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Free arbor day trees id

jwhittin_gw MA/NH border 6a
March 7, 2019
last modified: March 7, 2019

In December I received some trees from the arbor day foundation. They are coming out of dormancy. Unfortunately I have no idea which tree is what. Any help? There are four so far, two of each, which have leaves showing.

Comments (21)

  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

    The jagged leafed one looks like a Crataegus. Did they send you Hawthorn? Or perhaps Crabapple. Can you show the other species separately? And show from the side, not birds eye because we can't see the bark, buds, leaf arrangement and attachment.

    jwhittin_gw MA/NH border 6a thanked floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
  • jwhittin_gw MA/NH border 6a

    I think I got both hawthorn and crabapple... maybe redbud . I will take some better pics tonight. They are all bunched up together in the pot so it was hard to separate them out for the pics. Honestly I had little hope for them so I was shocked to see they were budding out. I have two more showing signs of life as well but nothing yet to show as far as leaves.

  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

    The ovate leaf could be crabapple. None of them look like redbud. If they are all in one pot you need to split them up. They appear to have leafed out very early. Have you kept them indoors or did they come like that? I'd get them hardened off asap and plant them out in the ground as soon as your weather allows.

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    i would call that hawthorn .... cant really see any others ...

    we warned you to have no hope... and based on that.. you are thrilled.. lol ... see what we did there... lol ...

    redbud will be heart shaped ... shiny and reddish when tiny.. then going matte as they enlarge ...

    crab will look like a standard apple leaf ... nothing like the two above ... : https://duckduckgo.com/?q=crabapple+leaf&t=ffcm&iar=images&iax=images&ia=images

    do you know all about hardening off indoor plants to the outdoors???

    they are fine.. all in one pot ... even if you hold them in the pot.. until fall planting time ... depending on how fast it get HOT ... it might be best to leave them in the pot.. instead of trying to plant a leafed out babe in heat ...

    you will not be able to plant them out.. until all possibility of frost or freeze is gone ... because the leaves will not be tempered for such ... as nothing is.. for a freeze ... and we dont know.. if such a babe.. has enough stored energy to releaf if hit with frost of freeze ...


  • jwhittin_gw MA/NH border 6a

    Floral they have been kept indoors in a west facing window in the basement. Watered once and forgotten about lol. I was planning to put them outside around April or May, when I put out other perennials. Now that they've proved themselves, I have to find a spot for them!

  • jwhittin_gw MA/NH border 6a

    Thanks Ken for the advice. I know theoretically how to harden off so I can give it a whirl. There's still snow here so not going to put anything out anytime soon.

    I may have also received dogwood. Could that be the ovate one?

  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

    It's a little problematical that they have been kept inside. They should have been kept dormant and planted in the ground as soon as it's workable. They're totally hardy and frost wouldn't bother them if they were still dormant. You'll know next time. Now you have to go through a hardening off process. Meanwhile keep them in the coolest and lightest place you have. Are the leaves opposite? I can't see. If they are it could be dogwood. If not, no.

  • Embothrium

    What the other looks like is crape myrtle, both the whip-like main stem and the individual leaves.

  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

    Ken, just noticed your comment about crab apple leaves. There are crabs with lobed leaves. And the ovate leafed growth is somewhat etiolated and new so I would not be inclined to totally discount crab without more evidence.

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    flora ... arbor day is a great place to make a donation ... but well known for sending very plain old types ... in the wrong season ... and very often dead .. lol ...

    these should not have been sent to him when they were ... and i believe.. there was a prior post.. where he was told to inform them to resend at the appropriate planting time .. and to just wing it best he/she could

    btw ... forgetting about them in the basement.. brilliant .. lol .. ive had some of my best successes with benign neglect.. especially trees and shrubs .. dormant.. they just dont need much of any care ...

    flora.. i meant above.. that apple or crab.. looks nothing like a redbud or hawthorn ... though that might not have been clear from how i stated such ...


  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

    And my point was that there are crabapples with leaves that do look like hawthorn.

    And that if the trees were delivered dormant they should have been kept dormant.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    ^^ Agree! Malus trilobata or transitoria could be easily mistaken for a hawthorn by those unfamiliar with them. Although I seriously doubt the Arbor Day Foundation is getting that creative with their cheapo offerings :-)

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    wheres the comment i just sent???? .. twilight zone ...

  • jwhittin_gw MA/NH border 6a

    I tried to take some more pics of the leaves, but they dont look much better. Btw Ken I am a she

    I checked their lists of what they send and it looks like my choices are washington hawthorn, eastern redbud, Sargent crabapple and white flowering dogwood.

  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

    Now that does look like Crape Myrtle, as Embothrium suggested.

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    i caught myself on the he/she ... lol

    it doesnt surprise any of us ... that you got a rogue plant ...

    but you saw what was in the package.. just a bunch of 8 inch sticks with a root or two ... so getting them mixed up.. isnt all that surprising .. eh???

    and.. its the usual .... they didnt send you what you requested.. nor what they thought they did.. none of us are surprised by that .. lol ..

    now i wonder if CM is viable in your local.. NH/MA border ... i would guess not ... but i could be wrong .... might all depend on your micro climate ...

    the pot goes outside .. AFTER all chance of frost or freeze is gone .. in full bright shade ... and then we harden off to sun ... and then.. maybe in the ground.. but if the weather has gone hot.. wait until fall to plant ... the last thing we want to do.. is somehow make the leaves fall off for one reason or another ... every leaf is a food making machine .. and though many trees can releaf ... its a giant stress on such a babe ..


    ps: GW rearranged the whole post on a typo correction ... i tried best i could to put it back properly ...

  • jwhittin_gw MA/NH border 6a

    Thanks Ken, I'll keep you guys in the loop once they go outside!

  • carol23_gw

    They should have been color coded when you received them.

  • naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan

    The color coding can be hard to see....just a little bit of paint near the base, often covered with potting mix, mold, etc. Look carefully, or it could well be gone already from plants you have had around this long. Of course, if you are missing the "answer sheet" it doesn't matter.

  • jekeesl (south-central Arkansas)

    When I saw the first photo, I thought that the leaves in the lower portion looked like Crataegus phaenopyrum. That species is native across the eastern US, but is also a widely-used landscape plant. Now that you've confirmed C. phaenopyrum (Washington Hawthorn) as an option from their list, it appears to be the likely choice for one of the two plants shown above.

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