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17 messages
28/06/2012 at 22:48

Hi. Five years ago, while I was seriously ill, a seedling came up behind our greenhouse, next to the boundary wall. In ordinary circumstances, I'd have pulled it out, but it was already around five feet high when, three years later, I resumed gardening. Now it is over twenty feet high!  I was glad it came up, because it provides a green backdrop to my small garden and provides a screen from the houses behind, but obviously if it is a large tree I'll have to have it taken down asap. It has a divided trunk (i.e. two trunks) of a pale, greyish colour, and single, mid-green, serrated, single leaves alternating rather than in pairs. They look rather like the leaves of a hornbeam or wild cherry, but I can find no  catkins, flowers or even seeds, though there must be something, I suppose. Any guidance would be gratefully received!

28/06/2012 at 23:01

Hi Gardening Grandma - a photo could be helpful but from what you say about the rate of growth eucalyptus springs to mind. However, cannot be sure as the leaves are usually not serrated, in my experience. Flowers are very small and insignificant so easily missed. 

If it is eucalyptus it can be pollarded perhaps without having to be removed - professional advice or view of experienced friend/neighbour might be a good idea.

Eucalyptus shrubs/trees tend to be evergreen so if your tree is deciduous this response from me can be ignored !!! Also, after time, some varieties shed their bark which is an attractive feature, in my view, as it makes it more interesting !!

Perhaps other forumites will have more suggestions !!  

28/06/2012 at 23:14

Eucalyptus was my first thought, but I'm not sure about the serrated edged leaf. Whether it's deciduous or evergreen would help too. You could try this http://www.woodlands.co.uk/blog/tree-identification/. Alternatively just post a photo

As an aside if anyone has a smartphone there's a good little app called TreeID. There's also a Bird Song ID, so while you're identifying the tree you can check out what birds are in it! 

28/06/2012 at 23:19

That app sounds brilliant quercus-ruber as this morning whilst in the garden I could hear a bird which I did not recognise and whilst I could not identify which of the trees it was in I'm sure the app would have helped - am going to investigate now !!! 

28/06/2012 at 23:25

It's very good. Freaks my cats out when I play it indoors - which I do when I'm being mean

29/06/2012 at 12:33

Thanks so much for your response. It is a deciduous tree- I should have said this. Left to itself, I think it would have quite a round head. As I said, the leaves look like hormbeam, but that would mean a jolly big tree, I believe. But do big trees usually have a divided trunk? It looks to me as though it will be a relatively small tree, but this could be because it is just plain young. I don't want to bring down next door's wall. Even as things are, it will be diufficult to get it down without invading other people's gardens. I have already visited the website you mention, and brought the choice down to about two or three trees, but I was too ignorant to go any further. None seemed to fit completely. I will post a photograph if I can work out how to do it!!

29/06/2012 at 13:19

Here it is, then - I hope!

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/9387.jpg?width=648&height=350&mode=max

 

29/06/2012 at 14:17

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/9390.jpg?width=389&height=292&mode=max

This is the whole thing. You can see that the tree is in a corner of the garden, right against the rear boundary and next to what we grandly refer to as the summerhouse.

29/06/2012 at 21:01

Lovely photos Gardening Grandma. The tree does look a fine specimen but I can understand why you might think it's not in the right place !! I'm afraid I can't place the identity of the tree but the leaves look familiar !!!

Sorry I cannot be more helpful but I'm sure others will know what it is from the photos. 

29/06/2012 at 21:24

Forgot to say quercus_ruber that I downloaded theTreeID app and think it's really good - certainly makes one think about the detail of tree characteristics. I'm going to try the birdsong app next. Although we don't have cats we do have some that visit the garden - not sure what they would make of it !!! 

02/07/2012 at 22:13

Glad you like it fotofit. You can also record you own songs with the birdsongID - bird songs that is, not you singing, though I'm sure that would sound very nice

02/07/2012 at 23:32

Not if you heard me sing quercus_ruber - all the family tell me I'm tone-deaf !!!  My husband is amazed at the non-harmony sounds I come out with - it all sounds ok to me !!! 

03/07/2012 at 08:49
fotofit wrote (see)

Lovely photos Gardening Grandma. The tree does look a fine specimen but I can understand why you might think it's not in the right place !! I'm afraid I can't place the identity of the tree but the leaves look familiar !!!

Sorry I cannot be more helpful but I'm sure others will know what it is from the photos.

 

Having looked at another query in this forum, I'm now wondering whether this is a goat willow and I have simple missed the catkins, either because they are small or because I just haven't looked at the right time of year. Until this year, it was behind the greenhouse. I think I have spotted a similar small tree in a nearby garden. If so, I would feel safe in leaving it there.

03/07/2012 at 09:51

You are absolutely right. This is Salix caprea or Goat Willow. But you will need to prune it to stay small because eventually it will grow into a 14 m. high tree.

03/07/2012 at 11:16
Flowerchild wrote (see)

You are absolutely right. This is Salix caprea or Goat Willow. But you will need to prune it to stay small because eventually it will grow into a 14 m. high tree.

Thank you, Flowerchild. i have looked on the Woodland trust website and it gives the average height as 6-10 metres so I'm hoping it won't get much bigger. I know that these things can be unpredictable and that a happy plant can exceed height expectations. Do you have experience of their geting bigger than 10 metres, please?

03/07/2012 at 13:52

I have, but I have to say that these were growing in quite wet conditions. Judging from your photo your soil seems to be drier. Beware of suckers and seedlings though because they can spread themselves out rapidly.

03/07/2012 at 14:35

I've pulled out lots of these without knowing what they were, so i know they are prolific. It is just that this one seemed a godsend, providing privacy from overlooking windows without actually having to think about how I could provide this for myself without taking all the light from the gardens behind. The branches of this are quite open and it seems a far better option that the awful, mile-high Leylandii that you see.

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