Plant ID forum: This Tree has me Stumped (Ohio)

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Central Ohio
wallyblackburn
May 15, 2019 12:41 PM CST
This little tree is growing in the shade of an evergreen on the edge of my woods - along my driveway. The leaves have a shiny look. I tore out the asian honeysuckle that was crowding it to try to get a better pic. It defies identification by the "answer questions roadmap" sort of stuff. Any help appreciated!
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Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
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ViburnumValley
May 15, 2019 4:43 PM CST
My favorite tree to stump steadfast plant geeks: Nyssa sylvatica - the native Blackgum or Black Tupelo, or if you are from Martha's Vineyard off the Cape...Beetlebung.

It revels in its innocuousness, looking like everything else and nothing.

You will be amply rewarded for demolishing the honeysuckle and freeing this specimen to live long and prosper.
John
Central Ohio
wallyblackburn
May 15, 2019 5:44 PM CST
ViburnumValley said:My favorite tree to stump steadfast plant geeks: Nyssa sylvatica - the native Blackgum or Black Tupelo, or if you are from Martha's Vineyard off the Cape...Beetlebung.

It revels in its innocuousness, looking like everything else and nothing.

You will be amply rewarded for demolishing the honeysuckle and freeing this specimen to live long and prosper.


Wow! Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but how sure are you of that? Any other pics I could provide that would make you more sure? I mean, how in the world did that end up here?

Thanks,
Wally
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

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plantladylin
May 15, 2019 6:07 PM CST
I'm not good at identifying trees but here's the link to our database entry for Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica) that John suggested:

And a few database photos from the database for comparison:


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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
May 15, 2019 6:36 PM CST
It is widespread across about 2/3 of the US. Why would it not be there?
https://plants.usda.gov/core/p...
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Central Ohio
wallyblackburn
May 16, 2019 7:03 AM CST
sallyg said:It is widespread across about 2/3 of the US. Why would it not be there?


Guess I figured if it was hard to ID it must be rare. Oops...
[Last edited by Calif_Sue - May 16, 2019 8:47 AM (+)]
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
May 16, 2019 8:58 AM CST
I'm no tree ID key pro, trust me! Can be frustrating. But the more you get to know individual species, the more of them you will find. This one has some unique features that may be in description but not easy for a key = scarlet red fall color, thin horizontal branching..

I came across paw paw trees for the first time and thought they were rare. I've seen lots since, in familiar parks. And now I have something of an eye for them.
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Central Ohio
wallyblackburn
May 16, 2019 9:09 AM CST
Yes! I've now found a few others close by - a cluster. Guess a bird must have made a "deposit".

We have paw paws too. We have 4 acres that was all lawn at one time and then it was left to its' own after the owner died 40ish years ago. I am constantly amazed at the variety of trees.

Thanks,
Wally
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Farmer Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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ViburnumValley
May 16, 2019 6:10 PM CST
I agree with Sally - with time/experience looking at plants through various seasons, you will come to know more and more of them.

Because Nyssa sylvatica forms fleshy blue fruit from its pistillate flowers (not on every tree, as Nyssa tends to be dioecious), birds relish these and will deposit them around. I suspect that there is a larger parent tree somewhere around without branches low enough for you to notice it.

"Hard to identify" is often because it doesn't have a particular OUTSTANDING feature at all times. Usually, fall color is only what catches peoples' eye. Seeing it just leafed out, with no dormant buds to compare with, is often the hardest time to ID these plants with simple elliptical leaves. Put it in a tough growing position fighting with invasive honeysuckle, and it doesn't even have the chance to have the conformation of an open grown plant - which is often all you can find images of to compare with.

Yes, take more pictures of the other plants you've located and post here. You can keep this thread going on through the year, if you like - and show the progression of these plants now that they can stretch unrestricted. They may have been too suppressed to have the energy to flower this year, but if they do - show those images too, and we can ID whether you have male flowers or female flowers, or both.

Finally, come fall you can show us whether these will have brilliant scarlet color foliage or something in the burgundy or orangish range.
John
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
May 16, 2019 8:32 PM CST
Persimmon- another common one I thought was not anywhere near me.
Oval leaves - God's way of saying "it's not all about the leaves, silly"?
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Farmer Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Enjoys or suffers cold winters Dog Lover Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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ViburnumValley
May 17, 2019 3:01 PM CST
If I had to list the woody plants that many people have a hard time identifying, it would include these top three:

**Nyssa sylvatica - Blackgum

**Diospyros virginiana - Persimmon

**Oxydendrum arboreum - Sourwood

All have simple elliptical/oval leaves with alternate arrangement.
John

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