Mystery tree

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Firefly, May 19, 2006.

  1. Firefly

    Firefly Well-Known Member

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    This is my first spring in this house so I have many mystery plants. One is a fruit tree that is just starting to leaf (zone 5). It has thin straight thorns ~1/2" long on the branches. Can't be a lemon tree! Anybody know what it might be?
     
  2. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Could be a plum, could be a honey locust. More description needed!
     

  3. Bruce in NE

    Bruce in NE Well-Known Member

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    I have a pear tree that has sharp thorns on its limbs.
     
  4. rocket

    rocket Well-Known Member

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    How do you know it's a fruit tree?
     
  5. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    It is a hawthorn tree. I've never heard of plums and pears with thorns. Citrus doesn't grow in zone 5.
     
  6. rwinsouthla

    rwinsouthla Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Could be a crab apple. In south louisiana, only one apple grows and it is granny smith. The rootstock was some sort of crab apple and had thorns. When pop died, mom let the thing go and didn't prune for awhile and we ended up with tons of shoots coming off of the rootstock.

    Just a thought.
     
  7. Firefly

    Firefly Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all. I don't know it's a fruit tree, but it's in the garden space next to the blueberries so I am assuming. I was hoping it was something good, though, not another crabapply thing. The crabapples have aleady bloomed so I suspect it's a hawthorne.:(
     
  8. Island of Blueb

    Island of Blueb Island of Blueb Supporter

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    Quince? My quince has thorns.
     
  9. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    Crabapples don't have thorns
     
  10. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    my hawthorns have been blooming for weeks and are probably nearly done.
     
  11. Firefly

    Firefly Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for the suggestions so far! The tree is now in full leaf so I have more info. No flowers yet but if it gets them I'm willing to bet they'll be either purple or a pink as close to purple as possible. Everything that has bloomed so far is purple! Anyway, the leaves look like the lower right in this pic, maybe slightly longer and less oval, with one at the tip of the stem: http://biology.clc.uc.edu/graphics/bio106/leaves.jpg The thorns have morphed from long and skinny to rose-like. All the howthorne pics I've seen show single oak- or maple-shaped leaves, so I don't think it's a hawthorne. Now whaddaya think?
     
  12. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    Locust trees have leaves like that. Some of them (black? honey? I don't remember) have thorns. They flower, too. But no edible fruit that I'm aware of.
     
  13. Firefly

    Firefly Well-Known Member

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    Yup, definitely a locust, probably a black locust as the honey seems to be much thornier. I guess I can look forward to some lovely flowers but I am disappointed that it's not a fruit tree. Oh well. Thank you all! :)
     
  14. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    If it's black locust you're in luck! The wood of a black locust is prized for fence posts as it "does not rot". I'm sure it does, but it does it v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.
     
  15. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Honey Locusts have scary thorns on them! Big clusters! Honey Locust seed pods innards are edible. They have a sweet taste and the dried seed pods smell like chocolate. Black Locust seed pods are toxic.

    http://www.factmonster.com/ce6/sci/A0824089.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_locust
    http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/Plant.asp?code=A871

    The wild plums we have here in AL and MS have thorns on them.

    The wild pear and the wild plum trees exhibit sharp thorns along the branches... (I have a wild pear tree that has thorns similar to the thorns of our wild plum trees.)

    http://www.macalu.it/verde/pagine/rosaceng.htm

    This shrub or small tree often forms dense thickets. The branches can have thorns.

    http://www.lib.ksu.edu/wildflower/wildplum.html