This little guy finds trees very important. Decomposing ones, to be specific, they hold moisture, giving this frog a safe place to stay during dry days with the salamnders
"Resilience 1" acrylic on birch panel, 48" x 12"
I have always been amazed at how tough trees are --true, environmental and human activities can harm them, but like people, they fight to live, scars and all. #resilience #naturesendurance
Red Pine(Pinus resinosa) loves fire. Its bark has adapted to be corky in order to resist most ground fires. This adaptation helps them flourish when fires come through and put nutrients back into the soil/ burn away any competition.
This American Dagger Moth Caterpillar was found on a Red Maple leaf. It may seem harmless, but touching the hairs will leave you with a stinging, itching sensation. Beware! This caterpillar will be found on deciduous trees.
White Spruce:Picea glauca gets its species name ,”glauca” from the word Glaucous, referencing the color of its needles
Beautiful old Shagbark Hickory tree. A little closer look and this old tree has been infested by the Hickory Bark Beetle, you can see where it has feasted on the stems and burrowed into the trunk taking the top out of the tree. This beetle often carries ceratocystis smalleyi, a canker causing fungus which this tree is infected with. #hickorytree #arborist #treelife #wisconsintrees
"Balsam, Fallison Lake" 48" x 12" acrylic on birch panel)
Fallison Lake is near one of my family's favorite campgrounds, outside of Minocqua. There is a beautiful hilly trail that goes around the lake with many beautiful old trees including Balsam. Along one section of the trail are immense standing boulders. I have seen Loons on the lake, and even once a bear scampering up the trail ahead of us. This painting is based on a tree along that trail. #Minocqua #upnorth #Wisconsintrees #wisconsinlakes #contemporarylandscapepainting #acrylicpainting
Prunus serotina is finally living up to its name!
Detail, "Balsam, Fallison Lake," acrylic on birch panel, 48" x 12" The bark of the Balsam Pine has fascinated me for a long time. It has horizontal ridges that almost look like thick staples circling the tree in a regular pattern. Its also my favorite Christmas tree, smells great and is nice and soft.
Lumber exports make up 14.2 billion dollars in Wisconsin. A lot of our wood goes towards paper. Wisconsin is the number one paper producing State in the US!
A Balsam Fir(Abies balsamea) blister. This is called a Resin Blister. Resin is found in Conifers and has anti-fungal properties. People use the resin in perfumes and essential oils. Balsam Firs keep resin in blisters to protect themselves from insect and small mammal damage.
This large drawing, finished last year, uses leaves from a Yellow Birch, which often coexist with Hemlock and sugar maple. (115" x 39" scroll format allows adjustable length) #wisconsintrees #yellowbirch #graphitedrawing
A couple of years ago I was relaxing in my campsite at Muskellunge Lake, just staring into space and these wonderful tree trunks came into focus. I love the rhythmic patterns of the linear trunks and spaces in between. "View, Musky site 329," acrylic on paper, 7.75" x 13" (framed size 14" x 20") available at Saatchiart (link in bio)
The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.-John Muir
Bigtooth Aspen:Populus grandidentata •This poplar leaf has large serrations, giving it its name •The bark of the tree is olive green and smooth with gray patches on it. With age, the bark will become more course -The species name for Bigtooth Aspen, “grandidentata” translates to big toothed -Approximately 116 nongame birds use specifically Aspen/Birch stands for breeding
Remember the game twister? I used to love that when I was a kid. Wending my way through all this equipment reminded me a lot of that as I finish up shooting details of some new work. #artstudiovideo #artistlifestyle
Sadly, mushrooms with stems and caps don’t grow on trees like this. Squirrels leave them in the branches! Squirrels have the ability to break down amanita-toxins which means they’re not effected by poisonous mushrooms
American Mountain Ash(Sorbus americana) •This tree has serrated, compound leaves, lacking petioles •Mountain Ash is generally a small tree, that doesn’t often grow into the canopy -The fruits of the Mountain Ash are edible, but are very acidic when raw. You can cook them with meat or make them into jellies. -Moose and Deer love browsing on Mountain Ash, the berries are also eaten by Ruffed Grouse, Rodents, and Song Birds
Salamanders love trees! Well, dead ones. At night, salamanders crawl around the forests floor eating insects, but during the day they have to hide from the heat. Salamanders hide under wet, decomposing logs to keep cool and moist.
The Balsam Fir(Abies balsimea) has been infected! Does anyone know what effects Balsams in this way?
Shout out to our first Submission Sunday @theshelorax
!! She sent in two photos of a Mountain Maple: Acer spicatum!! •The leaves are very serrated •The Form of this tree is considered a shrub or small tree -The Mountain Maple is Wisconsin’s smallest Acer species. -The sap can be used for making maple syrup!
-Do you have a tree you would like to see posted? Send in photos for the next Submission Sunday!
