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Here is a list of 5 trees with catkins, learn how to recognize them
A catkin is a slim and cylindrical flower cluster. It is responsible for reproduction in plants. It is usually devoid of petals or has inconspicuous petals. Most catkins are wind-pollinated, while some are insect-pollinated. Catkins enable the female flowers to be pollinated as pollen from the male flowers is carried over to the female flower.
Read more below to know which trees have catkins and how they can be identified.
Alder (Alnus glutinosa)
- The alder tree has both male and female flowers simultaneously. The catkins having male flowers can grow up to 6cm long. When the catkins are young, they have a greenish color. As they mature, the color changes to yellow.
The female flower is comparatively small. It is about one cm in length and is red in color. Its surface is covered with hair-like structures. After pollination, its color changes to brown. It becomes the alder cone that houses the seeds. The alder tree with its cones is a pleasant sight which is why it is a preferred garden tree. A professional tree pruning service can be hired to prune the tree so that it grows perfectly.
Hazel (Corylus avellana)
- Hazel is a flowering shrub. Although it has male and female flowers simultaneously on the same plant, it cannot self-fertilize. Hazel catkins appear similar to alder catkins, and also have male flowers on the catkins.
The female flower has a bud shaped like a small vase with red filaments sticking out. When pollination occurs successfully, these buds become hazel nuts during the autumn season.
Silver birch (Betula pendula)
- Silver birch is perhaps the most common and popular tree that has catkins. It is monoecious which means male and female flowers grow on the same plant. Male catkins are four-five cm in length and have a yellow-brown color. At the end of shoots, these male catkins hang in groups of two-four, looking like lambs’ tails. If you are allergic to pollen, then you must avoid planting this tree in your garden.
Female catkins are comparatively smaller and shorter than male catkins. Before maturing they are short, bright green, and erect. After pollination occurs they get thicker, and their color changes to dark crimson. The seeds of silver birch appear to have small wings. These are produced in masses and look as if they are flying on a windy summer day.
White willow (Salix alba)
- The white willow is a dioecious tree. Dioecious means that male and female flowers grow on separate trees. In early spring, the catkins start appearing. The male catkins have a length of about four-five cm while the female catkins have a length of three-four cm. The female catkins are narrower than their male counterparts.
Pollination usually occurs by insects, and the female catkins grow in length. They develop seeds that are enclosed in tiny feathery cases. These feathery attachments help the seeds travel to far-off places with the help of the wind.
Pedunculate oak (Quercus robr)
- Oak trees are the most recognizable trees, particularly due to the acorns they produce. It might come as a surprise to most people but oak trees also have catkins. They are less densely packed compared to other trees.
Male catkins are six cm in length, are yellow, and grow length-wise hanging down from the branches. The female flowers are comparatively much smaller and have long filaments to catch the pollen. After pollination occurs, these turn into acorns.
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