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BS: What tree is this, please?

28 Apr 06 - 08:42 PM (#1729601)
Subject: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: CarolC

Can anyone tell me what tree this is? We have several growing around the perimeter of our yard, on the edge of a scrubby/foresty area. The tallest one looks to be around twenty feet tall. The soil is sandy, somewhat moist, with a boggy area maybe a couple hundred feet away. We're in coastal North Carolina. The flowers have a really beautiful, sweet fragrance. I've included flowers, leaves (or more likely one divided leaf), and a seed pod from last fall. It's blooming right now. Thanks!

http://www.geocities.com/carolcdale/Leaves.jpg

http://www.geocities.com/carolcdale/Flowers.jpg


28 Apr 06 - 09:06 PM (#1729615)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Janie

I have seen them (maybe only in catologs)but am completely blank. If some one here doesn't recognize it, the New Hanover County Arboretum can probably help. It would probably be a nice to pace to check out anyway.

J


28 Apr 06 - 09:13 PM (#1729623)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: katlaughing

The links say the site is unavailable right now.


28 Apr 06 - 09:18 PM (#1729629)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: CarolC

Thanks, Janie. It's definitely good to know about the arboretum.

Looks like my site is getting more traffic than it can handle right now, katlaughing. If that's the case, it'll be back in a while (not sure how long though).


28 Apr 06 - 09:22 PM (#1729638)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Bobert

Color of flowers??? Size??? Shape??? How many petals???

Leaf description??? Shape of tree... Bark color and texture???

Por favor, that is....


28 Apr 06 - 09:31 PM (#1729648)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: CarolC

I posted pictures in the links, Bobert, but it looks like you won't be able to see them right now.

Flowers have five petals and a trumpet shaped center part. The petals are whitish with a lavender/purplish tinge around the edges. The center part is deep purple. The reproductive bits are yellow. The petals are longer than they are wide, and the middle part extends a quarter to a half inch from the petals (I think. I don't have the flowers in the house with me, so I'm going by the pictures and memory).

The leaf is divided with five parts, each divided into five or more leaflets (I think).

I don't know about the bark (it's dark outside right now). But I think it might be a medium to light gray, and relatively smooth, but not shiny.


28 Apr 06 - 09:32 PM (#1729649)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: CarolC

Oh, yeah... I think the flowers are about three quarters of an inch across.


28 Apr 06 - 09:34 PM (#1729653)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: CarolC

Oh yeah, part two... the shape of the tree is fairly irregular because it's growth pattern seems to be determined at least to some extent by the surrounding vegetation.


28 Apr 06 - 09:35 PM (#1729655)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: CarolC

Oh yeah, part three. The flowers are growing in a loose cluster. (Whew!)


28 Apr 06 - 09:41 PM (#1729657)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Sorcha

Looks almost like a hawthorn of some type....are the edges of the leaves serrated at all? I can't tell from the pics....


28 Apr 06 - 09:44 PM (#1729659)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: CarolC

Yes. They are toothed.


28 Apr 06 - 09:48 PM (#1729660)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Bobert

Yer in eastern Carolina??? Sandy soil??? Lots of loom in it??? Flat country???

If so. if you don't get a name fir yer tree, the P-Vine, who is in a play tonight, will know this tree 'cause she knows all the native Carolina trees....

I'll direct her here tomorrow...


28 Apr 06 - 09:50 PM (#1729662)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Sorcha

Willing to bet it's a haw of some sort


28 Apr 06 - 09:54 PM (#1729665)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: CarolC

Thanks for the hawthorn tip, Sorcha. I checked it out. Hawthorns are in the rose and apple family. This tree looks like it's definitely not in that family.

I don't know if there's lots of loam in the soil, Bobert. There's probably more sand than loam. We're in eastern North Carolina (fairly close to the South Carolina border) in pretty flat country. Tell the P-Vine I'd be most grateful.

I like this tree (although it makes me sneeze). There are several other trees blooming in our yard right now, but I know what most of them are. This one's new to me.


28 Apr 06 - 10:04 PM (#1729670)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)

If the berries are red and grow in bunches I think it might be a
Rowan tree (Sorbus aucuparia), sometimes called Mountain Ash, but i'm not sure.

Yours, Aye. Dave


28 Apr 06 - 10:24 PM (#1729677)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: CarolC

Thanks, Dave. The berries are yellow with a very slight orange tinge. They're not in buches. They're in a loose cluster.


