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A gray, thin-barked shrub or small tree with several trunks. Predominates along the Rockies and the Northwest, reaching as far north as Alaska and as far south as New Mexico. Prefers moist soils along stream beds and in valleys. The Navajo used the powdered bark of the common alder to make a red dye.

A member of the hazelnut family, the birch's has white, papery bark and yellow-green leaves which turn golden in autumn. Predominates the northern regions from Alaska to New York and grow dense throughout Canada. Prefers moist soil and coniferous forests.

Box Elder
Acer negundo
Native to North America, this deciduous tree grows as high as sixty feet. Its branches spread out and up and are not densely situated. Considered a weed tree, because of its fast growth, it is not a particularly hearty tree, succumbing quickly to harsh weather conditions. The box elder is a member of the maple family.

Bristlecone Pine
Pinus aristata
Considered to be the oldest living tree, the bristlecone pine has been known to live as long as 4,000 years. It grows heartiest in harsh conditions and prefers areas close to the timberline in high elevations. Because of its twisted, gnarled branches, the bristlecone pine looks like a piece of living driftwood.

Populus deltoides
Part of the willow family, this soft-wooded tree grows throughout North America. Its dark grey to brown bark becomes deeply ridged with age. Catkins and small flowering fruits occur in hanging clusters. Cottonwoods can reach 150 feet in height, but are more often seen averaging 90 feet in height.

A variety of different species grow in the United States in very similar but distinct climates. The bald cypress favors the wetlands of the southeastern United States and develops a set of "knees" which act as aerators by staying above the high water level.

Douglas Fir
Thickly inhabiting the Rocky Mountains, these conifers range from Canada to northern Mexico. Its soft, red wood and oblong plates of bark, help make it a hearty tree in this region. The needles spiral up the branches.

Ranging from Oklahoma to Florida up the east coast to the southern Canada, these flowering trees are spectacular every other spring. The dense heads explode in soft white petals.

Engelmann Spruce
Picea engelmannii
Large conifer with overall conical shape with thick grey bark and evergreen leaves. Predominates the Rocky mountain range from New Mexico up through Canada. Prefers the subalpine zone on higher peaks just short of timberline.

Gumbo Limbo
Bursera simaruba
Also known as the West Indian birch, this soft-wooded tree grows as high as sixty feet. Its coppery bark peels off like paper.

Different species range from 60-80 feet to 180 feet. This evergreen typically forests mountainous regions. The bark is smooth at first, and furrows deeply with age.

Perched in rocky or sandy soils on mountainsides, the juniper reaches heights of 75 feet. Its small rigid needles spread in all directions, evenly from the base and branches.

An evergreen, mahogany is known for its hard, reddish wood. It ranges in height, but has been known to reach as high as 150 feet. It has ridged bark, clustered leaves, green or white flowers and produces small fruits. When milled, mahogany is prized for its attractive grain.

Rhizophora mangle
Known for creating dense thickets caused by the characteristic of numerous stilt or prop roots extending from the main trunk, mangrove forests can be virtually impenetrable. They favor warm-water marshes, coasts and estuaries of the United States, and the more tropical regions of South America. The bark consists of about one-third tannin, and is used for tanning leather.

An evergreen shrub or small tree, this name umbrellas over 50 species of plant known as bearberry. It is most common in the western United States, and flowers pink or white blossoms.

Maple is a common name which umbrellas over 200 species of trees throughout the United States. The most common species, known as the sugar or rock maple, is a portly tree growing sometimes as high as 140 feet. Its branches begin low to the ground and round up to the crown like a bell jar. The green leaves give way to reds, oranges and yellows in brilliant fall colors.

Piņon Pine
Pinus edulis
Ranging the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, the Piņon Pines are known for their very flavorful nut-like seeds. Standing 35 feet, these trees stand on the desert floor on short, crooked trunks.

Quaking Aspen
Covering an immense range in North America, these species of poplars can be found in Kentucky and in Mexico, in Alaska and Newfoundland. Growing 50 feet in height, these birch-like trees create canopied glens of silky white trunks and golden leaves.

Thick reddish-brown bark which is tough and fibrous, with needlelike leaves. Predominates the west coast, from northern California through Oregon. Prefers the thick fog banks and salt air from ocean winds. This is the world's tallest tree.

Thick reddish-brown bark which is tough and fibrous, a distended base much thicker close to the earth, a shallow root system, and evergreen leaves. Ranging in vast hordes the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, the sequoia prefers rocky and moist soil in mountainous areas.

Ranging from 20 to 200 feet in height, the spruce has thick flattened leaves. It ranges across the northern United States, south to Colorado.

The willow covers a vast territory: from the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico. From alpine conditions, these trees range in variety from the weeping willow with gently drooping branches, to pussy willow catkins.