The Most Popular Trees

The red maple is the most popular American tree. It used to be the elm. The other maple tree in the top ten list produces syrup. Ruth and I went to Springfield, Illinois, to explore maple syrup making several years ago. There are 2 pine trees on the most popular list, the loblolly and the lodgepole. There are also 2 firs on the list, the Balsam and the Douglas. It’s hard to tell the difference between a fir and a pine tree. Yesterday I dissed the sweetgum as a dirty tree despite its wide use. The tree in 10th place is the only oak, the white variety. The 10th tree on the most common list is my favorite, the Flowering Dogwood. This is partially because it’s a regional tree that grows wild where I grew up, and it was fun to look for the exploding white variety each spring.

From the 1950s to the 1970s, most of the American elm trees died due to the Dutch Elm Disease. This is why this particular tree is called the tree of death. It was the most common tree around America in the 19th century. The Chicago area used to be the place for us to see many elm trees but no more. The largest stand of elm trees is now found in Winnipeg, Canada, where our son was stationed for 2 years. There is no cure for Dutch Elm Disease, but there are now disease resistant varieties available that have saved a species that is 20 million years old. There are now several varieties of elms available, but it is still an uncommon tree. I personally like the Florida elm among the abundant varieties of these returning trees.

I also like aspens. They are in the willow family with poplars and cottonwoods, which traditionally grow along streams. The Quaking Aspen thrives in northern regions and can be seen from Canada to Alaska. There is nothing as beautiful to me as a Colorado stand of aspens. An aspen grove is truly a thing of outstanding beauty! Swedish aspens are increasingly popular to tree planters. The Swedish Columnar Aspen was not discovered until the 1920s and looks more like a poplar tree to me.

Aspens began life in Sweden. The Swedish aspen was not discovered until about 100 years go, and it looks nothing like the Colorado type. To me the Swedish Columnar aspen looks more like a common cypress tree. There are six varieties of them, and they grow to be about 45 feet tall.

Trees as a subject is expansive. I need to leave further discussion of trees to the experts before I get into birches, beeches. spruces, and sarsafras trees. My favorite stand of birches is at Principia College near a bluff overlooking the Illinois River. The sarsafras tree reminds me of my very first travel experiences in Arkansas with some generous neighbors.


About roads-rus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roads-rus

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