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By Jim Finley
Professor Emeritus, Penn State 

Know Your Trees and Where They Grow


August 26, 2021

Public Domain Images

Red maple trees are the most common in the state. Once you identify a species, look around and recognize other individuals of that same species using the leaves as the principal characteristic for that species.

Over the past year or so have you discovered a new or stronger connection to forests and trees? Those who study outdoor recreation have documented nearly explosive growth in the number of people exploring and spending time in parks and forests. Whether you are an old hand, used to spending time in sylvan landscapes, or a new convert to outside activities, have you found yourself looking in new ways at forests and wondering: What type of tree is that?

Forests are complex communities that depend on the interaction of the living (for example, plants, animals, insects, fungi in soils) and non-...

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