Plant ID forum: is this an elm or not

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Name: Angie Threatt
georgia (Zone 8a)
Sep 16, 2011 8:09 PM CST
hello all, I will tell you I think that elms are the hardest trees to Id, they all look the same most of the time. I took some cuttings and here is a pic of the tip leaves and the terminal bud. it is starting to cool here, it is still very hot, but cool at night, we are going to have an early winter. Anyway the tree was tall and Multi trunk. There were 2 of them side by side at the DR's office. it had new growth and sucker on it. The trunk looked like it was pealing and had a grey, smooth under coat. The leaves vary in size and all. on this twig it is a bit fuzzy and gets fuzzier and greener near the terminal bud. The tops of the leaves are shinny and light green, However this is new growth. looking very closely I can tell that the bottom of the leaves do have fuzz, or hair on it. I have an older one that is a lot greener and it feels kinda silky/slippery compared to the other one, and hit has very hard to see fuzz on the bottom part. This is what is throwing me off though. there are like 3 tiny point on the margin before it hits a vein and and then comes a big point or tooth. Look like a saw blade for sure. but yet other leafs on the same stem are not like that. so Is this an elm? if so or so now? then what is it? Remember that I said it was at the doctor's office so it was in their landscape plan, they did not just grow there on their own, and they were also mulched with pine straw. So here is the pic, remember this is of a brand new one, not and old darker green one and that it is pretty much fall here in Ga.
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Name: Lin
Southeast Florida (Zone 10a)

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Sep 19, 2011 8:12 AM CST
I'm not real good at identifying from photo's but it looks like either Elm, or maybe Beech:

American Elm:

American Beech:
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Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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Sep 21, 2011 9:30 PM CST


Looks a lot like some type of birch.
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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Sep 23, 2011 5:50 AM CST
From the description of the trunk I would also have to go with birch , most likely river birch, it is a very commonly used tree for landscapes.
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Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN, USA zon
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Oct 12, 2011 10:55 PM CST
It cannot be a beech or an elm. Birch is a good candidate, although I am not familiar with all the trees that grown down your way.

The irregular number of jags that accompany each large tooth is common in birch, although also common with many other tree leaves. Bark that peels across the trunk rather than lengthwise up and down also points to birch. Thanks for giving all the description you can, every little factoid helps.

If it is a birch, you should easily see lenticels on the twigs and branches. These are raised parts on the bark that vary from looking like numerous grayish dots on small brown twigs, that lengthen across the branch (not lengthwise on the branch) as the twig/branch ages.

Multiple trunks are common in landscaped birches. As the bark ages, bark should go from fuzzy on the twig ends (1-6 inches), to smooth (with raised lenticels), to peeling, and finally to rough and furrowed (when the trunk is a foot in diameter or more). Exactly when these transitions occur is very variable and depends on size, age, genetics, and where the tree lives. The important observation is that the transitions go in stated succession. Winter leaf buds should be very pointy. Fall color yellow (although many many trees have yellow fall color).
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
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Oct 13, 2011 4:19 AM CST
Try Betula pendula, Angie.
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