tree id

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by nitrogeninthesoil, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. nitrogeninthesoil

    nitrogeninthesoil Active Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NC, US
    Hi,

    Can someone tell me what this is? It has appeared on a roadside in the western NC mtns and has grown VERY fast. I'm not good with tree ids so if there are other characteristics I should take pics of please tell me.

    The leaves are roundish and coarsely toothed and there are short branches on the trunk and branches that terminate in very pointy leaf buds...they almost look like thorns. The tree has not lost it leaves though some have turned red.

    Thank-you!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. nitrogeninthesoil

    nitrogeninthesoil Active Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NC, US
    Could this be Bradford pear related?
     
  3. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,465
    Likes Received:
    75
    Location:
    PERTHSHIRE. SCOTLAND.UK
  4. nitrogeninthesoil

    nitrogeninthesoil Active Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NC, US
    Silver,

    Thank-you for your suggestion....I see the similarities but on the tree in question it appears that the "thorns" are actually the leaf buds....I don't think this is true of Crataegus sp. Also the teeth on the leaves are more rounded (scalloped?) on the unknown....not as sharp as on Crataegus. The unknown appears to be shrublike in that there are several stems growing from the base and I would say it would be extremely aggressive and possibly invasive were it not mown down every so often by the DOT. So I'm guessing whatever it is....it is not native.

    Edited to say: very bad id on my part! Silver is correct!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,372
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    One of the wild plums?
     
    nitrogeninthesoil likes this.
  6. nitrogeninthesoil

    nitrogeninthesoil Active Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NC, US
    Thank-you Michael but I don't think it's a plum....I'm leaning towards Silver's guess...I think it's a hawthorn...found a pic that showing a thorn that matched what I thought was a bud....it's got to be Hawthorn!
     
  7. nitrogeninthesoil

    nitrogeninthesoil Active Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NC, US
    I have one more question....if the unknown is a hawthorn, to my untrained eye (esp. if there is tremendous variation in leaf shape within a species), it is not Crataegus crus galli because the unknown's leaves have a round base, not wedge shaped and the teeth are rounded, not pointed. I have looked through this list and could not find a single species with the leaf that match the unknown. So, is it possible that it is Crataegus crus galli and that the unknown is just a young specimen that has leaves with broad bases instead of wedge shaped ones? I know teeth can have great variability so maybe that's not a reliable characteristic.

    Thanks for ANY insight!
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    19,181
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    For full discussion of the complexity of North American hawthorns, including variation in material encountered in the field see this page:

    Crataegus in Flora of North America @ efloras.org

    Note in particular the paragraphs starting with:

    A principal objective of this treatment has been to draw attention to the often great, but little discussed, infraspecific variation
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
    nitrogeninthesoil likes this.
  9. nitrogeninthesoil

    nitrogeninthesoil Active Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NC, US
    Thanks so much for your help Ron! I see that I am unlikely to id this plant to species level but am wondering....is a lateral thorn one that is growing from the trunk and a terminal one, a thorn that is growing near the leaf bud? Trying to figure out what they mean by thorn-tipped shoot. Maybe there's a way to tell if this plant is, or is hybridised with, a Eurasian species. Quoting from the link:

    "Determinate thorns (aphyllous thorns of K. I. Christensen 1992) are lateral and are the only type found in North American native species. They have diagnostic value, varying in abundance, color in their second year, length, curvature, and stoutness. Indeterminate thorns, as found in Eurasian species of sect. Crataegus, commence as lateral or terminal growths and may develop into thorn-tipped shoot systems."
     

Share This Page