Posted on 11 Comments

Our Summer Tree – Mystery Continues


Summer Tree leaves and sunlight

I am continuing our study of the mystery tree…our year-long tree study that we began in springtime. I am frustrated about its identity and have spent lots and lots of time scouring my field guides and the internet for just what kind of tree this is in our yard. I know it is not a native tree which only complicates matters.

Leaf of summer tree

Here is the leaf.

Bark of summer tree

Here is the bark.

Summer Tree

Not much to go on since it doesn’t currently have flowers, seeds, or pods.

Summer tree mystery tree

I got excited when I found this tree, the Hardy Rubber tree. It looks like the right bark and leaf but the rubber tree doesn’t turn color in the fall like my mystery tree.

Here is a link to our spring entry: Our Spring Tree – Officially Starting a New Tree Study.

Something I recently learned about another tree in our yard, the tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera). It is a host tree for swallowtail butterflies! I love that I have a great habitat for the caterpillars right in my front yard among my other butterfly, bird, and bee habitat. Read more about hunting for swallowtail caterpillars in this post over at Beautiful Wildlife Garden.

11 thoughts on “Our Summer Tree – Mystery Continues

  1. We have a tree in our backyard that we cannot identify either. We lost all 5 of our mature trees in a tornado about 8 years ago (thankfully our house wasn’t seriously damaged) and had to start from scratch. We found this tree at Lowe’s for a dollar or two at the end of the summer and brought it home. We didn’t know if it would thrive because it wasn’t much more than a stick but it has done well. Like your tree we cannot find info online or in guides. It usually has some pretty pink blossoms in the spring, large pink blossoms, but this year it had none. And even when it does blossom it’s not over all the tree, but rather in patches here and there. The bark reminds me of birch but it’s not birch. I’m thinking I should take pictures of it and bring them to a nursery and see if they can identify it. It’s frustrating!

  2. It looks so much like a Mulberry tree…but I guess you won’t know until flowers and fruit! Keep us posted!

    1. I will look the mulberry tree up in my book. Thanks!

    2. I think it may be a fruitless mulberry (the male). Thanks for the direction to look!

  3. The leaves look like a magnolia we have here; also a bit like a mulberry tree, minus the fruit. It is exciting when you finally discover what it is you’re growing. You could take a sample to a plant nursery & see if they can identify it??

    1. We had a magnolia tree in our yard at one time and the leaves on my mystery tree are not as thick and shiny as the magnolia leaves. We are going to continue to try to identify this tree….hopefully soon!

  4. I think it is a type of poplar. We have hybrid poplars that are upright but spread out more than the columnar type. The poplar has the panicles in the spring like your tree has, and the leaf shape, color, grouping, and bark appearance are all very similar. Hope this helps!

  5. My money is on mulberry too. It looks JUST like the mulberry trees I grew up with – same bark, same leaves, same everything. It’s just not as full as the older ones here.

    1. Thanks for the confirmation..I am almost certain it is a fruitless mulberry!

  6. It looks like our fruitless Mulberry tree. I didn’t know what mine was until I had it trimmed. I was told it is native to Texas.

    1. We are leaning towards the fruitless mulberry so thanks for the confirmation. Now that I am looking around my area, I see lots of them so it really opened my eyes doing this study.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *