This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A tree quiz

Look carefully at these leaves. What kind of tree do you think this is? The leaves are very plain, with no lobes or notches on them. The leaves also tend to stay on the trees throughout the winter.
Below is a picture of the whole tree. This particular tree is about a mile outside of Rensselaer on Bunkum Road. There are also a number of these trees on the SJC campus northeast of the Science Building.
If you said that this is an oak tree, you were right. It is (probably) a shingle oak. The shingle oak is the only oak tree with unlobed leaves that is native to Indiana. There are several other species of oaks with similar leaves, but they are usually found in the deep south. The name shingle oak was given these trees because their wood was often used for shingles by the early settlers.

So next time you see a tree in the winter full of brown leaves, check it out. It may be a shingle oak.


Sarah said...

Great spotlight on a neat tree! American Beech trees keep their leaves through winter as well. They are a much paler tan, though. You may notice the beech trees as you drive through wooded areas.

Anonymous said...

I think you have a winning idea that you can use throughout the summer. Show us varieties of trees. I know one of my favorites is the gingko tree across the street. It has beautiful leaves.