Following my walk around the Passayunk area, I decided to take the sub up towards the City Hall stop, and focus on the general area surrounding the Temple Center City campus.  The next few posts are going to briefly discuss what I found!

Red Maple (Acer rubum)

The Red Maple is very common in the city, as it is easily transplantable and can tolerate flooding, wet soils, pollution and is very adaptable to climatic changes.  It is very prominently used in parks or campuses and is a great street tree.  The maple has a large geographic range and is hardy to Zone 3 which covers a majority of the East coast.  The trees are pyramidal when they are young and develop a spread out, rounded outline as they mature.  The trees are usually found in the 40’-70’ range but can grow to over 100’ tall in the right conditions.  The leaves align the branches in an opposite fashion and in a green color during the summer months but become red during fall foliage.  In the fall, the samaras become present and grow to roughly 1” in length.  The red maples are easily recognizable aside from their leaves, by their bark.  Older Maples feature the scaly gray-brown bark which contrasts greatly with the leaves of the tree.  The images below show the new maples lining Market street just west of City Hall.     They are oddly enough planted in 3′ x 3′ raised planting beds…     


Callery Pear (Pyrus calleyrana)

An interesting thing to state here is that the Callery Pear is native to Korea and Japan.  It is odd to find a tree of this specie graciously planted just down Market Street from City Hall.  These trees can grow to about 30′-40′ tall and roughly 1/3 as wide.  They have a very fast growth rate for a medium-sized tree.  You can identify them with their alternating, simple, ovate leaves with crenate margins.  The leaves themselves are generally leathery in texture.  They are held on a long petiole and are roughly 2″-3″ long.  The trees do feature a round pome fruit which is covered in russet dots.  It is not very ornamentally significant but can help identify the tree in summer and Fall months.  The bark is a light brown/ light gray color which develops recognizable lenticels with its age.  It is a very easily transplanted tree during dormant seasons and is very adaptable to different conditions, which makes it suitable for city life!

to be continued…