Station G

Seeds Borne by Wind and Water  (U10)

The three native trees in front of you arrived by air.  From left to right, you see an ash-leaved maple, a green ash and a large silver maple.  All three species produce samaras, winged fruits that are carried away from the parent tree by whirling in the wind or floating on water.  They grow in similar habitats elsewhere, always near a body of water or in bottomland.

Ash-leaved maple
Green ash
Silver maple

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The small green ash you see before you is likely the progeny of the towering green ash beyond the green bench at the bottom of the rolling lawn.  Both individuals are growing in the natural habitat of the species, alongside a body of water or in bottomland.  

Two other green ash samaras that successfully became trees were transported respectively to the marsh side of the rubble pile and all the way to the north side of the causeway-breakwater junction.  There are also a few small green ash saplings near the head of the Audubon, Pond and Upland Trails, and one beneath the apple tree at the start of the causeway.

The green ash trees growing on the causeway and the rubble pile do not resemble the individuals in more sheltered environments.  Exposure to strong winds, harsh temperatures and salt spray has stunted growth of the trunk and resulted in short gnarly branches and thick leathery leaves.

Lush green leaves near boat launch
Stressed leathery leaves on causeway