Welcome to the Springboro Tree Farms Tree Trail. If you’re up for a walk in the woods, why not make it a walk of discovery? The Springboro Tree Farms tree trail provides an introduction to this classic Indiana woodlands and the 30-some species of hardwood trees that thrive here. Tree Sign on TreeOne (or more) of each species has been identified by an arboretum tag like the one shown here. We suggest you begin at the Pecan tree in the orchard area and then just follow the trails as indicated by the yellow line on your TRAIL MAP. After the Pecan you’ll meet the Canaan (our favorite Christmas tree), and then on to the oaks, maples and at least 30 more. At each tree, you may scan the QR code on the tag to get connected to a bit more information about each of the trees…and in some cases some very specific about the individual trees you’re seeing. In addition, we encourage you to download the COMPLETE TREE TRAIL PDF and save it to your mobile device to enjoy along the trail. Enjoy!
SUGAR MAPLE SCIENTIFIC NAME: Acer saccharum FAMILY: Sapindaceae ORIGIN: Eastern Canada and Eastern US You’ll find Sugar Maple trees throughout Springboro Tree Farms. The Sugar maple is best known for being the primary source of maple syrup and for its brightly colored fall foliage. We tap about 400 maple trees annually in late winter or early spring. The sap yield from those trees is typically 3500+ gallons of sap at 1.5% to 2% sugar. That boils down to about 50-60 gallons of Springboro Tree Farms delicious small-batch wood-fired maple syrup… …and if your interested, the Sugaring section of our website is filled with information about how we make maple syrup here at the tree farm. Enjoy the sweet life! For more information: Sugar Maple
BLACK WALNUT SCIENTIFIC NAME: Juglans nigra FAMILY: Juglandaceae ORIGIN: North America Black Walnut trees were the first species that we planted here in 1992. You can see the ones we planted on this trail along highway 18 near our apiary. There we planted about 150 Purdue #1 select seedlings as well as 150 walnut seedlings from the Jasper – Pulaski State nursery. In 1992, the Purdue trees cost $1.40 each and the trees from the Jasper – Pulaski State nursery were 13 cents each. We watered the seedlings the first summer. We also controlled weeds and put up an electric fence where we attached pieces of aluminum foil bated with peanut butter to teach the deer to stay away. It worked! Black Walnut is arguably the most desired wood and has been used for everything from furniture, to interior finishes to gunstocks, etc. While the income from selling black walnut trees for lumber may sound like a “sweet deal” what may be an event sweeter deal is that the sap of Juglans nigra can be evaporated to make the best syrup you may ever taste. We make small quantities of walnut syrup here and then blend it with our wood fired maple syrup to create an unusually good product. Try
CANAAN FIR SCIENTIFIC NAME: Abies balsamea FAMILY Pinaceae ORIGIN Central Canada and the northeastern United States We first planted these Canaan or balsam fir trees in 2008 as Christmas trees. They stay green longer, tend to retain needles and smell great! In fact, we like these Christmas trees so much that we ordered 100 more in Dec 2021. We’ll plant a few here and others at an additional family Christmas tree growing site in Clinton county Indiana. (Sam Hines farm). For more information: Canaan Fir
NORWAY SPRUCE SCIENTIFIC NAME: Picea abies FAMILY: Pinaceae ORIGIN: Northern, Central and Eastern Europe We planted the one you see on the trail in 2008. It was first planted in the Christmas tree grove and then transplanted to its current site about 2010. Norway Spruce make good Christmas trees when they are smaller. But they are somewhat prickly and tend to lose their needles sooner than other species such as the Canaan Fir. For more information: Norway Spruce
RED PINE SCIENTIFIC NAME: Pinus resinosa FAMILY: Pinaceae ORIGIN: North America We planted this row of Red Pines trees in 1995. Sadly the county mowing crew inadvertently mowed most of them down in 1996. So we replanted…marked the trees…and they’ve been doing fine since then. For more information: Red Pine
WHITE PINE SCIENTIFIC NAME: Pinus strobus FAMILY: Pinaceae ORIGIN: Eastern North America We planted these white pine trees in 1995. They make a great windbreak and help to create privacy as they block and mitigate vehicle lights and traffic noise. Also we’ve found that the pine straw that continuously falls from these trees make the best smoker fuel for smoking the honeybees here in our apiary. For more information: White Pine
EASTERN RED CEDER SCIENTIFIC NAME: Juniperus virginiana FAMILY: Cupressaceae ORIGIN: Eastern North America There are several of these trees here. When we find them in the woods they are often near the crest of a ridge. They seem to grow very slowly and reach heights of 40 feet or more here before they mature and die. Did your grandmother have a Cedar Chest? If so – you know this tree. The smell of the Eastern Red Cedar is highly objectionable to insects so this lumber was widely used for chests and to line closets. It’s also the best wood for led pencils and cigar boxes. For more information: Eastern Red Ceder
WHITE OAK SCIENTIFIC NAME: Quercus alba FAMILY: Fagaceae ORIGIN: Eastern and central North America One of Springboro Tree Farms’ most important forestry objectives is the natural regeneration of white Oak Trees. To achieve that goal we control invasive plants and then actively manage the less valuable trees to create opening and opportunities for white oak to grow naturally. We also plant white oak seedings. It takes two to three hundred years to grow a white oak that is 3 feet in diameter. There are a few of those here. We call them our legacy trees. And we will never harvest those unless they start to die. There’s one of those off the southeast corner of the sugar shack. For more information: White Oak

