tree seedling id, please

diggingthedirtAugust 7, 2011

Can someone tell me what this plant might be? I noticed it earlier this year, but it's obviously been there since last year sometime.

I should have put a ruler in the photo; the diagonal stem in the lower right corner is a thalictrum, and is about 1.4 inch wide, and the plant is about 18 inches tall. By the way, is growing where I removed a magnolia; I really hope that's what it is, but that's probably just wishful thinking.

From [Mystery plant 2011](

If there are no replies here, I'll try the Name that Plant forum. Thanks!

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runktrun(z7a MA)

Before I read what you had written I saw the photo and my first impression was Magnolia tripetala aka umbrella tree. I have sketchy Internet service right now but you might google it.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 4:40PM
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Thanks, Kt. The tree I had to remove was a loebneri, but it was a hybrid, so I'm not very optimistic that this could be a seedling. I do have several M virginiana ...

I guess if you second the magnolia family guess, I'll pot it up and start looking for a place for it.

Maybe it will be the next big thing in magnolias - a cross between a loebneri and a virginiana. Not likely, but who knows?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 9:08PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Looks a lot like Glossy Buckthorn, Frangula alnus. I have zillions of them. Terribly invasive, they are on the Mass Prohibited plant list. Probably pooped out by a bird that was sitting in your previous tree.

Hope that's not what it is though!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 9:25AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

I agree with Katy. Looks like a Magnolia leaf, especially the way the new growth is emerging. Frangula doesn't grow like that and the leaves would be in slightly alternate pairs along the stem.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 12:31PM
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I haven't seen any glossy buckthorn here, although that doesn't mean it's not around! Google is a mixed blessing, because I checked the buckthorn images and decided those leaves have more prominent veining and longer, more distinct stems, but then followed up with the M. virginiana images and ... they were no more similar.

Bill's point about leaf arrangement is interesting; I checked wikipedia on this and both plants have alternate leaves. That might be more pronounced in the buckthorn, I don't know. Wikipedia did say that Rhamnus has brown shoots, and this plant's shoots are definitely green.

LOL, I guess I should just inspect my other M.v.s and see if they have the same insect damage (leaf notching) as this baby - looks can be deceiving, but bugs are never fooled.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 1:16PM
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NHBabs z4b-5a NH

My first thought in looking at the photo was the same as Terrene's, but on closer examination of the photo, the greeen new twigs isn't right for buckthorn (mine are tan,) the older bark on buckthorn has distinct white speckles which doesn't seem to be the case for this plant, and for me the final key is the bright orange inner bark and roots, though you probably don't want to get that drastic with a plant you may want to keep.

Since my second thought was magnolia, you now have a third vote for some type of magnolia.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 6:50PM
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runktrun(z7a MA)

Again my Internet service is spotty but Magnolia x loebneri is a hybrid of M. Kobus (Japanese) and M stellata. Both in my mind very similar in growth and appearance. As Magnolia propagates easily by layering I would not be surprised if this is the result of a stem and root left behind. So whether M x. Loebneri or M. Kobus or stellata I think you are going to be happy.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 7:42PM
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