A few weeks ago, Ordinary Spouse and I took an oak walk. Eventually we found six different oak species at Laurelville. Today, we went on a not-quite-so-productive maple walk and identified two species.

(Sorry for the ugly leaves. It’s the end of the season.)

Red maple (Acer rubrum)

Red mapleA V-shaped notch between the lobes; three primary lobes, with two small basal lobes; smooth leaves;  not a shrub-like or small tree.

(As with the red oak, the red maple gave us some problems. There seems to be quite a bit of variation in the leaves, and we aren’t entirely sure that we didn’t see some mountain maples. We think those are typically smaller trees that have leaves with depressed veins and hair underneath.)

Sugar maple (Acer saccharum)

Sugar maple

U-shaped notches between the lobes; leaves curved at base.

There is one sugar maple on the grounds that is brilliantly colored right now. (Same picture as today’s earlier blog post.)

Sugar maple

Looking over our tree guides, it is possible that we might be able to find quite a few more maples in our area:

  • Boxelder (Acer negundo) – not what you think of when you think “maple leaf”
  • Black maple (Acer nigrum) – sometimes considered as a variety of sugar maple
  • Striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum)
  • Silver maple (Acer saccharinum) – we had this in our yard in Illinois
  • Mountain maple (Acer spicatum)

In addition to the maples, we saw some other interesting things on our walk today…

Huge oak leaf

Middle Daughter collected a huge red oak leaf.

Fairy gardenI found these mushrooms, but couldn’t identify them. They’re two or three inches tall, and half an inch across. The girls thought it looked like a fairy garden.

And that’s all from the forest for today!