Have you ever heard of an Eastern Hophornbeam? No? Neither have I. I have now though because we’ve got one growing in the back woods.
I was walking around the woods yesterday, minding my own business when I happened to notice a tree that didn’t look like the typical Ash or Maple. I stopped, took a closer look and immediately thought it was a Hickory. It was the bark that made me think that. Then, I noticed the leaves. I said, “Nah, that can’t be a Hickory. The leaves are too small.” I was correct. It’s not a Hickory.
Good thing my friends up the road let me borrow their Forest Trees of Maine book, because one of today’s goals was for Laura and me to head outside and identify the tree. Here’s what it looks like:
As you can see, the bark does look like Shagbark Hickory bark. Of course, the Shagbark Hickory has much more course bark.
Since I have this book in my hands, I’m going to attempt to identify all the trees on our property. Some of them, such as the variety of Maples would be fun to really nail down with their formal names. Not the Latin ones, but the real ones, instead of saying, “Yeah, that’s a Maple.” Stay tuned.