The Q&A Archives: Tree Identification, Latin And English Names

Question: I am trying to identify a tree (see on the Isle of Wight, UK). Tall thin stem, furrowed, height about 40 ft. Leaves in opposition, about 5 on each side, oval in shape, yellow in colour. Hanging rather than sticking out!

I thought it was called Maidenhair Tree, but it is not a ginko as far as I can see.

Any chance you can identify this for me? I've tried on your site, but nothing seems to quite match.

Thank you very much

Ranulph Glanville

Answer: A tree with deeply furrowed bark and rounded leaflets might be a member of the Robinia family. Robinia pseudoacacia 'Frisia' has golden-yellow leaves. If this is the tree in question, the common names are False Acacia or Black Locust. It's often easier to identify trees and shrubs by the flowers they produce, or the seeds they develop, in addition to leaf and bark descriptions. Height is a clue, but can be misleading - plants under stress might not reach full mature height, and juvenile trees can be quite a bit smaller than mature specimens. Best wishes in your search for the true identity of the tree in question!

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