Pere Marquette State Park
This guide lists some of the common trees that
can be found in Pere Marquette State Park and the surrounding area. For fall foliage information check out our
Leaf Peepers Home Page.
Height: 60 to 80 foot average with some up to 100 feet
Fall Colors: Red or brown
White Oaks have wide, flat leaves with alternate arrangements that are 4 to
8 inches long with 5 to 9 large rounded lobes. It produces elongated acorns
that occur in pairs that occur on a single bowl-like cap. The number of
fruit produced in a single season can be numerous. The White Oak changes
color late in the fall and the color is long lasting. White Oaks can be
distinguished from other oaks by their light gray, platy bark. White Oak is
a durable wood and was used to build the famous battleship U.S.S.
Constitution, which was nicknamed "Old Ironsides" because
cannonballs bounced off its sides. Illinois school children voted the oak as
the state tree in 1907, and in 1973 they voted the White Oak as the official
state tree. White Oaks have been known to live as long as 400 years.
Height: 60 to 75 foot average with some up to 100 feet
Fall Colors: Yellow, orange, or red
Sugar Maples have wide, flat leaves with opposite arrangements and 3 to
5 simple lobes. Small paired winged fruit mature in September and October.
With age the Sugar Mapleís bark becomes furrowed, with long irregular
thick plates or ridges. Saccharum is the Latin name for sugar cane
and maple syrup is made from the sap of this tree. It takes about 40 gallons
of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. The pileated woodpecker and screech
owl may make their nests in maples. The Sugar Maple is the national tree of
Canada and a stylized version of its leaf is the central feature of the
Height: 70 to 80 feet
Fall color: Yellow
Shagbark Hickory has wide, flat compound leaves with opposite arrangements
leaves with 5 leaflets that are commonly 8 to14 inches long. The bark on
younger trees is smooth and gray while older trees have bark that breaks into long peeling strips of bark, giving
the trunk a shaggy appearance. The wood is heavy, hard, and strong, and used
for tool handles and to give a smoked flavor to meats. Hickory wood has the
highest heat value of any wood, making it an excellent source of fuel. Its
nuts are nearly round, ranging in size from 1 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter
with a thick husk that splits into 4 pieces when ripe. The nuts are eaten by
both man and wildlife. Native Americans crushed the kernel, using the oil
for cooking and the resulting flour for bread.
Height: 20 to 25 feet
Fall Color: Dark red
Flowering Dogwoods have wide flat leaves with opposite arrangements. It
has biscuit shaped flower buds and its true flowers are greenish yellow
which are subtended by showy white or pink bracts which are commonly thought
of as the trees flowers. The Flowering dogwood has small glossy red fruit in
the fall that come in clusters of three or more.
Northern Red Oak
Height: 60 to 75 feet
Fall Color: Dark Red
The Northern Red Oak usually has massive branches
which tend to branch close to the ground. It has wide flat leaves with
opposite arrangements with 7 to 11 lobes which can be wedge shaped or
rounded, Its acorns are 2-2.5 cm long and are enclosed at the base in a
flat, thick, saucer-like cup. In the spring its new leaves are red.
Fall Colors: Yellow, bronze and plum
Fall Color: Yellow
Height: 30 to 60 feet
Fall Colors: Yellow, orange or red
Sassafras has an irregular shape especially when it is young. It may become
flat-topped and broad at maturity, and may and form thickets. Sassafras have
wide, flat leaves with alternate arrangements that are 3 to 7 inches long.
Its yellow flowers develop before its leaves in the spring and it has a dark
blue fruit that ripens in the fall and is eaten by birds. The name probably
is an adaptation of a Native American name; albidum and the bark of
the roots is used to make sassafras tea and to flavor root beer.