Identification of Maine Tree

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by PJinNH, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. PJinNH

    PJinNH Member

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    My aunt who lives in Central Maine (between Bangor and Millinocket) has this tree (see attachments) on her property. She calls it a Shaggy Bark Maple, but I can't confirm that that is correct. Can anyone provide any information:?
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    Fantastic bark, like a shagbark hickory. Don't know this species but I do know I want to take a hammer and pry off that birdhouse.
     
  3. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    Could it be a Liquidambar (Sweetgum)? I don't know if they grow well in that zone (a bit cold, I'd think), but it sure looks like one.
     
  4. PJinNH

    PJinNH Member

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    Yeah, when I saw that my cousin had attached the bathouse to the tree I wasn't very happy. :( . Thanks for looking at my post, I hope someone can identify this unique (at least to me) tree.
     
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years of Activity

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    Definitely a maple, not sweetgum, as the leaves and branches are opposite.

    Possibly Acer opalus (Italian Maple); the leaves are close to that, and the bark is described as "old trees with large plates adhering in the middle, curving away at each end, coarsely shaggy" (A F Mitchell, Trees of Britain and Northern Europe). Not 100% certain that this would be hardy in Maine though.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    While not zeroing in on that species specifically, I also noticed the Acer opalus type of leaf shape and wondered if such a one would grow there. If that particular species maybe at least part of the wild population grows up high in the Italian Alps and is hardy enough to survive Maine.

    It's hard to reconcile the branch and leaves shown here with the trunk, certainly not a familiar combination anyway. Probably a tree seldom seen outside of collections (and wild habitat). Big trunk of one variety of Italian maple shown at link below not nearly as extreme as yours.

    http://images.google.com/images?q="acer+opalus"&svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&c2coff=1&start=0&sa=N
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years of Activity

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    Acer opalus gets north into southern Germany (zone 6), but not at very high altitudes. I presume you're zone 4/5 in central Maine?

    It would be worth finding out the history of the site, to see if there are any connections with people in central/southern Europe who might have imported it.
     
  8. PJinNH

    PJinNH Member

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    According to http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/help/hardiness/hardiness.htm, the area where the tree grows in Region 5a or 5b. Regarding a connection with people from central/southern Europe, she knows of no one in the immediate area, with the exception that some of the people who constructed the train line which ran on the other side of the lake were Italian. Of course, she's not native to the Schoodic Lake area, though she's lived there (or vacationed there) for over 50 yrs. (she's now 86 yrs. old.). She wanted me to tell you that she's very excited about some of the information you all have already contributed.
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    I Googled "shagbark" maple and "shaggybark maple" and got AA. griseum and triflorum, respectively--neither what this one is. Maybe you should ask Daniel about moving this to the Maples forum, in case that draws additional input.

    In addition to the unusual bark the Tree of Mystery has some leaves with long, curving tips (like those of a sugar maple) mixed in with many more leaves that do not.
     
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years of Activity

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    Daniel has put a link in to this from the Maples section now
     
  11. PJinNH

    PJinNH Member

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    thanks.
     

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