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2869 Views 13 Replies Last post: Aug 1, 2014 10:12 PM by Steve Jelf RSS
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May 24, 2013 5:13 PM

Name this tree/ hedge

Hi can you help with this tree/hedge which is situated in Co Durham on the edge of a stream next to arable land.

 

The photos were taken during the backend of last year. I originally thought they were blackthorn because of their large thorns and the hedge seemed to have suckered.

 

I thought I would wait until spring to see if there would be blossom before the leaves came out, typical of blackthorn. However the leaves are out but no blossom, so any ideas please.

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    May 24, 2013 10:29 PM (in response to Clay)
    Re: Name this tree/ hedge

    Clay,

     

    It looks like it is in the myrobalan-sloe-bullace-damson spectrum ( = P. cerasifera - P. spinosa - P. domestica var. insititia - P. domestica var. insititia).

    There is a lot of confusion and misinformation about these.

    It would be wise to wait for fruit and/or blossom before trying to make a firm identification, IMO.

     

    Longish discussion that exemplifies some of the vagueness - http://www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk/forums/wildflowers-plants-and-tree-forums/6759-like-know-more-about-bullace-what.html

     

    Mike

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        Aug 1, 2014 8:48 AM (in response to Clay)
        Re: Name this tree/ hedge

        Hi Kevin,

         

        You don't mention if the bloosom preceded the leaves. that would be a good pointer towards blackthorn as you know.

         

        'Flowering before the hawthorn' is of mixed use, since there are two common species of hawthorn, flowering at slightly different times covering April-to-June. (Blackthorn woukd normally be in flower March-April, myrobalan plum Feb-April, damson in April.)

         

        I'm not sure why it might not be fruiting, as these species have hermaphrodite floiwers (it is not that there are male and female plants, relying on proximity in order to acheive fruit 'set'.)

         

        Mike

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            Aug 1, 2014 1:27 PM (in response to Clay)
            Re: Name this tree/ hedge

            Well that points to blackthorn, though we've noted the leaves on your plant seem a bit large, and the leaves are also not quite right in terms of toothing and overall shape.

            One might be tempted to consider myrobalan plum (larger leaves but flowering only just before/with the leaves), but that is usually spineless, whereas yours has spines You are sure yours has spines? (It can be easy to mis-associate a branch from a neighbouring bush.)

             

            It is a shame we don't have the fruit to taste.

             

            So it is still unclear; but it is probably still somewhere in that spectrum I menioned before.

             

            You mention (Nov 28, 2013 9:46) other trees in the area have fruited. Have you identified those, and are they the same in terms of foliage, etc.?

             

            Mike.

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                Aug 1, 2014 9:21 PM (in response to Clay)
                Re: Name this tree/ hedge

                Well, keep watching for fruit and, assuming you can identify when it is ripe, see if it is sweet or sour.

                ...Or maybe that, too, will be ambiguous!

                 

                In this case, as an ID, we may be able to do little better than 'Prunus'.

                 

                Sometimes, mysteries remain unsolved.

                 

                Cheers,

                Mike

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                  Aug 1, 2014 10:12 PM (in response to MikeHardman)
                  Re: Name this tree/ hedge

                  Hi

                   

                  I have not been following this, but  it seems only the fruit will one day give it away

                   

                  I remember as a youngster the pain of  those thorns/spurs  so I will  suggest its a Sloe

                   

                  Steve

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