American beech – Fagus grandifolia

Attributes – Alternate simple leaves with moderate serrations.  The bark is very smooth and silvery

American beech likes moist but well drained lowland soils, this tree was found along a creek with steep banks.

American beech grow root suckers, meaning that entire groves of individuals may share the same root system (Ladybird Johnson Wildlife Center)

American elm – Ulmus americana

Attributes – Alternate simple leaf arrangement, leaves are oval and double serrate in the margin.  Bark is light greenish brown and spongey when pressed on.

American elm like moist, well – drained soil.

American elm wood is odorless and is used to make crates for cheese and other foods. (Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center)


Pawpaw – Asimina triloba

Attributes – short trunk tree or multi-stemmed shrub, large oval leaves arranged alternating and palmately, produces fruits the size of a small pear

Prefers moist, loamy soil that is slightly acidic

Pawpaw fruits have been eaten by natives for hundreds of years, and are one of North America’s most popular native fruits. (

Red oak – Quercus rubra

Attributes – alternate bristle tipped leaves with 7-11 pointy lobes, bark has shallow, wide furrows sometimes described as ski slope like

Red oaks like well-drained loamy or sandy soils.

Red oak transplants were common in Europe, and the first transplant occured in the 17th century. (Arbor Day Foundation)


Shagbark Hickory – Carya ovata

Attributes – alternate and semipalmate, arranged in groups of 5 leaves per leaflet, slightly serrated margins, bark on mature trees curls up and looks shaggy

Tree found in a forest on a well drained upland area in Bushy Run Battlefield, PA.

Indiana bats sometimes live in the gaps of the bark (National Wildlife Federation)


tulip tree – Liriodendron tulipifera

Attributes – large alternate simple leaves, leaves are distinct with 4 large lobes

Tulip trees prefer loamy, moist, well-drained soils, this individual was found among beech trees

George Washington planted tulip trees at Mount Vernon that are now 140′ tall. (Arbor Day Foundation)


white oak – Quercus alba

Attributes – Alternate simple leaves with ~7 finger-like lobes.  The bark is slightly furrowed with small scales

White oak like moist, deep, well-drained soils, this individual was found in a lowland along with beech and yellow birch

White oak can live for centuries if they are not disturbed in a drastic way. (Arbor Day Foundation)


Yellow Birch – Betula alleghaniensis

Attributes – Yellowish brown bark, smooth when young and begins to curl in older age, Alternate simple leaves that are slightly serrate

Yellow birch are found in moist, loamy soils, this example was found in a moderately drained moist area

Yellow birch bark is very flammable and is often used as a natural fire starter (my own knowledge)