Forest Walk - Upper entrance to Mulholland Wildflower Preserve, Six Mile Creek

When

Sunday, March 13, 2005 - 1:00pm

What

Walk

Where

Mulholland Wildflower Preserve

Who

Luke Cannon

Report

Species List, Mulholland Wildflower Preserve


-report and photos by Joe O'Rourke

 

Today twelve of us, half members and half not, went on Luke Cannon's walk. We went to the Six Mile Creek Wildflower Preserve and walked in from the Giles Street upper entrance. We identified trees and Luke told us about how the trees are used medicinally or in other ways. He encouraged a lot of interactive participation, so we all pooled our knowledge and asked each other questions. We went on until after 4:00, happily engaged, and never did descend into the valley below, finding plenty to absorb our attention along the trail and on a ridge overlooking the valley. The weather was fair, with a little sunshine and sometimes overcast, but not windy. It was pretty cold, but we were sheltered under the trees. We found one little periwinkle in bloom! Also, at CCE, there were a few snowdrops open and the nearby Silver and Red maples were blooming.

Trees and shrubs we found at Mulholland
Ash-leaf maple
Acer negundo
Black locust
Robinia pseudoacacia
The edible flowers can be eaten raw and are used in salads. Makes great honey. The very dense wood is split and used for farm fence posts and is an excellent firewood. The young limbs often grow in wavy angles as can be seen in the photo to the right.Black locust
American basswood
Tilia americana
American Basswood
In Europe, the trees are called 'Lindens'. The flowers make a flavorful tea and are used in soothing baths. The wood can be made into fibers which is then made into a strong rope. Notice, in the picture to the far left, how the tree often has several trunks arising from one base at ground level.
MusclewoodMusclewood
Carpinus caroliniana
Also known as 'blue beech' and 'American hornbeam', this tree has a very dense wood from which mallets or hammers can be made.
Sweet cherry
Prunus avium
This non-native tree also known as 'Bird cherry'
Hop hornbeam
Ostrya virginiana
Also called 'Ironwood', this is another tree with extremely hard wood. It is used in the making of tool handles and fenceposts. The bark is thin, flaky and easily peeled as can be seen from the photo.Hop hornbeam
White pineThe Iroquois considered this a sacred tree and held their peace meetings beneath its branches. When soft, the turpentine sap can be chewed; when it turns hard, it is very useful for starting fires because it is highly combustible. In the colonial days, the great sailing vessels used this tree for sail masts due to its height, durability and extremely straight trunks as seen in the photo. Put the needles in your water flask; they are an excellent source of vitamin C.White pine
Pinus strobus
The small dead twigs at the base make good tinder for starting fires. The needles are an excellent source of vitamin C. Hemlock enjoys cold areas and its leaves are able to conserve water during freezing temperatures. It is often found growing out of the upper sides of gorges.Eastern hemlock
Tsuga canadensis
Cottonwood
Populus deltoides
CottonwoodCottonwood bark
A member of the willow family, the genus name means "the people's tree' stemming from the fact that it was historically used as a gathering place for town meetings. The taproot of this fast-growing tree can grow eight to ten inches per day.
European Buckthorn
Rhamnus cathartica
Used as a cathartic (and, hence, it's species name), it causes contractions of the smooth muscles in the digestive tract. It is used a remedy for constipation, but it is prudent to have a muscle relaxant handy when taken. Birds eat the berries.Hop hornbeam
Black birch
Betula occidentalis
Black Birch barkBlack Birch
The bark is readily identifiable by the presence of 'upside down horseshoes' or 'frowns' as shown on the picture to the left. It was formerly used to make root beer and can be tapped, like sugar maples, to make birch beer.