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Acer circinatum

Botanical Name ; Acer circinatum
Family: Sapindaceae
Genus: Acer
Species: A. circinatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common Name :Vine Maple

Habitat :Acer circinatum is native to  western N. America – British Columbia to California.It grows in forests, along banks of streams and in rich alluvial soils of bottomlands up to 1200 metres

Description:
Acer circinatum is a deciduous Tree. It is most commonly grows as a large shrub growing to around 5-8 m tall, but it will occasionally form a small to medium-sized tree, exceptionally to 18 m tall. The shoots are slender and hairless. It typically grows in the understory below much taller forest trees, but can sometimes be found in open ground, and occurs at altitudes from sea level up to 1,500 m.

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The leaves are opposite, and palmately lobed with 7-11 lobes, almost circular in outline, 3-14 cm long and broad, and thinly hairy on the underside; the lobes are pointed and with coarsely toothed margins. The leaves turn bright yellow to orange-red in fall. The flowers are small, 6–9 mm diameter, with a dark red calyx and five short greenish-yellow petals; they are produced in open corymbs of 4-20 together in spring. The fruit is a two-seeded samara, each seed 8-10 mm diameter, with a spreading wing 2–4 cm long.

Vine Maple trees can bend over easily. Sometimes, this can cause the top of the tree to grow into the ground and send out a new root system, creating a natural arch.

It is occasionally cultivated outside its native range as an ornamental tree, from Juneau, Alaska   and Ottawa, Ontario  to Huntsville, Alabama, and also in northwestern Europe.

Cultivation:   
Of easy cultivation, it succeeds in most good soils, preferring a good moist well-drained soil on the acid side. Prefers a sunny position but tolerates some shade. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. Chlorosis can sometimes develop as a result of iron deficiency when the plants are grown in alkaline soils, but in general maples are not fussy as to soil pH. A very ornamental tree, a number of varieties are in cultivation. The branches tend to coil around other trees in much the same way as vines. (A strange report because vines do not coil but climb by means of tendrils formed in the leaf axils.) The tree sends out long slender arching branches in the wild. These form roots when they touch the ground and the plant thereby forms large impenetrable thickets often several hectares in extent. Most maples are bad companion plants, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants.

Propagation:          
Seed is usually of good quality when produced in gardens. It is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, it usually germinates in the following spring. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours and then stratify for 2 – 4 months at 1 – 8°c. It can be slow or very poor to germinate, especially if it has been dried. The seed can be harvested ‘green’ (when it has fully developed but before it has dried and produced any germination inhibitors) and sown immediately. It should germinate in late winter. If the seed is harvested too soon it will produce very weak plants or no plants at all. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until they are 20cm or more tall before planting them out in their permanent positions. This tree often self-layers and can be propagated by this means. Cuttings of young shoots in June or July. The cuttings should have 2 – 3 pairs of leaves, plus one pair of buds at the base. Remove a very thin slice of bark at the base of the cutting, rooting is improved if a rooting hormone is used. The rooted cuttings must show new growth during the summer before being potted up otherwise they are unlikely to survive the winter. Cultivars of this species can be grafted onto A. palmatum, which makes a better rootstock than this species.

Edible Uses:   
Edible Parts: Sap.
Edible Uses: Sweetener.

The sap contains a certain amount of sugar and can either be used as a drink, or can be concentrated into a syrup by boiling off the water. The syrup is used as a sweetener on many foods. The concentration of sugar is considerably lower than in the sugar maples (A. saccharum). The tree trunk is tapped in the early spring, the sap flowing better on warm sunny days following a frost. The best sap production comes from cold-winter areas with continental climates.

Medicinal Uses:
Astringent.

The wood was burnt to charcoal and mixed with water and brown sugar then used in the treatment of dysentery and polio.
Coastal Aboriginal peoples have boiled the bark of the roots to make a tea for colds

Other Uses  :
Basketry;  Fuel;  Paint;  Preservative;  Wood.

