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19 messages
26/02/2012 at 10:15

We have what appears to be an old small deciduous tree in our garden ( Aberdeenshire ), but cannot identify it.  Maybe it's an out-of-hand shrub?

Here goes: it has a 'weeping' pendulous habit, stands around 3 metres by  the same spread, never seeming to get bigger, and now, in February, has a tiny soft lime-yellow blossom, like a small ball of little florets, every few inches along the pendulous stems; these are not fragrant.  The leaves, when they appear after the flowers in March/April, are a light to mid-green and develop a slightly ruby 'flush' later in the year, as if the tree is blushing; the colour does not noticably change in the autumn before the leaves fall; there are no fruits. 

It is NOT a Forsythia, and I don't think it is a Linden ( Tilia ) as the flowers/florets aren't quite right, or a weeping Hornbeam.  I'm stumped.  Can anybody help me identify it?  Your help would be much appreciated.

26/02/2012 at 13:35

Could it be a Witch hazel?

26/02/2012 at 15:17

Thanks for the very good suggestion, metasequoia, but no, it isn't.  The flowers are MUCH tinier, and not like the 'tassels' of the witch hazel.

Feedback much appreciated!

26/02/2012 at 15:48

I've just been out and had yet another look at this wee 'stranger'!  The shape of it, short trunked and a bit gnarled ( it is at LEAST 30 years old and was here in the garden long before we arrived ) does look like a Witch Hazel, but the flowers are far more like those of a Lime/Linden - except they're the wrong colour and limes are far bigger trees, and have flowers and leaves at the same time, don't they?  The flowers/plorets are paired, one on each side of the branches, at a leaf node.  Don't know if this is any help?

We do have a Lime which we planted about 10 years ago and it's huge, and nothing like my Mystery Tree.

26/02/2012 at 16:38

Pussy willow?

26/02/2012 at 18:13

Nope, Fonzie; I've got quite a few of these, and this isn't one of them.  Thanks for the input, though!  Appreciated!

26/02/2012 at 18:51

Any chance of a picture of the flowers?  

26/02/2012 at 18:57

Not quite used to this site, Hannah, so I'm not sure about downloading photos....I'll give it a go, but I might need help!

26/02/2012 at 19:00

Nope, file is'too big'....will try again!  What a Luddite!

;-)

26/02/2012 at 19:10

Nope, sorry, Hannah, the file ( JPG ) is still too big and I have no idea how to make it more 'user-friendly'!  Thanks for your interest, though.

26/02/2012 at 19:28

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/5784.jpg?width=450&height=350&mode=max

 Phew!  That was a trial by fire!  Now for one of the flowers, if I can remember how I resized this one!

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/5785.jpg?width=300&height=350&mode=max

26/02/2012 at 19:42

getting used to resizing and downloading with a new camera and a new laptop, now!  here's the 'blossom' of the Mystery Tree in a bunch of tulips, to give some idea of scale and size.....

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/5787.jpg?width=375&height=350&mode=max

26/02/2012 at 19:58

Cornelian Cherry springs to mind!!

Looks very much like it

26/02/2012 at 20:23

Oh wow!  That's the nearest I've ever come to knowing what it is, issimablue!  It doesn't get any 'fruits', though, but perhaps it needs a 'mate' to produce them???  I've checked on wikipaedia and the leaves are identical, as is the wee flower...so...have I got a 'sterile' Cornelian Cherry???

many, many thanks!

26/02/2012 at 21:12

Yes, Cornus mas.  Perhaps you do not have pollinators around at the right time, so no fruit.

26/02/2012 at 21:48

I am glad you have an answer as i was feeling quite guilty for putting you though a learning cerve on a sunday afternoon and i did not know what the answer was!  I love it though, it looks great.  

26/02/2012 at 22:09

It certainly seems like Cornus mas, unusual and attractive in a garden. There is a youngish one -about 15 years old-  in my garden (I like indigenous plants) and it is usually smothered in golden blossom come late February, making a grand show, much nicer than Forsythia. This year I will have to wait a little longer as we have had very cold weather with metres of snow so the blossom is a little late in coming out. And, yes, it produces fruit: small bright scarlet cornels, oval in shape, that are very tart if eaten unripe. You have to wait for the cornels to turn almost dark red before they are ready to eat. I don't know about pollinators, perhaps there are wild ones about in the surrounding countryside . In this country - Italy-  it is a very rustic woodland shrub or small tree growing to about 800/1,000m asl. If you remember to leave some berries on the plant blackbirds and other friends will be pleased with you at the end of autumn.  Artemisia AQ

27/02/2012 at 09:29

Again, thanks to everyone who helped me discover the answer!  No wories, Hannah, about the learning-curve - I should have known how to resize photograps and now I do!

It's a lovely little tree, I'm very fond of it.  This year I shall take very careful note to see if there is any sign of fruits on it - maybe the blackbirds ( we have many resident nesting/breeding pairs ) are getting to it before I even notice!  I'm sure I'd have seen something so bright a red, though.  I imagine lack of pollination is the issue, too cold for bees, yet, in the north of Scotland, and I've never seen another specimen of Cornelian Cherry in the area ( I've never seen one at all, come to think of it! ).

Many thanks,one and all....mystery solved!

29/02/2012 at 08:01
Glad you are all sorted xx
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