28 Apr 06 - 10:37 PM (#1729687)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)

Yes, they sound like Rowan berries, when they mature they are bright orange or red, but begin as yellowish like the pod in the picture.
Here is a link to a picture of them so you can compare.
http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_mountain_ash.htm


28 Apr 06 - 11:40 PM (#1729722)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: lamarca

Nope, Dave - not Rowan. Rowan leaves are pinnate, meaning all the leaflets branch out from a central stem like a feather (or pinna in Latin). Carol's leaf is a complex compound leaf, with multiple leaflet clusters branching from a central stem.

Janie, I'll try to key it out in my "Woody Plants of Maryland" book, but since you're in N. Carolina, it might not be in my book. You might look up your local county Agriculture Extension and show them the photos. Nice pics, by the way!


28 Apr 06 - 11:42 PM (#1729724)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: CarolC

Thanks for posting that, Dave.

The leaves in your link are only singly compound, and the ones I have are double compound. Also the berries on my trees are much bigger and they are less dense and there are a lot fewer of them than the Rowan.

I'll put them on the Webshots website and maybe more people will be able to see them.


28 Apr 06 - 11:44 PM (#1729725)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: CarolC

Looks like we crossposted, larmarca. But you said it much better than me.


28 Apr 06 - 11:55 PM (#1729731)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Stilly River Sage

It looks like the rose family--the leaves aren't ringing a bell now, but the flowers (five sepals/petals, arrangement of the ovary, etc.) and that fruit are rose-looking. I'll poke around my books. Rule out the ash--I grew up with one in my back yard and this doesn't match up.

SRS


28 Apr 06 - 11:56 PM (#1729733)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: heric

waay outside my range - but have you ruled out these as young specimens of some Hickory variety?


29 Apr 06 - 12:04 AM (#1729736)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: CarolC

Wouldn't Hickory have nuts, heric, instead of berries?

But my hickory search brought up this website. I thought you might enjoy it. I've seen this guy's work before, on TV, I think, on a show about master craftsmen.

http://www.jakecress.com/picture_gallery.htm


29 Apr 06 - 12:17 AM (#1729745)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: GUEST

Mayhaw


29 Apr 06 - 12:20 AM (#1729749)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Stilly River Sage

Wrong kind of leaves for mayhaw.

Leaning tentatively toward something in the wild plum group, but those leaves don't match there real well either.


29 Apr 06 - 12:45 AM (#1729759)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Bill D

well, those flowers are what have me puzzled. If it weren't for the color and petal shape, I'd be looking at Downy Juneberry or one of the Crabapples... I didn't see this thread till midnight.....I have several books to look thru. Peterson comes close, but maybe I've missed the right page.

More tomorrow if someone doesn't nail it down.


29 Apr 06 - 12:52 AM (#1729760)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: GUEST

How about Melia azedarach (Chinaberry) ?


29 Apr 06 - 01:06 AM (#1729761)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: CarolC

That looks like the one. Chinaberry!

Thank you, Guest, 29 Apr 06 - 12:52 AM.

Coincidentally, I had been wondering recently about chinaberries because of some literary reference or something that I had encountered somewhere. How perfect!


29 Apr 06 - 01:07 AM (#1729762)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: GUEST

Here are some links for chinaberry

UFL

bullcreek


29 Apr 06 - 01:21 AM (#1729763)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: CarolC

Those are good links.

So it's in the Mahogany family (!), and it's a naturalized (and invading) species. Ah well. But it's a very cool tree.


29 Apr 06 - 04:48 AM (#1729794)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: GUEST,DB

I've just trawled through my botanical library (sounds rather grand, I know - but I'm obsessed by plants and have accumulated many books over the years) and found a reference to 'Chinaberry' or 'Bead Tree' (Melia azedarach) in 'Collins Guide to Tropical Plants' by Wilhelm Lotschert & Gerhard Beese (Eng. trans. pub. Collins, 1983; ISBN 0 00 2191121). According to this book, "The Chinaberry is one of the most widespread and most popular ornamental trees in the tropics and subtropics. It comes from the southern margin of the Himalaya, and has been planted since olden times near temples in Persia, Ceylon and Malaysia."
Unfortunately, the photograph in the book is rubbish and only shows the tree from a distance. Nevertheless, the description of the flowers, fruits and leaves match your photographs and it is likely that 'Chinaberry' is what you have in your yard. Alternative names for the tree are 'Persian Lilac', 'Indian Lilac', 'Pride of India' and 'Paradise Tree'.


