View Full Version : Another Round of "What's That Tree?"

Vaughn McMillan
09-19-2005, 9:53 PM
In a recent thread, the SMC gang was quick to identify a tree for Jim Marshall (hello...Martin Shupe?), so I figured you folks could maybe tell me what my mystery tree is. The first pic shows the leaves, the second shows part of the trunk and some bark, and the last pic shows the fruit from the tree. The fruit has a texture similar to an apple, but it doesn't have the same type of core. The "core" of this fruit looks amlost like some type of seed pit, but it also cuts pretty easily with a knife. The fruit stays green thoughout its life cycle, but when it's immature, it's not as rounded as it is in this pic. The fruit tastes pretty nondescript -- not sweet, sour, tart, just bland. (I haven't eaten more than a little bite to taste it.)

Any ideas?

- Vaughn

Martin Shupe
09-19-2005, 10:03 PM
Sorry Vaughn, you stumped me on that one. Obviously a fruit tree of some sort, but I have no clue.

Your best bet is to take a sample of the fruit and leaves down to your trusty county agriculture extension agent. They get paid to know the answers to these types of questions, and if they don't, they get paid to find out.

Oh, and let us know what they tell you, now you got me curious.

Vaughn McMillan
09-20-2005, 4:02 AM
Thanks for trying, Martin. As far as I can tell, the County Exension Office is on the other side of downtown LA from me (about 30 - 45 minutes away, through some of LA's finest traffic), so I probably won't be making it down there in the near future. They have a lot of e-mail addresses on their website, so I'll try to figure out who's most likely to know about it a send them a few pics.

I'm pretty decent at identifying fruits, but this one's got me flummoxed. It's like the love child of a peach and an apple.

- Vaughn

Bill Lewis
09-20-2005, 5:45 AM
This looks very similar to the persimmon trees that we have in our yard. They could be a variation on them being that you have a left-coast tree. I'd have to take a another look at them to be sure. The leaves are almost identical (they look like a peach), but I'm not sure the leaf structure is the same. The bark also looks a little different. The fruit look very simiar too (and stays green). But I'm not sure of the size from your picture.

My wife did some internet searching on the persimmon trees recently because the big dog decided to eat a bunch of the fruit that had fallen from the tree (it gave him and upset tummy). It turns out they are related ebony. That's weird. I doubt the wood is very similar, but since she told me that, I've had second thoughts on cutting it down until it gets big enough to give me some usable wood.

Oh and if you think a dog eating fruit is weird too, well what can I say? He will absolutely drool over strawberries, blueberries, and watermellon. He's a very pavlovian dog.

Jeff Sudmeier
09-20-2005, 8:26 AM
Can't guess the tree, but wanted to tell Bill that his dog isn't weird at all! Our siberian husky absolutely loves grapes and strawberries!!

Steve Clardy
09-20-2005, 10:37 AM
Doesn't look like our persimmon trees. Ours have orange colored fruit. Have a very rough bark. And------very bitter!! Lol

Our horses will munch on the fruit.

Donnie Raines
09-20-2005, 11:21 AM
Looks alot like our Bradford Pear.....leaves are identical and so is the coloring of the trunk. The fruit looks very much like that bared by the pear.

Michael Cody
09-20-2005, 8:17 PM
I was thinking more California Buckeye... pear like fruit, smooth gray bark, multi palmate type leaves... Bradford Pear is an Ovate leaf ..

Bradford Pear Page (http://www.pssc.ttu.edu/pss1411cd/PLANTID/pear/pear.htm)

Virgina Tech Page on C Buckeye (http://www.fw.vt.edu/dendro/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=188)

There here is a pic of a whole tree:

Vaughn McMillan
09-21-2005, 4:01 AM
Well, the Bradford Pear pics I've seen aren't a match for my leaves, and the fruit of the California Buckeye is somewhat smaller and a different color than what I'm seeing. Certain aspects of both look promising, but closer examination rules them out. Thanks for the input, though. It gives me a few more avenues to explore.

The persimmon avenue also looks like a possibility, at least the part about making the big dog's stomach upset. I found partially-eaten fruits at the bottom of the hill in our back yard last weekend, and it seemed to coincide with the day or two last week our big dog was sick to his stomach. (Both of our dogs are fruit and veggie lovers, so it wouldn't surprise me if he'd taken a taste of the mystery fruit. Plus, it's shaped like a ball, and in his universe, all ball-shaped things are good.)

- Vaughn

Bill Lewis
09-21-2005, 5:34 AM

I'll try to remember to take some pictures and post them of the trees (and fruit) we have in our yard. It all depends on how "sidetracked" I am when I get home this evening.

Michael Cody
09-21-2005, 8:51 AM
Not Persimmon for sure here pic's of persimmon bark & leaves

Jim Becker
09-21-2005, 9:18 AM
The closest matches in my Audubon field guide are various buckeyes...for both the bark and the leaves. But none are an exact match.

Donnie Raines
09-21-2005, 9:21 AM
I just thought of something(I better limit that): if it is buckeye, and you can cut off a small branch, see if there is a very pungent odor present. Buckeye has a very "obvious" odor to it...almost like really stinky wet dog.

Lee Schierer
09-21-2005, 11:59 AM
Here is a link I found for tree identification. Maybe this will help identify your tree.

What Tree is it? (http://www.arborday.org/trees/TreeID.cfm)

Here are some photos that seem to match yours
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.omne-vivum.com/p/aaal689f.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.omne-vivum.com/b/2531.htm&h=80&w=80&sz=4&tbnid=5kJrLPoFDpEJ:&tbnh=70&tbnw=70&hl=en&start=99&prev=/images%3Fq%3D%2522Aesculus%2Bcalifornica%2522%26st art%3D80%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26sa%3DN

Bob Nieman
09-21-2005, 4:24 PM
Vaughn, there are a couple of questions to ask

1) does the tree have noticeable flowers?
2) What is your climate like? Much of the LA Basin supports semi-tropical plants that are not common elsewhere, but Tujunga looks like it might be higher in elevation and too cold for anything very exotic, but I don't have my Sunset Guide to Western plants at work. The Sunset zones are a lot more useful than USDA zones.

I thought tabebuia when I saw the leaves, but the fruit doesn't match the commonly planted species (which have very showy flowers). You might try taking a leaf and fruit to a decent (not Home Depot or Walmart) nursery.

This web site has plants for southern California (I didn't find a match from the ones that sounded likely): http://selectree.calpoly.edu/treelist.html

Bill Lewis
09-22-2005, 5:35 AM
Not Persimmon for sure here pic's of persimmon bark & leavesYep, I went out and checked ours last night. I picked a twig and fruit off of it to post pictures, but just never got there. That's what 14 hour days at work will buy you.