Well, I’m stumped. I just can’t figure out what kind of tree this is. I’ve looked in online guides and in the several tree books I have, but nothing is quite matching. (It may simply be that I’m an incompetent researcher.)
I quickly dismissed the idea that these trees that I’ve found here and there on the north-facing slope were immature cherry trees. The leaves aren’t right. Then I wondered if it might be a hawthorn, but the leaves only come close to that.
For a while I speculated that these little trees might be black gums (also known to some as pepperidge), but when I began looking into that matter, again, the leaves betrayed me. Black gum are well known for their vivid red displays in the early fall in Missouri, but the photo above is only about three weeks old. The plant was still holding its nice, if pale, green well after the other trees in the forest had flamed out.
The best guess I have now is that it may be a farkleberry. Even that is tenuous, though. Farkleberries (which go by a half dozen other names) do grow in Missouri, and they have a delicate, bulbous white blossom in the early spring. I’m pretty sure I would have seen those before if they’d been there.
Here’s another photo that shows their branching pattern a little bit.
So do any of my gracious readers have any suggestions? I promise that if it turns out to be something that I really should have known, I will humbly admit it so.
- Naught for today. Seems like they could have come up with something.