Plant ID forum: ID help tree or plant?

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Afrondofyours
Apr 2, 2016 9:09 AM CST
I'll start by saying I don't know much, but I know I love the outdoors. I recently purchased a house from one of the first Japanese settlers here in upstate new York, and I am just hoping there are some interesting plantings to be found. The house sold in Fall so we havent had a chance to see what has been lurking dormant, but in the last few days, our landscape has come to life.


One of the first things I was wondering is how to tell if I have a plant or a tree? I tried googling it, and it wasn't i. The first few results so I gave up and joined the forum. I'm sure I'll need more help as time passes and new sprouts start showing. Any help is appreciated!


This one looks a a little bonsai of a tree. It just started blooming this past week. The lower stalk appears line it has been either beaten down by NY winters or pruned back. I'm wondering what I have here?
Thumb of 2016-04-02/Afrondofyours/e8edf2


Thumb of 2016-04-02/Afrondofyours/d19507

[Last edited by Afrondofyours - Apr 2, 2016 9:11 AM (+)]
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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
Apr 2, 2016 9:16 AM CST
Welcome to ATP. You're sure to get lots of help here.

Azalea is my guess.

Afrondofyours
Apr 2, 2016 9:26 AM CST
My first thought was azalea, but the ones I've had before were always more like a shrub than this. I think I'm just getting excited with the new house and it is affecting my judgement!

Thanks for the input!
Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
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JRsbugs
Apr 2, 2016 9:53 AM CST
Welcome!

Some small-leaved rhododendrons look like evergreen azaleas. To tell them apart, first look at a flower—most azaleas have only 5 or 6 stamens, while most rhododendrons have 10 stamens.


From this, and the other clues, I would say it's a Rhododendron but check the other ID clues to be sure. I count 10 stamens on your flowers.

http://azaleas.org/index.pl/azaleas.html

They all come under Rhododendron now, apart from one Azalea species it seems.

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/search?q=azalea

Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Apr 2, 2016 10:00 AM CST
I also think it looks like Azalea. Not the healthiest one though
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Apr 2, 2016 10:00 AM CST
Ah, Janet chimed in! Great!! Listen to her.

Afrondofyours
Apr 2, 2016 10:14 AM CST
Thanks guys, the property was abandon for a few years so I'll see if I can nurse it back to health. I think the sparse leaves and flowers threw me off as well.

I DID tell my wife azalea, then retracted my statement!
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Apr 2, 2016 11:57 AM CST
I wonder if it is a P.J.M series Rhododendron, since you are in upstate New York - there aren't that many evergreen rhododendrons that are hardy to Zone 4 (? If you're that much upstate) as far as I know. There is one not far from here that looks rather similar to yours - it would prefer a more acidic soil and less exposure to the wind. Also they don't necessarily like the heat being radiated from a south-facing wall - not sure what aspect yours is. See:

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFind...

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