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Explore the Trees on the Capitol Grounds

A brief description of the various trees on Capitol Grounds.

Beech (Fagus grandifolia): An important hardwood tree whose lumber is used for furniture and various industrial purposes.

Blue Spruce (Picea pungens): Widely used throughout Michigan as an ornamental. It is not a lumber producing tree.

Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa): Once used be early settlers mainly for fence posts and today as an ornamental, it bears eight-to eighteen-inch-long seed pods.

Crab Apple (Malus): Flowering crab apples are widely used in Michigan as an ornamental planting, ranging from light to dark pink blossoms, depending on the species.

Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga taxifolia): Used in the Midwest as an ornamental, in the Pacific Northwest it is the primary tree producing construction lumber.

English Elm (Ulmus procera): Primarily used as an ornamental where a large tree with a straight trunk is desired.

Flowering Cherry (Prunus): Many varieties produce showy color in the spring.

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba): Also called maiden-hair tree, it originated in China and Japan. Used mostly as a street shade tree.

Horse Chestnut (Aeschylus hippocastanum): The showy flowers and large, palmate leaves have made this species a popular ornamental.

Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos): Used as a shade tree and in shelterbelts. Sweetish pods, 12 to 18 inches long, are eaten by livestock and wildlife.

Juneberry (Vaccinium parvifolium): Also known as red huckleberry, it has square twigs and a reddish tinge to its leaves at maturity.

Linden (Tilia americana): It is native to the Northeast, growing from 50 to 75 feet in height. It is primarily used as a shade tree.

Moraine Locust (Rabinea pseudoacacia): Pods are two to four inches long. Its wood is used for fence posts, mine timbers, railroad ties, and insulator pegs.

Mountain Ash (Sorbus aucuparia): Used primarily as an ornmental.

Multi-stem Mountain Ash (Sorbus aucuparia): Sorbus hybrid used primarily as an ornamental.

Maple (Acer): Widely used as a shade tree in Michigan. Its wood usage is similar to that of sugar maple.

Norway Maple (Acer platanoides): Widely used as a shade tree in Michigan. Its wood usage is similar to that of sugar maple.

Pin Oak (Quercus palustris): Aside from its use as a shade tree, the pin oak is used as a fuelwood, for charcoal, and distillation products

Red Maple (Acer rubrum): Also called soft maple, it is used in furniture, boxes, handles, and other turned objects.

Spruce (Picea): Used in construction lumber, pulp and paper.

Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum): Also called soft maple, it is used in furniture, boxes, woodenware, and railroad ties.

Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum): Also known as hard maple and best known for its sap, which is converted to maple syrup by boiling. Its hard, white wood is also used for a variety of items, from shoe trees and bowling alleys to flooring and turned items.

Scotch Pine (Pinus sylvestris): Used primarily for ornamentals and shelterbelts. Extensively grown in plantations for use as Christmas trees.

White Ash (Fraxinus americana): Used for barrels, baseball bats, boxes, tool handles, and a shad tree.

White Oak (Quercus alba): The most important lumber tree of the white oak group, used primarily for tight barrels, flooring, and other uses requiring high-grade, all purpose wood.

White Pine (Pinus strobus): Primarily used in milled lumber forms such as mouldings and windows. Fairly common as an ornamental.

Source: A Walking Tour of Capitol Square. Provided by: Capitol Tour Guide Services

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