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ID this tree? Distinctive buds

 
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This tree bugs me. I have taken pictures of it in all seasons, it's distinctive enough I'd think I could find an ID on it. Nope. If other pictures are required I can dig them out of my phone.  April, zone 6, it has these buds.
Thanks for looking!! :)
 
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My guess is cornelian cherry
 
Pearl Sutton
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Hm... no, I don't think so. I have more pics of it, at other seasons. It's big, hard to tell how big, 30-60 feet, grows diagonal in a big clump of trees (my guerilla gardening post, the picture of where I planted, a lot of that clump of trees is all this one) Guerrilla Gardening in the Graveyard and it doesn't seem to fruit anything. Gets funky things, and that's all.
I have more pictures, but they are in the random dump section of my computer.


Same shot, center section blown up so you can see the weird little things it gets. That's all it does. They don't seem to be anything. It's an odd tree.



This one puzzles me :)
 
Dan Allen
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Well the second pic looks a lot like sassafrass. But the first picture doesn't so I'm stumped. However the first pics flowers look like sassafrass if they're zoomed in, otherwise they just look too big. The fruits and leaves look identical. Does the wood smell like licorice?
 
Pearl Sutton
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Hm. Never sniffed it. I'll try to do so today.
The buds in the first pic are maybe an inch across. The odd things in the second pic are about 1/5 of an inch across. Leaves are about 8-10 inches long.
 
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I have to agree with Dan, that certainly does look like a sassafrass tree. The tree might have as many as three different leaf shapes, if yours exhibits this trait, it is a for certain identifier characteristic.

Redhawk
 
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They beat me to it. Sassafras. And it's useful too!
 
Pearl Sutton
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Cool, thank you! I planted some sassafras on the property last year, not sure if they made it or not, was a really bad year here for baby plants.
This tree doesn't look like how I had sassafras identified. Interesting!!
Thank you all! :D
 
Dan Allen
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It sure is useful. Highly rot resistant fence posts. If you use the branches for chicken perches, helps to deter bird lice. Fast growing pioneer. Birds love the fruit. Dried leaves traditional gumbo thickener. Roots were used to make root beer. Contains safrole which is listed as a carcinogen with the FDA, however controversially. Great emergency firewood, burns well when green, so if you run out of seasoned firewood there you go. Food source for the spicebush swallowtail caterpillar.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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The leaves are also a medicinal herb, mostly used for poultices. File, (the traditional gumbo thickener added at the end of the cooking) as Dan brought up is made from the dried leaves.
 
Pearl Sutton
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This is why I planted some on my place :)
I was singing Jambalaya while I planted it :D
My favorite version of that song:


 
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