|How many bees do you see here? I counted 6.|
|Can someone ID these bees for me?|
|"Buds naked, rusty-brown-tomentose; bundle scars 5-7"|
While I was out photographing the Snow Drops I decided to see if there were any other early signs of spring. Walking through the woods I found no early blooms, but I did see some swelling leaf buds. I noticed that the terminal buds of the PawPaw Trees, Asimina triloba, were getting pliable. While I remembered their location from the fall, I just wanted to double check the ID using a plant manual. I needed to do the ID based on the twigs and bark. On Google Books I found a very nice resource for identifying trees in the Northeast US: Trees of New York State . It has several identification keys based on leaves, flowers and fruits, as well as one that focuses on the appearance of twigs and leaf scars. There are also detailed descriptions of each of the tree species. The description in the key confirmed that this was one of the PawPaw trees.
|This image close-up shows the 5 bundle |
scars where a leaf had been attached.
Looking at things like bundle scars can be very useful in identifying trees, especially in winter when there not much else to go on. The bundle scars are left over from where the vascular bundles of the twig and leaf meet.
Encouraged by my success with the PawPaw I found another tree with distinctive leaf and bundle scars. On this tree the leaf scars were large and 3-lobed, almost like a stylized human skull. The bundle scars were clustered in arcs, one cluster in each lobe. Using the key I was able to narrow it down to a Hickory (Carya) of some sort. I needed to go to the detailed descriptions and accompanying botanical drawings to finally settle on Mockernut Hickory, Carya alba (formerly C. tomentosa).
There are plenty more trees to identify in the woods here, so I should put on my boots and get out there to see what I can learn before the leaves start popping out.