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Recently Updated Plant Articles

Green Ash

Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

Updated January 18th, 2022

A widely-distributed tree found mostly in floodplains, riparian areas, and swamps, and occasionally found on drier sites; severely threatened by the emerald ash borer.

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Osage-orange (Maclura pomifera)

Updated January 15th, 2022

A small and somewhat peculiar tree with bright orange bark, long thorns on stems, and producing large compound fruits which are hard and have a distinct aroma.

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Southern Magnolia

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)

Updated January 15th, 2022

A native broadleaf evergreen tree of moist, well-drained sites in the deep south, with large, showy white flowers.

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Recently Updated Ecoregion Articles

North America » Eastern Temperate Forests » Mixed Wood Plains » Acadian Plains and Hills »


Updated January 3rd, 2022

The middle section of Maine's coastline, rocky and with many islands, peninsulas, and estuaries.

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A rocky bald in the foreground with scattered, stunted evergreens, and lusher forest at lower elevations in the distance
North America » Northern Forests » Atlantic Highlands » Northeastern Highlands »

Worcester/Monadnock Plateau

Updated November 12th, 2021

An irregularly-shaped region in Massachussets and New Hampshire with scattered monadnocks and diverse forest types.

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A forested landscape with a lake in the center, misty hills in the background.
North America » Eastern Temperate Forests » Mixed Wood Plains » Northeastern Coastal Zone »

Gulf of Maine Coastal Plain

Updated November 12th, 2021

A hilly, irregular, more inland portion of the coastal plain in southeastern New Hapmpshire, southern Maine, and eastern Massachussets.

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Recently Updated ID / Comparison Guides

collage of Red Pine and Scots Pine

Red Pine (Pinus resinosa) vs. Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris)

Updated December 20th, 2021

These species are sometimes confused because they both have reddish bark, but they can be easily distinguished by their needle color and length, and also by differences in bark color. The cones are similar in size and both have scales that usually lack prickles, but the scales have a different shape at their tip. Their habitat preferences overlap, with both frequently found on sandy soils, but Scots pine is also found on boggy sites and in anthropogenic habitats where red pine is not usually found. Both species are planted in plantations, but only Scots pine is widely used in landscaping.

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collage of Eastern White Pine and Red Pine

Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) vs. Red Pine (Pinus resinosa)

Updated December 17th, 2021

Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) and red pine (Pinus resinosa) are often confused where their ranges overlap. Both are large, long-lived, straight-growing trees with long needles, frequently seen towering over other trees in a forest. They are easily distinguished by needle count per bundle, cone length, and bark color. With experience, they can also be identified at a glance by crown shape and foliage color and texture. Although both species are grown in plantations, red pine is rarely grown in landscaping. Although their habitats overlap and both frequently grow near lakes, white pine is found in richer, more humid habitats, and can be found farther south, whereas red pine is restricted to a more northerly range and sites with poorer, usually sandy soil.

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collage of Gray Birch and Paper Birch

Gray Birch (Betula populifolia) vs. Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera)

Updated December 15th, 2021

Gray and paper birch are easily confused where their ranges overlap in the northeast. Both have white bark and they can grow together in early-successional habitats. However, they can be easily distinguished by leaf shape or bark, and they also have differences in typical growth habit and maximum size. Gray birch ranges farther south, whereas paper birch ranges farther north and west. Paper birch can grow much taller and usually grows straighter.

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December 9th, 2021

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