Plant ID forum: Bay Laurel?

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La Mesa, CA
trobinson41
Nov 11, 2017 11:42 PM CST
I saw this in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park in San Diego County on 11/11/2017. I think it's bay laurel. Can someone confirm that?

Thumb of 2017-11-12/trobinson41/7a978e


Thumb of 2017-11-12/trobinson41/75860c

Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
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Henhouse
Nov 12, 2017 1:16 AM CST
Crushing a leaf would have confirmed it for you. I don't think it's a Bay (Umbellularia californica) Mine are a brighter green. Also I notice some fuzziness on the stems and one of the leaves. Hard to tell without a better picture of the foliage close up, but depending on the size of the leaves, I might think it could be a tan oak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus) ... I don't think they grow that far south though... so ??
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North Central TX (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Nov 12, 2017 1:33 AM CST
Looks a lot like a Bay. I've grown it before but have moved and not seen how big it's gotten. I do know that they can get fairly large.I don't see the fuzziness but then again, I'm not wearing my glasses. Henhouse is right that crushing a leaf would have confirmed it (or not). Is this somewhere that you can easily go back to?

Maybe someone else will hop on here with a better answer than I've just given you.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Nov 12, 2017 4:25 PM CST
My first thought was Oak. When you go back to crush a leaf, also look for acorns.
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
La Mesa, CA
trobinson41
Nov 13, 2017 10:15 AM CST
Unfortunately, I probably won't be going back anytime soon and it would be difficult to find this plant again, as it was the only one we saw. Notholithocarpus densiflorus has sawtooth leaves and, you're right, they aren't supposed to grow this far south. I didn't see any acorns.
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Nov 13, 2017 2:54 PM CST
Do you have any rough idea as to the size of plant/tree? Like how tall was it?

Yes, I noticed that the tan oak has sawtooth leaves which made me rule it out. But then I looked at its native range. All of CA and further north along the PNW coast. Don't recall if it went as far as Washington.

When I get back to my computer tonight I want to take another look.
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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Henhouse
Nov 14, 2017 12:23 AM CST
I was looking at this little corner of the picture that showed serrated leaves. Most of my tan oaks are dead from Sudden Oak Death.. They were the first to go, so I don't have a lot to compare with anymore. I was thinking Canyon Oak (Q. chrysolepis) had spines on the edges, but looking online at pictures, the leaves can be either entire, or serrated.. So it could be that... Canyon Oaks and Interior Live Oaks (wislizenii) both grow in Southern California. I've got wislizenii all over my property, and I'm pretty sure it's not that..
I cut out the top left corner of one of the pictures where you can see serrated leaves if you enlarge..
Thumb of 2017-11-14/Henhouse/9201b0

When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
La Mesa, CA
trobinson41
Nov 14, 2017 11:26 AM CST
It was significantly taller than me -- that's all I remember about the height. The leaves in that corner are definitely serrated. I'm not completely sure they're on the same tree, though. I know it looks like they are, but that could be an illusion. The rest of the leaves look smooth. Thanks everyone for your input, but it looks like it's not going to be possible to settle the issue. I should have taken more photos.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Nov 14, 2017 12:15 PM CST
Yes, more photos but also some detective work: What do crushed leaves smell like? What do the leaves feel like? Are there any flowers/seed pods on the tree or on the ground under the tree? Size of tree, size of leaves? Vein patterns in leaves. Photos of branch structure. Note whether leaves are opposite or alternate. ... 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
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Nov 14, 2017 1:17 PM CST
Ok. Here's a possibility. Granted, it might be a long shot especially because I'm not familiar with the park. But many if not most parks have horticulturalist(s), whatever their title might be, who could help. I'd start by calling them and stating your dilemma in trying to identify a tree. Tell them that you could email pictures. If you saw it at a notable place within the park, like Observation Point X, or 'about x miles on trail y', add that info. You might be surprised. There's someone who has to keep track of the trails, looking for downed trees, etc. So give it a try. Can't hurt. Might help. Ya never know.
Name: James
Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a)
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JamesAcclaims
Nov 14, 2017 2:43 PM CST
I would think that a Canyon Oak's leaves would be too glossy to be what is pictured here. Most Oak leaves would be much more blunted or rounded on the ends as well, such as the Engelmann Oak. Is this maybe an Arizona Ash?
Arizona ash (Fraxinus velutina)
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La Mesa, CA
trobinson41
Nov 16, 2017 5:43 PM CST
The Arizona ash has opposite leaves. This plant appears to have alternating leaves, so I don't think that's it.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Nov 16, 2017 6:06 PM CST
Arizona Ash also has pinnately compound leaves. This tree has simple leaves with an entire edge.
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

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