By in Gardening

A Tree Mystery to Solve

In my last post , I mentioned talking to my gardener about some changes in my back yard at the Paso Robles house. We walked around the back yard and I showed him a tree that had sprouted up next to a rose bush. What ever it is, it needs to come out. This is the tree.

I took the photo.

I asked if it might be a Tree of Heaven, a very weedy tree that has been known to grow wild around the city, though I haven't seen any around here, and they should be bearing long brown pods about now. The gardener told me that, no, it was just another Goldenrain tree . But I see some big differences. In the first photo, above, which you can enlarge by opening a new tab, is a comparison between a young leave stem of each, and then, in the right corner, a comparison of a leaf from each.

You can see that the leaves have a different shape. Also, if you look very carefully at the top leaf stem, where it dips down at the right end, you will see a thorn. The Goldenrain tree does not have any thorns on either the young or established . It also has beautiful brown pods at this time of year that look like little Chinese lanterns.

If you look carefully at the mystery tree, you will see it is growing next to a Cecile Brunner climbing rose. Right behind the tree in the photo, you can see another even taller identical tree. If you look at that other tree from the ground up, you will see it's mixed in with stems from the rose bush that almost appears to come from the same plant, except that the sucker-like stems from the two plants are very different in color and texture.

I took the photo.

About the time I started thinking the rose and the tree might actually be just the rose, I noticed that the Cecile Brunner look like this.

I took the photo.

Notice that they are saw-toothed at the edges and have pointed tips. The leaf of the mystery plant in the intro photo is a deeper green, and has no point at the top or “teeth” along the edges.

I noticed that my neighbor has a rather tall tree with similar leaf shape and coloring (from a distance) less than ten feet from my mystery trees. She's not home, so I can't get a closer look to help me see if it's like my trees. If so, what I might have is a sucker from that tree that could have sprung up right next to an established Cecile Brunner climber and their branches might have gotten mixed up to that they look like one tree. Or, maybe the Cecile Brunner has a different rootstock and its suckers are mixing with the grafted rose so it looks like one plant. The mystery is spraining my brain right now, and I still don't know why the mystery tree, which, as far as I can tell, bears no , has thorns.

Do any of you rose gardeners have an answer? Any arborists who can identify my mystery tree? I just may need to go visit a local tree nursery for answers.

Pictures and content are original and may not be used without permission, B. Radisavljevic, Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved

Image Credit » I took the photo

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paigea wrote on November 8, 2014, 5:31 PM

Hopefully you can solve your tree mystery. I love trees but am not very knowledgeable.

MegL wrote on November 8, 2014, 6:36 PM

To tell if the mystery plant is suckers from your rose bush, follow the stem gently back down into the earth to see if they spring from the same rootstock as your cecile brunner rose. If so, they need to be cut off as close as possible to the rootstock, to prevent them taking over from the grafted plant. It's hard sometimes to tell from a photo and I am talking from a different country but the leaves look like they could possibly be wild rose.

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on November 8, 2014, 8:13 PM

This is Guiness the Cat. Umm, you were asking for horticultural advise from people who know what they're talking about, and not Debbi, right? Because you do know the futility of asking Debbi about plants, correct?

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on November 8, 2014, 8:14 PM

This is Debbi. Yeah, it definitely looks like a tree to me. Or maybe a bush. Or some kind of plant, at least.

Fractal wrote on November 8, 2014, 9:44 PM

I suspect that it is a few suckers from the rootstock of Cecile Brunner. You need to get in there and move the soil away all around the base of the suckering growth until you find where they join the rootstock and then tear them off at the joint. Don't just cut them off low down you do need to find the union point and snuff them out.

bestwriter wrote on November 9, 2014, 12:08 AM

May be I can take it to the flower forum where I am a member. For that I would have to send these images.

BarbRad wrote on November 9, 2014, 3:00 AM

A lot of trees don't show up in the tree books. Especially hybrids, which this might be.

BarbRad wrote on November 9, 2014, 3:01 AM

I guess that means I will have to dig in the dirt:)

BarbRad wrote on November 9, 2014, 3:02 AM

Guiness, I thought you were the one who was disinterested in plants.

BarbRad wrote on November 9, 2014, 3:03 AM

It's probably more than one kind of plant.

BarbRad wrote on November 9, 2014, 3:04 AM

I just may set the gardener to doing that task. I'm not sure it's good for my neck in its current state.

BarbRad wrote on November 9, 2014, 3:05 AM

You may use the images for that purpose.

bestwriter wrote on November 9, 2014, 3:15 AM

On second thought you can approach them directly as a guest. Here is the link

MegL wrote on November 9, 2014, 3:47 AM

I thought that was all part of gardening! emoticon :smile:

maxeen wrote on November 9, 2014, 12:00 PM

Strange how trees can just come from nowhere isn't it !

keishafaye100 wrote on November 9, 2014, 6:44 PM

i am a little bit unfamiliar with the characteristics of trees. so i am unable to help you solve these tree mystery's however i do enjoy reading your posts.

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on November 11, 2014, 11:48 PM

This is Guiness the Cat again. I'm tired of flowers, but I do like my trees. My cedar tree was smelling particularly cedar-y not long ago. I was going to write a post about it, but I took a nap instead. I do like taking naps under my oak trees.

BarbRad wrote on November 12, 2014, 3:48 AM

Oh, they come from somewhere. Usually from a seed or from a spreading root of another tree.

BarbRad wrote on November 12, 2014, 3:49 AM

If you keep reading my posts you will become much more familiar with trees. I promise.