Montpellier area tree identification

  • 8 Replies
  • 124 Views

Paul Brown

  • Newbie
    • Email
Montpellier area tree identification
« on: July 29, 2017, 04:11:29 PM »
This deciduous tree stands about 25-30 feet high outside the entrance to our house and its species has puzzled everyone who has seen it, including local nursery personnel!  I only see it in summertime, so I don't know if it has flowers - I suspect they are almost unnoticeable.

I attach a photo of the full tree, and its leaves and bark. 
« Last Edit: July 31, 2017, 08:40:02 AM by Paul Brown »

*

John J

  • Hero Member
Re: Montpellier area tree identification
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2017, 04:51:55 PM »
Sorry, Paul, but I don't see your photos.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

*

MikeHardman

  • Hero Member
    • www.mikehardman.com
Re: Montpellier area tree identification
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2017, 11:25:41 PM »
Me neither.
Paul - please post photo(s)
//Mike
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

*

Alisdair

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
Re: Montpellier area tree identification
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2017, 10:08:43 AM »
I've been trying to help Paul Brown find a way through the technicalities of how to post photos on the forum, I'm afraid without success. In desperation he's sent a version of the photos to me, which I attach here. Sorry, Paul, that I wasn't able to steer you through the process more successfully!
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and current president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

*

MikeHardman

  • Hero Member
    • www.mikehardman.com
Re: Montpellier area tree identification
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2017, 10:38:03 AM »
Thanks Alisdair.

Are the leaves arranged in pairs, each on opposite sides of the stem?
If so, probably Acer, in which case:
- A. negundo would be the more likely candidate
  http://www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-plant-descriptions/boxelder
- A. triflorum is also possible.
  http://www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-plant-descriptions/three-flowered-maple

If Acer, you should be able to find some old seeds on the ground - typical maple samara design, though skinnier in the case of A. negundo.

There is a Montpelier maple, A. monspeliensis, which has tripartite leaves, but yours is not that one.

Mike
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

Paul Brown

  • Newbie
    • Email
Re: Montpellier area tree identification
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2017, 06:48:23 PM »
Mike, I tried again to send a photo of the branching leaf structure, and again got a notice that the file was too large to post. The photo was the smallest resolution possible on my camera and the JPEG was reformatted to PDF which always reduces the pixel count further.  VERY frustrating.  I have asked Alisdair to post it from his end as he has no problems.  You guessed correctly about the opposite pairs of leaves along the end twigs that terminate in a triplet...

paul

Paul Brown

  • Newbie
    • Email
Re: Montpellier area tree identification
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2017, 07:01:45 PM »
Additonal note:

1. The Morton Arboretum shows Negrundum leaves that have at least a semi-serrated edge, whereas my 'mystery tree' has smooth-edged leaves.  Maybe it's not important as individual trees probably differ in this respect.
2. The Aboretum Triflorum description includes a comment about shaggy bark, whcih my tree definitely does not have.  This is probably an important objection.

So you're probably on the mark with a Negrundum ID (I didn't know its common name is a Box Elder, which does indeed grow in the US...

*

MikeHardman

  • Hero Member
    • www.mikehardman.com
Re: Montpellier area tree identification
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2017, 09:11:26 PM »
Paul,

For image resizing, there are little programs that you can download for free.
Once installed, to use them, you just right-click on one or more images and specify how you want them resized in the dialog that pops up. I usually downsize to 750x750 pixels for this forum. You may or may not get options about the compression.
There is no particular reason why wrapping an image in a PDF should change its pixel dimensions. More likely, it will change its compression characteristics. It all depends on the program used to produce the PDF. I advise keeping your images as JPEGs. As such, they will be more-readily editable, and their metadata is more likely to be retained intact.

The leaves of Acer negundo are indeed variable in outline. In general, when comparing leaves for identification purposes, consider also the pattern on the main veins, the undersides, the mattness/shininess of the surface, the relative length of the petiole, and peculiar features such as tufts of hairs in the vein axils or the nature of teeth on the edges.

Bark is also a character that needs to be used with care. In most trees, the bark changes character as the tree ages. Shagginess, for instance, may not develop until maturity.

Do look for old seeds on the ground. These stand a good chance of confirming the genus and maybe the species (Acer negundo has fairly unusual samara). If you can't find any seeds under your particular tree, are there other similar specimens nearby?...

Mike
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

Paul Brown

  • Newbie
    • Email
Re: Montpellier area tree identification
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2017, 08:52:57 AM »
Thanks again, Mike - here is a JPEG picture that may transmit (I'll look into the programs you mention.