Late Nights with Lepidoptera: Lepidoptera have ‘eye spots’ to fend of predators that want to eat them. Studies have shown that the eyes mimic the predators of the predators of the butterflies/moths to try to scare them away. -
Have fun squirreling around this weekend!
Maritime Sunburst Lichen: Xanthoria parietina. This is a common lichen found on trees. “Xantho” means yellow, but this lichen can also be orange!
The Maple-Leaf Viburnum(Viburnum acerifolium) is a commonly mistaken maple tree. This shrub only grows up to 6-8ft and is oppositely branched. Maple-Leaf Viburnum has lenticels and generally has pubescence. A great distinguishing trait are the berries and flowers on the viburnum that maple trees don’t have.
A photo of a mutualistic relationship. This relationship between Black Ants and Aspen Aphids is pretty outstanding! These aphids come out to feed off of Trembling Aspen(Populus tremuloides) shortly after it rains. Aphids create a waste product called Honeydew while feeding, and the Black Ants love it. They love it so much, that they protect the aphids from predators. The ants will go between aphid masses stroking them with there antennae to promote honeydew production. Studies have been done on this relationship and found that Aspen Aphid populations collapse shortly after ants are taken away.
Carol Chase Bjerke and I created 2 collaborative pieces for the Abel Contemporary Gallery collaboration show which opens tonight. We hope to see you there if you're in the Madison area! Our process began with a comparison of a large collection of sketches and notes of our landscape and botanic works, thus "Field Notes." At first glance it may appear that the painted lichen covered tree was created in response to the photograph. However I've been painting lichen covered trees for many years and Carol took this photograph several years ago while hiking, so that she could send it me. So ina sense, this collaborative effort began several years ago. We decided to pair her photograph with a new lichen tree painting that I would create from my own sketches. To balance the painting's color and texture, Carol worked with contrast and and delicate hand-colored oil on her photograph.
has definitely given us a glimpse into the intricate role that Cherry Trees have in a very complicated ecosystem. They’re also pretty too!!
Thank you, Cherry Trees for being there for fungi, insects, birds, mammals, mites, and us too!
For Birds and Insects the Cherries are very important! The pit of the Cherry is intended to make it through the digestive tracks of birds in one piece. The Cherries get dispersed and fertilized with one tricky evolutionary trait. -
A common disease amongst cherries is Cherry Leaf Spot(Blumeriella jaapii). This fungus starts on the ground, on the decomposing leaves. Once the fungus reaches sexual maturity, it shoots spores up into the canopy and infects the leaves. Each wave of infections defoliates the tree more than the last, eventually overtaking the tree.
•The second picture is another example of Black Knot taking over a wound of a Cherry -
Cherry Trees are very important for insects!! They’re a food source, a home, a landing pad, and sometimes their whole world! Insects will sunbathe on its wings during a cold morning. They love to pollinate the sweet flowers, and eat the sour berries. For insects like the caterpillar, the tree is just a home to eat for a while. The Black Cherry Finger Mite never leaves the Cherry tree, it’s whole world revolves around the buds and the galls of the tree.
These are Black Cherry Finger Galls, caused by Eriophyes cerasicrumena or Black Cherry Finger Gall Mites. These mites are so small that you may need an electron microscope to see them! These mites feed only off Black Cherry leaves, and don’t cause enough damaged to significantly harm the tree.
"Fieldnotes: Stone & Leaf," (Gelatin silver print, and graphite on Tyvek 10" x 20") is a collaborative effort with a good friend, Carol Chase Bjerke who invited me to participate in "Collaboration" exhibit @abelcontemporary
, opening Friday, July 27. #collaboration #collaborativeart
There are these trees behind the building where I work, just out there leaning away. Sometimes I forget to appreciate how beautiful Wisconsin is. We may not have mountains, but we do have trees and lakes and all of this green. #wisconsintrees #backyardnature
Black Knot Fungus(Dibotryon morbosum) is a very common fungal disease found in Cherry Trees, primarily Black Cherry(Prunus serotina). Black Knot infects the stems, and steals the nutrients that flow through the tree. This will cause dieback of the infected branch, but usually doesn’t kill the whole plant
The three main Cherry trees that can be found in the Wisconsin Wilderness are (from left to right) Pin Cherry(Prunus pennsylvanica), Black Cherry(Prunus serotina), and Choke Cherry(Prunus virginiana). Choke Cherry leaves are unique in that they widen towards the tip of the leaf instead widen towards the base. Pin Cherry leaves have a red stem and are less rounded than the other two leaves. Black Cherry leaves have orange hairs on the underside of the leaf. They also start wide at the base and thin towards the tip.
Another great way to identify Cherry Trees are the two glands that are always on the petiole of the leaf. These are called extrafloral nectaries, they excrete a substance that attract insects. The insects they attract, usually ants, eat some herbivorous insects that want to consume the Cherry leaf.
An easy way to identify cherry trees in Wisconsin are the lenticels on the bark. Lenticel’s purpose is respiration. A handful of other trees have them too, but Cherry always do!