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Quercus macrocarpa

FAMILY: Fagaceae

ORIGIN: North America

Burr oak performs well in a wide range of soil types including moist soils of bottom lands and also on hill sides. Our forester suggested planting these in both the river bottom acres and along the higher areas we have here. These were planted in November of 2021. The white fence tape and tree protectors you’ll see on the trail will hopefully help us manage deer damage.

For more information: Bur Oak

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Celtis occidentalis

FAMILY: Cannabaceae

ORIGIN: North America

Hackberry trees are all over this woodland. And while they are not partuculaty valuable trees we don’t choose to discourage them but instead value them if for no other reason than maintaining a wide diversity of tree species here.

Nearly every tree has its place. And the place of the Hackberry is the wooden hoop! Because of its good bending qualities Hackberry was often used for making wooden hoops. And because the wood of the Hackberry looks like the wood from an Ash tree, another name for the Hackberry is Hoop Ash..

For more information: Hackberry

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Platanus occidentalis

FAMILY: Platanaceae

ORIGION: Eastern and Central US

You know that song: “And it seems that I can see the gleaming candle light still burning bright through the sycamores for me.” Oh yes. The sycamore…a great (and famous) Indiana tree.

You’ll find Sycamore trees throughout this tree farm. And guess what . . . You may tap Sycamore trees for making syrup! We’ve tried it but did not get any measurable amount of sap. But we’ll probably tray again some day.

For more information: American Sycamore


FAMILY: Sapindaceae

ORIGION: North America

Want to make some maple syrup…with a twist? This little tree is in the maple family. And yes, people do tap these trees for making maple syrup. We’ve not tried that yet but we may some day.

For more information: Boxelder Maple

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Liriodendron tulipifera

FAMILY: Magnoliaceae

ORIGION: North American

This is our state tree! We planted this little tree in the fall of 2021 espcially to dress up our new tree trail. After all, every tree trail in Indiana should have a tulip tree.

Here’s a little know fact: it was the flower of the Tulip Poplar that first got the attention of the Indiana State legislature. It was actually Indiana’s first state flower…but the act making it our state flower was repealed and the tree itself became our state tree by act of legislature in 1931.

For more information: Tuplip Poplar

OSAGE ORANGE SCIENTIFIC NAME: Maclura pomifera FAMILY: Moraceae ORIGIN: North America We had about a dozen of these in the area where we planted the apple orchard. So we removed them and then fough off the regrowth of these for 20 years! These are durable (hard to kill) trees that are not native to this neck of the woods. The history here is that the Osage Orange was native to Missouri and Kansas and was introduced to Indiana in the mid to late 1700s and early 1800s for use as hedge fences. The wood of this tree is amazingly hard and durable. Difficult to cut, and it burns hot and long. If you have a wood-burning fireplace and enjoy the tradition of the Yule log, then Osage Orange is just the log you’re looking for. For more information: Osage Orange

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Taxodium distichum

FAMILY: Cupressaceae

ORIGIN: Southeastern United States.

Our foresters Mike and Jennifer Warner of Arbor Terra Consulting gave us this tree in 2021. We planted it in a fairly wet area by the pond. Let’s see how it likes it new home.

