Everything I Know About Trees

There are really only two types of trees. There are the trees you know and the trees you don’t. Some trees have needles and some have leaves. Some get naked in winter, while others keep their clothes on. Some trees make nuts and some make fruit. But really, there’s just two types of trees.

Conifers

Pine Trees

There’s really just two types of pine trees: the White Pine and the Red Pine. You can think of these as Jacob and Esau. White Pines, like Jacob, have smooth skin, while Red Pines have rough, hairy skin. White and Jacob both have 5 letters to their names, which matches their number of needles. Red Pines have 2 needles. That’s where it sort of breaks down.

Bald Cypruses

There are two types of Evergreens. One keeps most of its needles in the winter and the other, the Bald Cyprus, drops them all like a bad habit. They like wet environments and their cones look more like nuts whose shell crumbles in your hand. They are known for their ‘knees’, which is what people call the roots when they grow up out of the ground. They don’t seem to have their act together. Bald Cypruses? More like Bad Cypruses.

Streets

Maple Trees

There are two types of Maple Trees: Silver Maple and all of the others. Besides Red Maple, you don’t really need to know the difference between soft Silver Maples and the other hard maples. Silver Maples twist when they grow, have rough bark, and make helicopters out of their seeds. Hard maples grow slower, make better Jack Daniels, and can be used to make syrup.

Poplar Trees

Good luck telling the difference between a Poplar and a Cottonwood tree, but you’ll only find one in your local hardware store. Both are found near water and make fuzzy seeds in the summer, but only one is advertised and sold as a naturally water-repellent wood that’s good for outdoor trim. Poplar is the PNG to Pine’s JPG.

Flowering Trees

Magnolia Trees

There are two types of Magnolia Trees. There is a tree version and a plant version. The plant version is called Rhododendron. They both have big, waxy leaves and they make flowers in the spring. I’ve seen them grow wild in Tennessee and I’ve seen them planted in Washington D.C.. One gave us a Vice President and the other gave us the Internet.

Pear Trees

There are two types of Pear trees, those that make fruit and those that make flowers with no intention of ever actually making fruit. Though you may wish your city streets were lined with luscious fruit this summer, what you’ll find is dried up flower petals instead as the Flowering Pear Tree is one of the most common trees planted in cities in the Midwest.

Nut Trees

Walnut Trees

There are two types of Walnut trees: the ones you want and the ones you have. While Walnut is an expensive wood product, it not only makes nuts, but can drive you there as well. If you’ve ever picked up a walnut in it’s skin and spent the rest of the day trying to wash the black tar off of your hands, you’ll know which side of the camp you find yourself in: Team Jacob.

Hickory Trees

There are two types of Hickory trees: the ones used to make boats and the ones with shaggy bark. One chose the path to be great. The other chose to be a accessible. The Shagbark Hickory encourages you to break off a piece of its skin, take it with you, and hide it under a co-workers keyboard. “It will be hilarious when he finds it,” the Shagbark thinks to himself.

Fruit Trees

Apple Trees

When given a choice, this tree will choose making more limbs over making more fruit. It’s only through discipline that it can be trimmed to create what really matters, the fruit of inspiration and innovation, the deliciousness created from sunlight and dirt.

Mulberry Trees

A favorite among birds, second only to Cherries, this tree could not grow straight if it’s life depended on it. It’s bark more like a Hedgeapple tree than a Pear, it makes berries like a common vine. Scorned by the more popular bush by the same name, this tree is the Greece of the tree world, reaching junk status by the ease of it’s growth potential.

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