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ID this young tree

 
Dave Aiken
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OK, guys. Gold star to anybody that can identify these two young trees. I have a couple of guesses, but since there are no leaves this time of year and they're young, it's very tough because the bark isn't fully developed. I had my saw at the ready, but since I was pretty unsure, I spared them for now. I have largely cleared some rough canopy trees from this area to make room for some new tree plantings this spring. But I'd kick myself if I removed something I later found to be quite desirable...been there, done that. Rather not repeat that mistake.



Bark is dark with white spots. This may change as the trees mature (unless I drop them, per my plan)


Branches are alternate:

 
Iain Adams
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Hard to say with total certainty without a closer look, but they are almost certainly cherry trees. Look like pin cherries to me.

-ian

Dave Aiken wrote:OK, guys. Gold star to anybody that can identify these two young trees. I have a couple of guesses, but since there are no leaves this time of year and they're young, it's very tough because the bark isn't fully developed. I had my saw at the ready, but since I was pretty unsure, I spared them for now. I have largely cleared some rough canopy trees from this area to make room for some new tree plantings this spring. But I'd kick myself if I removed something I later found to be quite desirable...been there, done that. Rather not repeat that mistake.



Bark is dark with white spots. This may change as the trees mature (unless I drop them, per my plan)


Branches are alternate:

 
Dave Aiken
Posts: 26
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Ian, thanks very much for your response. Given my location, I think they are two immature black cherry trees. They are very close, so I'll probably keep one. That's a pretty desirable species in these parts. If you scroll down on this page and click the upper-left photo (in the 3x3 group of images, I think it's pretty conclusive. http://www.extension.iastate.edu/forestry/iowa_trees/trees/black_cherry.html

Thanks again.
 
Ken Peavey
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Looks like a juvenile Canoe Birch to me
aka Paper Birch, White Birch
Betula papyrifera
 
Michael Newby
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Can you find any leaves under the snow right under the trees? That's a good quick way to help determine what tree it is when the young bark can look like a few different trees. I'd say that it's either a cherry or a birch based on the lenticles (white spots) on the bark.

Also, cherry trees tend to have their buds in clusters on the stem and at the end of the branch, while birches have alternating buds spread out along the stem pretty evenly.
 
Dave Aiken
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Good tips, Michael. Thank you.

So the next question is, assuming they're black cherry, should they stay or should they go? My plan was to plant a sugar maple or perhaps a shellbark hickory, with some berry producers nearby (aronia and/or service berry). My goal is human edible fruits/nuts. The black cherry is not great for either. The lumber value is high, but I'll never harvest the timber for that purpose. If a tree must be removed, or if one is wind damaged, for example, I may use the lumber for something, but that's not my goal.

Thoughts?
 
Iain Adams
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Personally, I like black cherries and find them fairly easy to harvest in large enough quantities. They're small but yield a lot. I've dried them and used them with Cornelian Cherry Dogwood in fruit leather. Delicious.

If you're going to remove them, they make good mushroom logs. I removed one recently while clearing a build site for an Earthship. Sawed it up and used it for mushroom logs (reishi, lions mane, shittake, etc) and it's worked great for that.


Dave Aiken wrote:Good tips, Michael. Thank you.

So the next question is, assuming they're black cherry, should they stay or should they go? My plan was to plant a sugar maple or perhaps a shellbark hickory, with some berry producers nearby (aronia and/or service berry). My goal is human edible fruits/nuts. The black cherry is not great for either. The lumber value is high, but I'll never harvest the timber for that purpose. If a tree must be removed, or if one is wind damaged, for example, I may use the lumber for something, but that's not my goal.

Thoughts?
 
Dave Greenman
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Location: Ireland wet Zone 8 :D
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i'd guess they're birch
either
Betula Papyrifera, looking at the lenticels

BUT if the lenticels 'stretch' or elongate sideways
i'd say Red water birch Betula occidentalis
 
              
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Location: Choiceland, Saskatchewan
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I have something that looks similar around here that I have identified as speckled alder. So it could be that or another type of alder as well.
 
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