American Plum (Prunus Americana)

I found this tree on the 1900 block of Jessup St. in Passyunk.  The American Plum is native to eastern North America and is hardy to zone 3.  They can grow anywhere from 12’-25’ tall and up to 20’ wide, with an irregular, rounded crown.  Some easily noticeable ways to determine them are from alternate leaf arrangement, featuring oval shaped leaves.  The leaves grow to a max of 3” and are green for the summer months, yellowing in the fall.  Today, being in the winter months, it is recognizable by its bark, which can feature 2”-3” thorns along with very low branches.  Down here in South Philadelphia, there is not much room for trees to grow, which is why some people refer to it as the “tree desert”.  You can see in the images provided, that this recently planted tree, does not have a ton of space to grow, as the stone-covered hole is roughly 3′ by 3′ in size.    

Okame Cherry (Prunus x incam)

Here we have the Okame Cherry, which research shows is a hybrid between two species, the Prunus incisa and the Prunus campanulata, hence the name incam.  This tree is located on the 1800 block of South 12th Street.  The tree itself only grows to be 15′-25′ in height and can get up to 20′ wide.  It features and upright, rounded crown with a moderate growth rate over the years.  The branches feature an alternate leaf arrangement, with the leaves being an oval shape, growing 1″-2″ long.  Unfortunately, their beauty comes out greatly during the summer and fall months, which cannot be seen as of yet.  The flowers go from a pink color in the spring and summer months to an orange and yellow color in the fall.  The bark is highly recognizable because of the horizontal lenticels as well as the reddish-bronze color of the bark.  As you can see, this guy has just recently been planted, so the two wooden stakes are still in to help balance out the tree during its growth.  They should be removed within a year.

This concluded my walk around the few blocks close to my home.  There will be another post very soon with images of trees I could not identify primarily because they were either too new to the neighborhood…or they were being hidden by the christmas lights still constricting them…stay tuned!