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2163 Views 3 Replies Last post: Jun 23, 2014 2:30 PM by MikeHardman RSS
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Jun 22, 2014 9:07 AM

Sorbus or Prunus type tree requiring ID

I am having trouble identifying a tree using the key because it requires both fruit and flowers and I have neither. This tree is in my local (Portsmouth, UK) churchyard, next to some very old Red Oaks (Quercus rubra). The tree is about 9 metres tall and in outline is very similar to a fruit tree, a Crab Apple or Prunus or possibly a Sorbus, that type of thing. The trunk is greyish, with a faint horizontal pattern to it, and brown lenticels. Twigs are greyish brown. Shoot, green with orange lenticels. Bud, brown, conic, 5mm long. Petiole, red, grooved on top, 3cm long and about 0.5cm from each leaf base there is a raised circular pattern, like a small button with a hole in the middle. I thought the first one was a gall of some type but each petiole has them. Leaf, simple, alternate, very small sharp teeth pointing forwards, 15 x 7 cm, short acuminate, veins are mostly in pairs but some are just not, about 9-12 pairs of veins per leaf. The whole thing is entirely glabrous. The leaf colour is a strong slightly dark green. The undersides are paler, and the central vein starts red and fades to a pale yellowish green.


I have spent some time looking in my own books and my closest guess is a Snowy Mespil or Whitebeam, but neither of those are said to have red petioles, so I'm a bit stuck where to look next.


Thanks in advance for any help.




more leaves.JPG

petiole and bud.JPG


twig and shoot.JPG

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 23, 2014 8:49 AM (in response to MartinG)
    Re: Sorbus or Prunus type tree requiring ID



    It is definitely Prunus - from the petiolar glands.


    But there are many species and cultivars, so,  without knowledge of flowers and fruit, you're not going to get very close. Even with flowres and fruit, there's a good chance you'd still be guessing at cultivar.



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