Snowball trees, glory trees, and hat-and-bag trees

Things you may not know about some of the indigenous trees of Minnesota

It occurs to me that if you don’t live here in Minnesota you might not be aware of some of the trees that are unique to this part of the world. Here are a few indigenous varieties that you may never have heard of:

Snowball Trees

You don’t have to shape snowballs by hand here in Minnesota. They grow on the snowball trees already formed and ready to throw. These snowball trees are home to a protected population of baseball-bat-tailed squirrels which knock the balls from the trees as they scamper up and down them throughout the winter months. This makes protective winter headgear an even more serious consideration for Minnesotans that live near and/or around snowball trees (not to mention the mischief that people themselves find it easy to engage in when in a forest of these).

Glory Trees

On mornings when the sun seems slow to rise, it is because the glory trees have been preemptively absorbing the shine and using it to adorn themselves with. These trees grow where there are city lights nearby for them to feel competitive with. You will often see them vying directly with neon lights, sodium vapor lamps and photovoltaic-powered LED luminaires.

Hat-and-bag Trees

These trees are found growing wild in places where fashion has found a home. Once a hat-and-bag tree is established it quickly takes over the thoughts and feelings of the arboriculturist lucky enough to have this tree in their care. The blossoms on this tree proliferate riotously. It is closely related to the better known shoe tree.