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

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Flowering dogwood

Last week the redbud was in its prime. The trees are still looking pretty good, as are the apple trees. However, some of the trees that you might think are apples are not--they are flowering dogwood. Below is a nice one on the SJC campus, but there are many around town and this week is a good week to spot them.
Below is a close-up of the flowers. They have unusually big flowers for a tree, though not as big as magnolias, which have now finished blooming.
I learned on the Arbor Day tree walk that dogwoods are one of the few types of trees that have opposite branching, where two branches come off the main branch on opposite sides. You can see some of it below. The other trees around here that have opposite branching are ashes and maples. Did you know that?
Another tree that has begun to bloom is the horse chestnut (or maybe it is the buckeye. I cannot tell the difference. The buckeye is native while the horse chestnut is not. Since the flowers on this one are yellowish, it may be buckeye.) Despite the large flower spike, it is not all that showy.More of the wind-pollinated trees are also blooming. This may be chestnut oak, but there are so many oaks that they are hard to tell apart. It is in the white oak family.


I was trying to find some of these oaks, which are in the red oak family, closer to the ground but could not. So the picture is not the best.
When the oaks start leafing, it is time to plant tomatoes. So I think that is what I will do.

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