Thursday, November 26, 2009

SkyWatch: Magnolia

This is a magnolia tree; I am not sure of the species. The principle magnolia found in the wild in New Jersey is probably Sweetbay Magnolia, which this tree is not. Instead I think it may be a Cucumbertree, one of the taller magnolia species.

While branches near the top reached for the sky, this tree's lower branches arched downwards in graceful curves.

What tipped me off to the tree's family were the large buds, which are fairly distinctive. This tree is already preparing for spring.

Trees in the magnolia family are unusual among deciduous trees in having tough, waxy leaves. In northern regions, these leaves turn brown and drop in the fall. In southern regions, some species may stay evergreen through the winter.