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I was hoping this would be a straightforward identification given the rather distinctive leaf with three main veins but, alas, I'm at a bit of a loss.
Any help appreciated.
This is katsura, Cercidiphyllum japonicum
There are a few trees with simiarly-shaped leaves:
- Cercis siliquastrum (and other species, collectively called redbuds) - the most common
- Cercidiphyllum japonicum and magnificum
- Disanthus cercidifolius - the least common (all in my reckoning)
- Cercis and Cercidiphyllum make fair-sized trees
- Cercis has the largest leaves; they are alternate.
- Cercidiphyllum and Disanthus have smaller leaves.
- Cercidiphyllum leaves are opposite
- Disanthus makes a large shrub but not a tree; its leaves are alternate
- Past sapling stage, Cercidiphyllum japonicum has rough bark, C. magnificum has smooth bark.
Given that info, you can make yourself a little key.
Possible trick to be learned:
You didn't recognize this particular species, but maybe you thought the leaves were like a Cercis?...
Always worth a shot in such a situation: search for ...folius and ...phyllum.
In this case, cercidofolius and cercidiphyllum would have helped.
Loads of excellent info there, thanks a million.