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Ask the Botanist
Our ace botanists are here to help you identify wild New England plants and to answer questions about their ecology and conservation. When posting a question, please provide the location, habitat (e.g. river, mountain, woodland), and photographs of the plant.
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Recently Answered Questions
- At what age do american beech trees generally develop the rigid dark-colored bark that spreads upwards from the roots? I'm not talking about BBD damage (as seen higher up the trunk in this photo), but rather the mature bark beeches develop at an old age (on the roots and just above). I had read that this occurs at around 200 years of age, but I had read the same thing for european beech. This is in NW CT. Thanks!
- Dear JoshuaH, good morning. I don't know the age when this occurs, and suspect there may also be other variables at play relating to site characteristics. That written, it must happen in extreme age because I've seen this very infrequently in New England and always on large trees. The age you've quoted may be a good estimate, but without an increment borer, it will be hard to know the true age of the tree. Thank you for posting the image. (Tuesday, 24 April 2018)
- hi i want to know that the photo i have attached belongs to the original and medicine aloe vera or not and can i use it's gel for skin?
- Dear marjan_mashayekhpour, good morning. I'm sorry that I cannot help you. My expertise is wild plants of northeastern North America. Cultivated species and those found in distant lands are not always known to me. I wish I could assist you, but in this case I cannot. I hope you find an answer to your question. (Monday, 23 April 2018)
- Are you able to tell what type of moss this is from my photo? (Concord, MA) Thanks!
- Dear llsrvd, good morning. Beautiful image. Unfortunately, I can't help with this one. While there are some mosses I'm familiar with, I'm not a bryologist. The expertise held here on this website is for tracheophytes (i.e., vascular plants with specialized conducting cells--called tracheids). These plants include ferns, gymnosperms, monocots, and all dicot plants (the latter of which are a non-monophyletic group). Best wishes. (Monday, 23 April 2018)