Cherry trees are pretty fly. In fact, they’re so fly that there should be a whole week for them! Do you have any crazy Cherry pictures? Use #weekofthecherry
and tag @trees_of_wisconsin
Wisconsin's Secret Treasures
Artificial light in Urban settings has shown to influence day length sensitive trees. Deciduous trees, specifically, go into dormancy when the day length starts to shorten. When they are under a street lamp, they are tricked into growing long into the season and going into dormancy late. This can harm the tree, for dormancy protects them from the cold temperatures.
Choke Cherry(Prunus virginiana) •Choke Cherry’s leaf widens towards the tip, unlike Black Cherry •Like all cherries, Choke Cherry has two glands at the base of each petiole. -Choke Cherry’s berries are edible, but they give you severe dry mouth. This is probably where it gets its name -When the twigs are broken or scratched, a pungent almond-like aroma can be smelled. This is a characteristic sign of the presence of cyanide
Paper Birch(Betula papyrifera) has white bark to protect it from the extremes of the North. Paper Birch is the most northern growing deciduous tree. The white bark keeps the tree at an even temperature. In cold winters, the sun can cause trees to crack open. This happens when the sun heats one side of the tree. At night, the tree freezes quickly causing the water to expand and crack the wood.
Beaked Hazelnut: Corylus cornuta •This tree’s nut has a unique elongated shape and have tiny hairs •The leaves are double serrated -Beaked Hazelnut is edible to us, and it’s a favorite food of Blue Jays -The hairs on the Beaked Hazelnut are created to defend it against insects. The hairs may be small to us, but to them it’s an impenetrable barrier
Ghost Plant(Monotropa uniflora) is also a plant that lacks chlorophyll. This plant gets its nutrients from micorrizal fungi that connect to trees. This plant lives off of the trees around it!
"Arboretum, Winter," 60 x 15 inches, Detail from a commission for a wonderful client in Madison, WI.
Blue Lichen, Eastern Hemlock, 72 x 18 inches. I remember hiking in the Sylvania Wilderness area in the upper Peninsula of Michigan. The old growth forest was filled with lichen covered tree trunks, as mesmerizing to me as Yayoi Kusama's psychedelic dot paintings!
Detail, Blue Lichen, Eastern Hemlock, 72 x 18 inches, acrylic on birch panel. 2018
False Beechdrops(Monotropa hypopitys): This plant is part of the blueberry family. It does not contain chlorophyll because it gets its nutrients through a parasitic fungus that decomposes organic matter.
Thank you @plants_of_wisconsin
for helping identify this plant! Check him out!
Lepidoptera means “scale wings” the powder on moth and butterfly wings are actually scales. These scales are modified hairs.
A Birch on stilts! This happens when a tree germinates on a rotting stump. Once the stump fully decomposes, the roots are exposed.
A White-breasted Nuthatch(Sitta carolinensis) looking down from a maple. Nuthatches love mature forests containing maple, hickory, basswood, and oak trees. They eat the insects, mainly larvae, on the bark of the trees and some nuts too.
Pin Cherry(Fire Cherry):Prunus pennsylvanica •Each Cherry is uniquely on a single stem, giving it its name. •Bark is a reddish color. -Pin Cherry has deliciously tart fruit! Its probably the most tasty of the three Native Cherry trees -Pin Cherry is also called Fire Cherry because it needs a disturbance in order to grow. A fire gives the Cherry trees a great environment to germinate, but you can also find them by roads, trails, or other human-caused disturbances.
Gypsy Moths: Lymantria dispar •This invasive caterpillar species from Europe and Asia devastates the trees of North America. Gypsy Caterpillars can defoliate entire trees, killing up to 20% of a forest. The favorite trees of these nasty pests are Oaks and Aspen. Their most significant predators are small mammals. Although millions of acres of land are sprayed a year, not much can be or has been done to limit or control the spread of these insects
Water droplets sit on this leaf because of a wax coating that runs over the leaf’s epidermis. The wax coating protects the leaf from water loss in the hot sun. Some plants have more wax than others, this varies with habitat.
Service Berry:Amelanchier spp. •Has vertical stripes on bark •Has blueberry like berries -The berries on the service berry are delicious and just becoming ripe! -Serviceberry got its name because the berries generally starting to ripen when the ground is thawed enough for funerals.
Beautiful day to be working outdoors -- listening to birds, feeling the breeze, and the sun on my back. Documenting the beautiful but destructive patterns created by the emerald ash borer larvae.
Staghorn Sumac: Rhus typhina •Has pinnately compound leaves •Has hairy twigs -Staghorn sumac seeds can be soaked in water to make a lemonade tasting drink or a jelly. @jeremiah_shipley
for warning us to use a strainer, for the hairs will cause irritation to the throat -The Staghorn Sumac is the largest of all North American Sumacs, it can grow up to 25ft!