As a young man I was single and my pockets did jingle. I had Playboy pin-up calendars in the house and Rigid, Stihl and Snap-on tool pin-up calendars in the garage.
Now enter Little Laura and exit stage left the pin-ups. I donated them to my bachelor buddy, Frankie.
My visitors out here today muzzle loading in the snow have been a Pileated woodpecker and red-tailed hawk.
As I stated in another article, my pin-up calendars now would be trees.
Miss January would either be Miss Ginkgo or Dawn Redwood because they both arrived before any of the locals. They’ve both been found in fossils.
Miss February goes to Flowering Crabapple. She has been a real sweetheart to me over the years. I’ve grown and planted thousands of them and they’ve had a 98% success rate.
Miss March is the Red Bud to be the most brilliant magenta bloom in the woods to announce spring has arrived.
Miss April could be the Weeping Willow to soak up the April showers.
Miss May is our tallest tree and she may be one of our more unique trees. She is the state tree in Kentucky and Indiana. She represents the magnolia family. She’s the tree that I chose for building my log house and I use her weekly to build something on the farm.
This is the same tree that Scioto pioneers made “Orleans Boats” from. They would fell the large ones near the Scioto River, hollow them out, lash them together, fill them with corn, whiskey, or peach brandy and wait for the river to come up. They would then ride this “barge” to the Ohio and the Mississippi to New Orleans.
There, they would sell their goods and walk back to Scioto County through Indian Territory. Miss May is Lirodendron Tulipifera aka Tulip Tree and Yellow Poplar.
The month of June is awarded to the June Apple. She kicks off the apple harvest season which will include red, yellow, and golden delicious, Fuji, honeycrisp, Jonathan, McIntosh, winesap, gala, pippen, and russet to name a few. It all ends with Granny Smith.
The June Apple is very similar to the Lodi Transparent apple. She’s a cute little thing because she’s a semi-dwarf.
Miss July goes to this country’s first export which is rather patriotic. It also has the snap and crackle of fire crackers as it burns. This is about the safrole sap in it which also gives it the “camphor” smell.
I think August is a tough month and hickory is a tough wood; therefore, it is only appropriate that Miss Hickory, being tough as nails, is Miss August in this oak-hickory forest. She should be either a shell bark or shag bark hickory because they’re tall, straight, bigger and much more impressive than their pignut, bitternut or mockernut relatives.
Since September kicks off the college football season, which tree should be Miss September? My vote would be our state tree in honor of The Ohio State Buckeyes.
This is a tree that has been used to bring good luck, stupify fish in order to gig them, and cure hemorrhoids. Aesculus Glabra (The Ohio Buckeye) is Miss September.
Miss October is a no brainer. October is the peak of fall color and nobody out does the maples.. We might pick the bright red color of the red, red sunset, October glory, or sun valley maples.. These are all red maples.
If you don’t like red, you might pick the pink, yellow, or orange fall color of the Barrett Cole, Fiesta, Wright Brothers or Green Mountain Sugar Maples.
In the landscape around the house there’s another small maple with outstanding fall color. She is the Japanese Maple.
The one that I would pick for the most outstanding Miss October would be a half-breed hybrid, Miss October is “Acer Freemanii Jeffersred” aka “Autumn Blaze” hybrid maple.
She is a cross between red and silver maple, giving you strong branching and a brilliant orange-red fall color. Her credentials are 1997 Iowa Tree of the Year and 2004 Urban Tree of the Year – Society of Municipal Arborists. Her measurements are 38 – 24-36 (that’s height and width in years).
Miss November has to be White Oak. November is the Hunter’s Moon and very few trees produce more edible fruit for wildlife. The Oak Family is large locally but none more valuable than white oak.
Last, but not least, Miss December should be a Christmas Tree. None locally would do that and so many other things as well as the White Pine.
May the forest be with you.
Dudley Wooten is the owner/operator of Wooten’s Landscaping and Nursery and can be contacted at 740-820-8210.