Spring has sprung

WATCH OUT for the newly born deer fawns that are taking their first steps. These young deer are especially vulnerable for being hit by automobiles.

Many non-native trees are now in bloom, particularly the mimosa with its fine pinkish bloom and the golden rain tree with its yellow inflorescences. The female ailanthus, or tree of heaven, is starting to develop its huge yellow blooms. The leaves of these highly invasive trees resemble walnut leaves from a distance, but they have a notch near the base. Unfortunately, it's becoming very easy to spot ailanthus along roadsides.

One native tree in bloom now is the sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana). Sweetbays prefer moist soil and can grow in part shade. The creamy-white, lemon-scented flowers appear from June through September, and are followed by small red seeds, which are used by a variety of wildlife. This small tree is a good choice if you want to add native trees to your property.

By Ginny Brace

Nature Notes for 7/5/2009