: King of the Swamp

    Taxodium distichum Nowhere is a tree species so intertwined with a place as the baldcypress is with swamps. Beginning with the art and literature of early America, images of baldcypress trees have been used…

    By James R. Fazio | September 5, 2017
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    Washington Hawthorn: A Symbol of Hope

    Crataegus phaenopyrum Native to the southeast U.S., the Washington hawthorn was first discovered by an unknown explorer and taken to England in the late 1600s. It was commercially grown in Georgetown and became popular…

    By James R. Fazio | August 29, 2017