Birch CatkinsBirch trees don't make acorns or pine cones. Instead, their seeds are slender, brown tassle shaped objects that completely coat the ground every spring. These are called catkins.
While small birch trees don't make the catkins. the larger ones can be completely coated in them. These next photos were taken on April 28th, 2011. Interestingly, a week or two earlier the maple trees had covered the ground in their red flowers. So the "red maple carpet" came first. Then these catkins grew, and they were the next wave of ground cover.
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