The leaves are packed around apples, rootcrops etc to help preserve them. The young shoots are quite pliable and are used in basket making. Straight shoots can be used to make open-work baskets. A charcoal made from the wood can be mixed with oil and used as a black paint. Wood – hard, heavy, durable, close-grained, strong according to some reports, but not strong according to others. Too small to be commercially important, the wood is used for cart shafts, tool handles, small boxes etc. One report says that the wood is quite pliable and was used for making bows, snowshoe frames etc, whilst young saplings could be used as swings for baby cradles. The wood is almost impossible to burn when green and has served as a cauldron hook over the fire.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acer_circinatum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Acer+circinatum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
http://www.nsci.plu.edu/~jmain/Herbarium/images/acer_circinatum_habitat.jpg

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Abies Procera (Noble Fir)

Botanical Name : Abies procera
Family : Family Pinaceae
Synonyms: Abies nobilis – (Douglas. Ex D.Don.)Lindl., Pinus nobilis – D.Don.
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Species: A. procera
Genus: Abies
Synonyms : Abies nobilis. Pinus nobilis.

Common Names: Noble Fir,  Red fir, Christmastree

Habitat:–     Native to the Cascade Range and Coast Range mountains of extreme northwest California and western Oregon and Washington in the United States.   Western N. America – Washington to N. California. Self-sows in Britain – in Scotland.  Deep forests at elevations between 600 – 1500 metres. The best specimens are found in deep rich soils with a short cool growing season and abundant annual precipitation, mainly as snow.

Description:
A Perennial  evergreen Tree growing to 60m by 5m at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone 5. It is in leaf all year, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.

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It is a large evergreen tree typically up to 40-70 m (130-230 ft.) tall and 2 m (6.5 ft.) trunk diameter, rarely to 90 m (295 ft.) tall and 2.7 m (8.9 ft.) diameter[1], with a narrow conic crown. The bark on young trees is smooth, grey, and with resin blisters, becoming red-brown, rough and fissured on old trees. The leaves are needle-like, 1-3.5 cm long, glaucous blue-green above and below with strong stomatal bands, and a blunt to notched tip. They are arranged spirally on the shoot, but twisted slightly s-shaped to be upcurved above the shoot. The cones are erect, 11-22 cm long, with the purple scales almost completely hidden by the long exserted yellow-green bract scales; ripening brown and disintegrating to release the winged seeds in fall.

Cultivation:-
Prefers a good moist but not water-logged soil. Succeeds in cold exposed positions and in poor mountain peats. Succeeds in poor thin soils so long as sufficient moisture is present. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are very shade tolerant, especially when young, but they grow more slowly in dense shade. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution. Prefers slightly acid conditions with a pH down to about 5. Grows well on a north-facing slope. A long-lived tree in the wild, with specimens more than 600 years old recorded. It is a very ornamental tree, but is very susceptible to damage by aphis in some areas of the country. Planted for timber in W. and N. Europe, in Britain it grows best in wetter parts of the country such as the Perthshire valleys of Scotland[. Trees do not grow well in the drier areas of Britain. In a suitable site it can make new growth of 1 metre a year until it is 25 metres tall when growth slows. Exposure seems to severely limit growth in height in southern and eastern regions but less so in areas of high rainfall such as N. Wales and Argyll. New growth takes place from early June to August. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm in height. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance. Trees are sometimes used as ‘Christmas trees‘. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus.

Propagation:-
Seed – sow early February in a greenhouse or outdoors in March. Germination is often poor, usually taking about 6 – 8 weeks. Stratification is said to produce a more even germination so it is probably best to sow the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. The seed remains viable for up to 5 years if it is well stored. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least their first winter in pots. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Alternatively, if you have sufficient seed, it is possible to sow in an outdoor seedbed. One report says that it is best to grow the seedlings on in the shade at a density of about 550 plants per square metre whilst another report says that they are best grown on in a sunny position

Medicinal Actions & Uses

Pectoral.…..A decoction of the leaves has been used as a cough medicine.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Other Uses:-
Noble Fir is a popular Christmas tree. Wood – light, hard, strong, close grained, works easily. Used for lumber, interior work, pulp etc. It is used for general structural purposes and paper manufacture.
Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Abies+procera
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ABPR&photoID=abpr_010_ahp.tif
http://www.biolib.cz/en/taxonimage/id22221/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abies_procera

 

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