What am I?

Tcornell

New Member
We recently bought the property and this huge tree just came partially down in a storm. I would like to know what it is. It grows new shoots like crazy and clearly has not been maintained properly. I can’t find a match for the leaves.
 
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Tcornell

New Member
We’re in the process. No one has been able to identify it for us. I believe that, considering the way it has shoots growing everywhere. Thanks
 

Reach

Active Member
I don’t believe it’s Box Elder, or if it is it has a very different leaf than they do around here. I will crack open a book later on and try to see if I can find it, the two differently shaped leaves are interesting to me though.
 

KTSmith

Well-Known Member
Does the tree have simple or compound leaves? Sorry to get all botany geeky here, but that's like near the top of the list that a botanists asks to identify trees and other flowering plants. At the top of the list of botany ID questions is: are the leaves/branches attached opposite each other or alternating along the stem? I don't know if we have resolved this either. This can quickly put boxelder out of contention.
Unlike all other maples I can think of, which have simple (individual) leaves with sharp lobes (or mega-teeth), Boxelder (Acer negundo) is pinnately compound. That means that each leaf is composed of a number of leaflets (where the "compound" term comes from) attached to a stalk (the pinnate part). So the photos are either of simple leaves (then not boxelder) or leaflets of a compound leaf (maybe but not necessarily boxelder). I can't tell which from which in the first image at the start of the thread. A clear image of a few leaves splayed against a uniform background could resolve the boxelder question.
 
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ATH

Well-Known Member
in the first post, look like compound leaves, but with 7 leaflets.

Divide that picture into 4 quadrants Go to top right quadrant. Then bottom left of that quadrant (quadrant 2 going back to middle school math)... looks like it is opposite branching.

I don't know what it is.

The second picture: that tree on the left sure looks like Box elder, but the one on the right does not.
 

JD3000

Most well-known member
I seem to recall some regional differences in how boxelder appear but that is an odd duck to me
 
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Woodwork

Active Member
The first photo reminds me of hackberry, but the three-lobed leaves don't fit, and the bark on the tree doesn't look like hackberry...the bark reminds me of a maple, so maybe it is box elder...?
 

Tcornell

New Member
Does the tree have simple or compound leaves? Sorry to get all botany geeky here, but that's like near the top of the list that a botanists asks to identify trees and other flowering plants. At the top of the list of botany ID questions is: are the leaves/branches attached opposite each other or alternating along the stem? I don't know if we have resolved this either. This can quickly put boxelder out of contention.
Unlike all other maples I can think of, which have simple (individual) leaves with sharp lobes (or mega-teeth), Boxelder (Acer negundo) is pinnately compound. That means that each leaf is composed of a number of leaflets (where the "compound" term comes from) attached to a stalk (the pinnate part). So the photos are either of simple leaves (then not boxelder) or leaflets of a compound leaf (maybe but not necessarily boxelder). I can't tell which from which in the first image at the start of the thread. A clear image of a few leaves splayed against a uniform background could resolve the boxelder question.
 

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ATH

Well-Known Member
Those are leaflets. I know...it seems petty, but it makes a big difference. See the picture @Bango Skank posted? That drawing contains the image of 1 leaf. There are 5 leaflets, but one complete leaf. take a closer picture of the leaves on the tree if you can. And a better picture of the bark and another of the twigs. Are the 2 trees in the picture different or the same?
 

Tcornell

New Member
Those are leaflets. I know...it seems petty, but it makes a big difference. See the picture @Bango Skank posted? That drawing contains the image of 1 leaf. There are 5 leaflets, but one complete leaf. take a closer picture of the leaves on the tree if you can. And a better picture of the bark and another of the twigs. Are the 2 trees in the picture different or the same?
 

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KTSmith

Well-Known Member
Indeed so. So the evidence is permissive yet not compelling. Box elder leaflets are variable to be sure. That’s the challenge of comparison ID using images of individual leaves. Still, are leaves simple or compound? Is leaf attachment opposite or alternate ?
 
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