29 Apr 06 - 08:44 AM (#1729857)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Bobert

Well, Carol C, the P-Vine says without being able to see a picture the best way to ID the tree is to cut off a small branch an' take it to the respected nursery of arboritam... But, yeah, it does sound a bit like the "Paradise Tree" and if it is one, then as purdy as it is, it' is also very messy and invasive...

Keep us posted...

Bobert


29 Apr 06 - 08:54 AM (#1729866)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Donuel

Wow! You have paradise in your own back yard!
May we all find paradise in our own back yard.


29 Apr 06 - 09:44 AM (#1729899)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Janie

So! Chinaberry it is! Love threads like this--the way everyone goes to work--and we learn more ourselves as we research.

Janie


29 Apr 06 - 10:27 AM (#1729917)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Bill D

Yep...I had paused briefly over Chinaberry, but my book didn't show a picture of the flowers....which have the pinkish color.

(Rita heard me mumbling about it, and immediately started singing Kristofferson's "Jody & the Kid" which mentions a Chinaberry tree in one verse)


29 Apr 06 - 11:01 AM (#1729939)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: CarolC

Thanks, everybody!

I know about the invasive part, Bobert. I'm struggling with my conscience right now. On the one hand, I don't expect that I can single-handedly eradicate the Chinaberry tree from this area, no matter what I do, and I do enjoy having them in the yard. Plus, they're not choking out any other trees. They actually have quite a lot of competition. On the other hand, if I cut down the ones in our yard, that's a few less seeds for the birds to spread around, and I'm wondering if I could do something interesting with the wood, it being in the same family as mahogany and all. Hmmm... what to do, what to do...

By the way, we also have naturalized wisteria growing all over the same parts of our yard. Is naturalized wisteria considered a pest as well?


29 Apr 06 - 11:20 AM (#1729955)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Bill D

I once had some spalted Chinaberry that I made some bowls from...very nice. Places like this say they 'sometimes' have Chinaberry lumber, but it obviously isn't a major item.


29 Apr 06 - 11:25 AM (#1729959)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Bill D

There's a bowl of Chinaberry on this page


29 Apr 06 - 12:03 PM (#1729983)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Jack the Sailor

Wow that's pretty wood!


29 Apr 06 - 12:08 PM (#1729988)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: John Hardly

I remember something about Cher getting some related disease or something -- some kind of Chinaberry Syndrome?

That's probably why she needed so much surgery.


29 Apr 06 - 12:11 PM (#1729989)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Mo the caller

I'm sure you've found the right answer, but you can sometimes get Mountain ash (garden varieties) with yellow fruit. Got one in our UK garden.


29 Apr 06 - 01:04 PM (#1730018)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Stilly River Sage

The clincher for me would have been to see the fruit to scale and to know that you were finding them in clusters and not as individual pomes--that's the giveaway. They're a distinctive source of winter fruit for local birds. We have chinaberry all over the place and it is easily distributed in places under where birds perch. It is a beautiful tree and nice to have around, but the weedy ones growing in places where you don't want them are like various trees you keep cutting off--you can't seem to kill them, they keep coming back through the middle of the hedge or under the other tree you want.

The rosales family is a huge group, like legumes, and has a distinctive evolutionary history (with various related groups that sloughed off along the way). I'll have to poke around and see what the projected evolutionary course of the mahogany family is.

SRS


29 Apr 06 - 01:10 PM (#1730027)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: dianavan

Carol - If its Chinaberry, try to eradicate it. Don't feel bad about cutting it down if you want to do something with the wood. I think you have to poison the stump to keep it from growing back. The other thing you can do to control the spread of it is remove the saplings by the roots.

Chinaberry, like other invasive species, chokes out the natural flora. When the natural flora is endangered, so is the fauna. I doubt if you can single-handedly correct the damage that has been done soooooooo........

enjoy the beauty of the Chinaberry. Thats why it was introduced in the first place (although the seeds are toxic).


29 Apr 06 - 04:40 PM (#1730114)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: frogprince

The wood of that chinaberry bowl looks like just the color of some "bombay mahogany" stain I just put on a simple wall clock in progress.


29 Apr 06 - 04:47 PM (#1730121)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Sorcha

and, I don't think it's even edible.


29 Apr 06 - 04:51 PM (#1730128)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: number 6

What tree is that ... isn't that the tree Keef Richards fell out of?

sIx


29 Apr 06 - 04:59 PM (#1730140)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Jack the Sailor

Keif?