For more information: Bald Cypress

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Robinia pseudoacacia

FAMILY: Fabaceae

ORIGIN: Eastern and South Eastern United States

Robinia pseudoacacia, known as black locust, provides an early spring bloom that is enjoyed by the Springboro Tree Farms honeybees. As an added bonus ts durability in contact with the ground make it idea for fence posts. We have several posts that have been in the ground since 1992. Look around…you’ll find them.

For more information: Black Locust

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Gleditsia triacanthos

FAMILY: Fabaceae

ORIGIN: Central North America

The honey locust, also known as the thorny locust or thorny honeylocust, is native to central North America where it is mostly found in the moist soil of river valleys. These trees are very hard on ATV and tractor tires so we don’t encourage them. You may see a few that we’ve girdled (cut through the bark all the way around the tree with a chain saw) in order to kill the tree. But if the tree is in a location where it can’t cause problems, we let them live.

For more information: Honey Locust.

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Carya cordiformis

FAMILY: Juglandaceae

ORIGIN: Midwestern and Eastern US

Carya cordiformis, the bitternut hickory, also called bitternut or swamp hickory, is a large pecan hickory with commercial stands located mostly north of the other pecan hickories. Bitternut hickory is cut and sold in mixture with the true hickories. One popular use is in the manufacture of split-bottomed chairs…that is, is a chair with a cane or rope-weave seat. Ever sit in an Old Hickory chair? There are a few in the tree house. Check them out.

For more information: Bitternut Hickorya

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Quercus imbricaria

FAMILY: Fagaceae

ORIGIN: Midwestern and Upper South regions of North America

Quercus imbricaria, the shingle oak, is a deciduous tree in the red oak group of oaks. It is native primarily to the Midwestern and Upper South regions of North America, from southern New York west to northern Illinois and eastern Kansas, and south to central Alabama and Arkansas. Shingle oak seems suited for sandy areas (think the sand hills of lake Michigan shore) and prairie soils where other oaks may not grow well. The wood looks like that of the Red Oak but is considered somewhat inferior.

For more information: Shingle Oak

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Quercus rubra

FAMILY: Fagaceae

ORIGIN: North America

Quercus rubra, the northern red oak, is an oak tree in the red oak group. It is a native of North America, in the eastern and central United States and southeast and south-central Canada. Deer must really like the taste of red oak. We planted 15 Red Oak inside a deer protection area and 15 more just outside that area as part of a DNR deer predation research project. The protected trees are doing great but the unprotected trees are practically all destroyed by deer. Check it out. The test site is located near the Apiary just off highway 18.

For more information: Red Oak

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Quercus bicolor

FAMILY: Fagaceae

ORIGIN: North American

Quercus bicolor, the swamp white oak, is a North American species of medium-sized trees in the beech family. It is a common element of America’s north central and northeastern mixed forests. It can survive in a variety of habitats. It forms hybrids with bur oak where they occur together in the wild. So, we planted our Swamp Oak along with Burr Oak in our wetter areas in November of 2021. Let’s see how they do. The white fence tape and tree protectors you’ll see on site will hopefully help us manage deer damage.

For more information: Swamp White Oak

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Populus sect. Aigeiros

FAMILY: Salicaceae

ORIGIN: North America, Europe, and western Asia

Populus section Aigeiros is a section of three species in the genus Populus, the poplars. The species are native to North America, Europe, and western Asia. Here in Indiana in the 1800s and early 1900s the Cottonwood was an important timber tree. And the bark was a favorite of pioneer boys who whittled toys out of it. We have many huge Cottonwood trees here. Check out the tree house (Gentleman’s deer stand) by Spring Creek. It’s supported by Cottonwoods and has one big one that’s growing through its floor and roof!

For more information: Cotton Wood

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Prunus serotina

FAMILY: Rosaceae

ORIGIN: North America

Prunus serotina, commonly called black cherry, wild black cherry, rum cherry, or mountain black cherry, is a deciduous tree or shrub of the genus Prunus. In the fall these trees yield very small cherry fruit. They grow rapidly and get really big. There was one very close to our house that died several years ago. After having it cut down in 2018 I accounted 280 rings in the trunk of the tree but was not able to count all the rings in the center of the trunk because the wood was rotten there. The tree had to be 300+ years old. The stump is still there if you want to see it. Think about it. Tecumseh and his brother the Prophet might have walked past that tree on their way to Prophet’s Town!

