The Q&A Archives: Identifying a tree or shrub

Question: This year something is growing rapidly in my sunny front yard. It is now over seven feet tall, all this year's growth! The leaves are sort of oval shaped(about the size of a weeping willow) and it has thorns, not the kind found on rose bushes but a really soft thorn. Do you have any idea what kind of tree or bush this is?

Answer: I can't tell by your description what the plant might be. What I'd do is scour the neighborhood for similar looking plants. I suspect your volunteer plant arrived through the courtesy of a bird so perhaps the seed came from a neighbor's plant. Or, it could be a noxious weed - they can grow really fast! I'd take a photo of the plant, plus close ups of the leaves and the stems and take them to a local nursery or cooperative extension office for positive identification. Here's the contact information:

P.O. Box 20,000-5028
Grand Junction, CO 81502-5028
(970) 244-1834

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