Name This Tree

5447483Vern Wilkins, Indiana University,

This tree is not usually thought of as an ornamental, although it’s bark has an interesting interwoven texture with a bright red-orange hue. It’s form is almost always non-linear which makes one wonder how Native Americans made bows from it. It is dioecious and produces softball sized green-yellow fruits that have a strong citrus smell. Some say that if you cut the fruit in half and place it at the corners of the house, it might repel insects. The tree was a favorite of Thomas Jefferson and Lewis and Clark distributed it across the West; thereafter, it was important in fencing the Western landscape because of its durable wood. The tree is naturalized throughout the United States. What is it?

Good article on incorporating natural habitat into urban tree plantings

March 14, 2015 11:00 pm  •  By GRAHAM HERBST / Nebraska Forest Service

Urban Trees Face “Survivor” Style Challenges

Urban trees are taken away from their usual circumstances and placed in an unfamiliar and challenging environment. Recent studies have been undertaken with the hope that understanding that disparity and incorporating as much of their natural habitat as possible in this new environment might help muncipalities more successfully integrate trees into heavily populated areas.


Pruning Young Trees

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Proper pruning starting when trees are young is essential in developing a strong tree with desirable form. Start pruning a young tree after the first one or two growing seasons after it has adjusted to its landscape. Pruning young trees should focus on the 5 essential steps to structural pruning: (1) clean dead branches, (2) establish a central leader, (3) establish lowest permanent branches, (4) establish scaffold branches, and (5) establish temporary branches to help create stem taper (which will make the tree stronger. A tree that has been planted in an appropriate location and pruned starting at a young age will result in a healthier mature tree that is less expensive to maintain.

Tree Campus USA

Mississippi Arbor Day, February 13, 2015IMG_1466

A cold day, but a great event! Thanks President Keenum and Dean Hopper for taking the time to celebrate with us.

2015 BioBlitz Agendas Now Available

2015 Mississippi BioBlitz dates are set:

During a BioBlitz, students, teachers, residents, and scientists work together to identify as many species as they can. A BioBlitz provides a picture of the amount of biodiversity in a place and sparks interest in ecology and living things. The Mississippi BioBlitz is fun for the whole family!


Jackson – Saturday, April 11 at the Museum of Natural Sciences. Enjoy a full day of NatureFest and BioBlitz activities starting at 10 am. Admission: Adults $6, Children ages 3-18 $4.

Tupelo – Saturday, April 18 at the Natchez Trace Visitors Center in coordination with the beginning of National Parks Week and Wildlife Weekend. Free.

Arboriculture at Chickasaw Regional Correctional Facility


There’s a first time for everything! MSU Urban and Community Forestry Extension was invited by Dr. Scott Cagle (Chickasaw County Extension Coordinator) and the Chickasaw Regional Correctional Facility to give a talk about the arboriculture and tree surgeon professions to inmates at the facility. The presentation lasted around one hour and focused on what arborists and tree surgeons do, the differences between arborists and tree surgeons, certification, education, and state regulations allowing convicted felons to work in the tree care industry. We also covered some basics on pruning, tree establishment, support systems, emergency tree care, tree health care, and tree protection in construction zones. The students paid close attention and seemed to enjoy the session. We hope they are able to benefit from the information at some point in the future.

Just Say No To Topping

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Topped Osage orange under utility line (Starkville)

Tree topping is when the top of the tree is shaved off with no consideration for how the tree’s future growth will be impacted. Utility companies often top trees to make room for lines; however, the tree should not have been planted in that location in the first place. The home owner is responsible for removing the tree and replanting with a tree that fits the space. In other cases, home owners often feel that their trees have become too large for their property, so they aim to make them smaller. We see this a lot with crape myrtle (sometimes called crape murder in the South). Topping actually increases the potential that the tree will become a hazard in the future. Because the pruning cuts are not in the right places (i.e., not at the branch collar where the tree naturally repairs and heals itself), weak limbs are develop in response. A strong storm can cause these weak structured branches to break. A good arborist will never suggest or recommend to top
a tree.

Name This Tree

Koelreuteria paniculata

This tree is a native of Asia and is an invasive species in some states. It is a small to medium sized tree with yellow flowers and bladder-like pods that start green, then ripen to orange in the fall. They contain small black seeds. What is this tree?