29 Apr 06 - 11:16 PM (#1730324)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: JohnInKansas

Re: Wisteria -

A previous owner, among the many malicious incompetent stupid things he/she accomplished, planted a wisteria in the back yard. The main "trunk" is now about 7 inches in diameter. It is occasionally "spectacular" for a brief period of bloom, but for the most part it's an invasive and indestructible pest.

Roots from this monster have popped up, with sprouting new surface vines more than 150 feet from the parent plant. Within a radius of about 100 feet, I chop out at least 50 or more "new plants" each year, counting only ones not too large for the lawnmower to nip back. It climbs the side of the house, and has, without assistance, pulled the cable TV line down, extracting the mounts by pulling out the 3" screws. (As we don't have cable connected, that's one of the minor benefits.)

I also have to have the sewer line routed, on average, 1.34 times per year because the roots are invasive there.

Not something I would suggest you encourage; but there seems to be no way to discourage one. Once established, "pruning back brutally" is a recommended maintenance step to encourage more vigorous growth. It works.

John


29 Apr 06 - 11:20 PM (#1730326)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Jack the Sailor

The wisteria is not actually on our land. It is on the vacant lot next door creeping onto the easement.


29 Apr 06 - 11:35 PM (#1730332)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Janie

Yeh--the stuff is rampant. Not as bad as kudzu, but pretty bad. (There are now cultivars available that are quite easy to keep in check if one does crave a wisteria in the garden but wants to be ecologically responsible.

I admit to a secret fondness for it ever since reading Clyde Edgarton's "The Float Plane Notebook" in which the wisteria in the family graveyard plays a key role as observer of the the events of generations of a family--holding mysteries and secrets.

Guilty pleasures.

Janie


29 Apr 06 - 11:39 PM (#1730335)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: JohnInKansas

JtS -

It's a common enough "ornamental" that you may not be able to get anything done officially, but personally I'd contact the local ag agent and at least ask if it can be cited as a "noxious growth," so that removal can be attempted. The case for rapid extermination may be aided if it's mature enough to have produced visible "shoots" from underground roots.

Since it's a sufficiently "woody" plant, it resists (I can affirm) nearly all common plant toxins that ordinary mortals are permitted to possess - with or without a license.

Actually, killing the parent plant may only invigorate the "travellers" that may already be near

- - or under

- - or upon

- - your property.

Stand near it on a quiet evening and listen for it to say "FEED ME."

(But don't stand too close to it.)

John


30 Apr 06 - 01:22 AM (#1730362)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Stilly River Sage

Wisteria is beautiful in the spring along the trees over the creek out back. We don't have any, though I would happily trade it for the poison ivy that we do have. Honeysuckle and poison ivy. I've had two bad rashes already this year from the stuff, and I was so careful around it.

SRS


30 Apr 06 - 02:19 AM (#1730370)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: CarolC

I have plans for the Wisteria and the Chinaberry. I'm going to make twig furniture and picture frames. I love the way the Wisteria wraps itself around other woody plants. I have in mind to incorporate some of the twigs and smallish trunks with the Wisteria wrapped around them as ornamental features on stuff made with the trunks of smallish Chinaberry and Mullberry trees


30 Apr 06 - 03:02 AM (#1730378)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: dianavan

The house next door is turn of the century with a big ol' covered, front porch and wisteria climbing up and around. The house is covered with buttery coloured, painted cedar shakes and its absolutely beautiful when the clusters of purple flowers bloom.

It must be a different variety than the southern type because I have been trying to find a shoot for years. No luck. The main trunk is about 6 inches thick.


30 Apr 06 - 08:30 AM (#1730466)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: Donuel

I do have an unknown bush I have mentioned before.

Our biggest bush is unknown to me. It surrounds half of the pool and its leaves remain green all year long. ITs berries are a pretty orange...but its pale green flowers SMELL LIKE CARRION. It actually attracts flies to ferilize its flowers. The bush is over 20 feet tall and its numerous trunks never exceed a 7 inch diameter.
It is a perfect plant to block all visibility from the ground up and is wonderfull all year long - except for the rotting flesh scented flowers.


PS thanks again for the succesful identification of a ornamental hops vine last year. Also our jewel berry bushes continue to look daed until June when they come alive and make lavender sapphire berries that last until January.


30 Apr 06 - 10:53 AM (#1730521)
Subject: RE: BS: What tree is this, please?
From: CarolC

Donuel, your bush with the orange berries... does it have thorns?