For more information: Black Cherry

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Ulmus americana

FAMILY: Ulmaceae

ORIGIN: eastern North America

Ulmus americana, generally known as the American elm or, less commonly, as the white elm or water elm, is a species of elm native to eastern North America, naturally occurring from Nova Scotia west to Alberta and Montana, and south to Florida and central Texas. Here at the farm, we look under and around dying Elm trees in late April and early May in hope of finding Morel mushrooms.

For more information: American Elm

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Acer saccharinum

FAMILY: Sapindaceae

ORIGIN: Eastern and central United States and southeastern Canada

Acer saccharinum, commonly known as silver maple, creek maple, silverleaf maple, soft maple, large maple, water maple, swamp maple, or white maple, is a species of maple native to the eastern and central United States and southeastern Canada. It is one of the most common trees in the United States. And we have more of them here than we do any other species of tree. The sugar content of Silver Maple is about half that of a Sugar Maple. So while it is possible to tap these trees for making maple syrup, we don’t do it. It just takes too long to boil it down from about ½% – 1% sugar in raw sap to 67% sugar of finished maple syrup.

For more information: Silver Maple

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Asimina triloba

FAMILY: Annonaceae

ORIGIN: Easter United States

We call it the “Indianan Banana! Asimina triloba, the American papaw, pawpaw, paw paw, or paw-paw, (which ever way you want to spell it), is a small deciduous tree native to the eastern United States and Canada, producing a large, yellowish-green to brown fruit. We’ve not found any fruit yet. Our state district forester James Potthoff tells us that Paw Paws need more sunlight than our location has to produce fruit. So we’ll wait and see.

For more information: Paw Paw

ASH SCIENTIFIC NAME: Fraxinus FAMILY: Oleaceae ORIGIN: Widespread across much of Europe, Asia, and North America Fraxinus, English name ash, is widespread across much of Europe, Asia, and North America. In recent years the Ash borer beetles have decimated the Ash population in this region. We can’t find a single living large Ash tree on STF. However, as the older Ash trees were dying, they cast off huge quantities of seeds. Many of those seed have produced seedlings. So today, we have only very small Ash trees here. The good news is Ash trees are somewhat shade tolerant and we expect the population of Ash trees here will rebound in the next 50 years. For more information: Ash

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Acer platanoides

FAMILY: Sapindaceae

ORIGIN: Europe and western Asia

This tree is not supposed to be here. It’s technically an “invasive” plant that is not native to Indiana. Acer platanoides, commonly known as the Norway maple, is a species of maple native to eastern and central Europe and western Asia, from Spain east to Russia, north to southern Scandinavia and southeast to northern Iran. It was introduced to North America in the mid-1700s as a shade tree. But we’ll keep it. We’ve tapped these several times for making maple syrup.

For more information: Norway Maple

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Aesculus glabra

FAMILY: Sapindaceae

ORIGIN: Midwestern and lower Great Plains regions of the United States

Aesculus glabra, commonly known as Ohio Buckeye, is a species of tree in the soapberry family native to North America. Its natural range is primarily in the Midwestern and lower Great Plains regions of the United States, extending southeast into Alabama and Mississippi. The fruit is poisonous to livestock (though rarely fatal) so in days gone by, farmers often killed these trees.

For more information: Ohio Buckeye

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cercis canadensis

FAMILY: Fabaceae

Cercis canadensis, the Eastern Redbud, is a large deciduous shrub or small tree, native to Indiana and the eastern North America from southern Michigan south to central Mexico, east to New Jersey. Species thrive as far west as California and as far north as southern Ontario. We transplanted several at the entrance to the farm and enjoy the early spring color.

For more information: Eastern Redbud

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Carya illinoinensis

FAMILY: Juglandaceae

The pecan is a species of hickory that is native to Southern Indiana, the Mississippi River region of the United States and northern Mexico. The tree is cultivated for its seed in the southern United States, primarily in Georgia, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico. We planted two of them about 2005 as part of our orchard.

For more information: Pecan

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Juglans cinerea

FAMILY: Juglandaceae

ORIGIN: Eastern US and Southern Canada

Juglans cinerea, commonly known as butternut or white walnut, is a species of walnut native to the eastern United States and southeast Canada. We chose to plant these trees because nearly all the Butternut trees in this part of the world have been killed by butternut canker disease. A fungus causes it. The Butternut trees you see here are a canker disease resistant hybrid purchased from Jasper – Pulaski State nursery in 2005. And yes, we could also tap these butternut trees to make walnut syrup!

For more information: Butternut


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