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Unidentified cold hardy leguminous tree

 
Samuel Martin
Posts: 9
Location: Montreal, Québec, Canada
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Can anyone help me identify this leguminous tree growing in hardiness zone 5a (Montreal, Canada)

It produced fruits in late summer/autumn (september/october); numerous hard, dry, dark reddish brown pods containing 2-4 seeds, very similar to the fruit of Erythrophleum Suaveolens. It is also somewhat similar to Balizia peeicellari.

Inside the pod is a greenish membrane with a texture and smell reminiscent of the "honey locust" Gleditsia triacanthos fruit.

The fruits are staying firmly attached on the branch all through winter.

I managed to knock some fruit from the 10 meter high tree today. Here is a picture of the fruits (in casse you can't see the image above): http://www.pinterest.com/pin/444378688203864491/

Alternatively you can try googlemaps; it's the first tree on the corner of that median strip when you spin the camera towards the right http://goo.gl/maps/iuias

What could this tree be?
 
D. Logan
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Posts: 558
Location: Soutwest Ohio
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books food preservation forest garden rabbit tiny house
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It looks like it is possibly a Kentucky Coffee Tree. I grew up with one of them a block away. They are an unusual plant that is suspected to have been originally spread by Mastadons and such and which are considered rare these days. As I recall, they were notorious among the children I grew up with since the bean pods would explode in fires whenever someone was burning a tree they had cut down and a number of kids collected them just to try throwing them in fires to see what would happen.
 
Samuel Martin
Posts: 9
Location: Montreal, Québec, Canada
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Nice one, D.Logan!! I looked up the Kentucky Coffee Tree and that is most definitely it. Gymnocladus dioicus is its scientific name. A very interesting prehistoric tree, like you mention. Its leaves grow late and fall early; great for letting the sun through during the cold parts of the year.

It appears that while Montreal gets much more temperature extremes, it is also in a microclimate not unlike that of Southern Ontario, thus the US Midwest, where this tree is more common.

I'm psyched, thanks for your help.
 
D. Logan
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Location: Soutwest Ohio
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Glad I could help!
 
Lance Kleckner
Posts: 111
Location: West Iowa
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My little ones have grown slow for me, but attractive large compound leaves, especially when leafing out in spring.
 
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