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Avatar for Amiencc79
Jun 5, 2020 7:24 PM CST
Louisville
Two of these sprouted up in our retaining wall and grew so fast I didn't notice until tiday! They have a single skinny, woody trunk that's only about .5 inch in diameter, if even that much, and are about 4 feet tall with branches and leaves only at the very top. If you look closely at the second photo you can see the skinny trunk curve out almost like a palm tree. It doesn't seem like a sumac ... Is it a baby Black Walnut? I'm in Kentucky. Does anyone know what this is?
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Last edited by Amiencc79 Jun 5, 2020 7:44 PM Icon for preview
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Jun 5, 2020 9:44 PM CST
Name: Kelly
Redding, California (Zone 9b)
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Maybe a Wisteria? Have you seen other Wisteria nearby?
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Jun 5, 2020 10:34 PM CST
Name: Tofi
Sumatera, Indonesia
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Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus Altissima), may be...?
Avatar for CPPgardener
Jun 5, 2020 10:49 PM CST
Name: John
Pomona/Riverside CA (Zone 9a)
Do the leaves smell like nasty peanut butter? If so, then it's Tree From Hell (excuse me , of heaven). If it's more spicy then probably walnut or possibly pecan.
“That which is, is.That which happens, happens.” Douglas Adams
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Jun 5, 2020 10:51 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Only Ailanthus Altissima grows that fast. Crush a leaf and tell us how it smells.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
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Jun 6, 2020 2:42 AM CST
Perthshire. SCOTLAND. UK
Garden Photography Region: United Kingdom Plant Identifier
Ailanthus Altissima

Final check for the future..look for the gland on the leaflets.
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Avatar for Amiencc79
Jun 6, 2020 4:10 PM CST
Louisville
Thanks for all of the responses! I noticed that the leaves are subtly serrated (the tree of heaven leaves seem to be smooth) and there doesn't appear to be glands on the leaves though they are unequal at the base. The stems are fuzzy brown and the smell is kind of a fake astringent pine-y smell. Not good but not offensive. I included a side-by-side of the mystery plant on the left and a cutting from our black walnut on the right. They smell similar with the mystery plant being slightly more pungent.

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Jun 6, 2020 4:55 PM CST
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
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Good job, Amiencc79 - the closeup images and diagnostic examination (including comparative anatomy!) lead to useful conclusions.

I'd agree with the Black Walnut estimation (Juglans nigra). I believe Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) will be glabrous on its body parts.

As one who has spent several decades working in Louisville (parks department landscape architect), I also heartily welcome you to the forum. With a little cajoling, I have been known to make site visits for horticultural analysis and to recommend remedies.

In this case, a Black Walnut (or any shade tree, for that matter) growing against a retaining wall is not a good long term plan. Your resident squirrels need better direction on selecting cache locations.
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Jun 6, 2020 6:38 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Amiencc79 said:Thanks for all of the responses! I noticed that the leaves are subtly serrated (the tree of heaven leaves seem to be smooth) and there doesn't appear to be glands on the leaves though they are unequal at the base. The stems are fuzzy brown and the smell is kind of a fake astringent pine-y smell. Not good but not offensive. I included a side-by-side of the mystery plant on the left and a cutting from our black walnut on the right. They smell similar with the mystery plant being slightly more pungent.

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I love it when someone with a question takes an active roll in the solution. Thumbs up
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
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Jun 6, 2020 7:48 PM CST
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)
Unless it's Poison Ivy that they take a roll in...
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Jun 6, 2020 8:53 PM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX (Zone 9a)
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Oh, bad!
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Jun 6, 2020 10:48 PM CST
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)
It was right there; I couldn't resist...
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Jun 7, 2020 10:25 AM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Oops, wrong roll/role. Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Avatar for Amiencc79
Jun 8, 2020 8:32 AM CST
Louisville
ViburnumValley said:Good job, Amiencc79 - the closeup images and diagnostic examination (including comparative anatomy!) lead to useful conclusions.

I'd agree with the Black Walnut estimation (Juglans nigra). I believe Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) will be glabrous on its body parts.

As one who has spent several decades working in Louisville (parks department landscape architect), I also heartily welcome you to the forum. With a little cajoling, I have been known to make site visits for horticultural analysis and to recommend remedies.

In this case, a Black Walnut (or any shade tree, for that matter) growing against a retaining wall is not a good long term plan. Your resident squirrels need better direction on selecting cache locations.


Thank you for the laugh, for the hearty welcome (I'm so excited to run into a fellow Lou local! I'm over in Eastwood and L-O-V-E the Louisville parks system! A++!), and for the authoritative conclusion to our leafy mystery! I've scheduled a team meeting with our squirrels to reiterate the importance of avoiding the landscape during their nut relocation efforts. I'm sure they will find my remedy of their oversight hilarious (along with the golfers riding along the cart path mere feet from the retaining wall) as my rear end hangs out of the giant bush that a furry someone sneakily chose to bury it behind. Acorn Rolling my eyes.
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