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Please help ID the mystery tree

November 21, 2007

If anyone can ID this tree for me, I would be so so happy. It has been dazzling me for weeks on morning walks into campus, especially when the sun comes over the buildings into this courtyard and shines on the top of it. She glows even on a gloomy day, and reminds me of a hydrangea blossom just turning from green to pink.

To me this is the perfect tree, transplanted from Wonderland. She’s an arboreal confection with a demure attitude but high-born lines, her form polite and not sprawling, her leaves delicate, light, fluttering like the pale discs of an old fashioned money tree sitting on the dining room table in my grandmother’s house. Her colors are blushing spring, not brash autumn. I want to bring her inside for the winter.

Please forgive the phone camera photos. It was all i had with me as I left today, and I’m afraid her delicate leaves will be gone next week after it freezes again. Thumbnails link to big pics. Thanks.

The mystery tree is on the left in the first image. The last photo was from the other side, so she’s the small one on the right.

mystery tree1

mystery tree2

mystery tree3

mystery tree4

If someone knows, this will be a banner week for new-to-me-trees, since Kathy at coldclimategardening.com posted pictures that awakened me to the larch, which I am happy to know are not gorgeously dying all over the place, but a deciduous conifer! Those golden needles will fall off, but they will come back sickeningly green next spring!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 22, 2007 9:23 pm

    Good question. Looks like it’s up on North Campus between A lot and the gorge. One thing to look for that’s helpful in IDing is whether the leaves are ‘opposite’ (attached to the branch right next to each other) or ‘alternate’.

    If you drive in Ellis Hollow, there’s a good sized larch on the right hand side between Thomas and Genung. On the way out from Ithaca, you can see a patch of them on the ridge on the other side of the valley, I think in the same stretch of rode, if memory serves in both cases.

  2. slh78 permalink
    November 23, 2007 8:44 pm

    I happened to see your post and I know exactly what tree you’re referring to. I too have wondered at it while walking into campus each morning. Its leaves are so delicate, and it DOES look like it’s glowing. Unfortunately, I don’t know what kind of tree it is either, but I’d also like to find out.

  3. bloomlikeflowers permalink
    November 24, 2007 5:14 pm

    Thanks for the ideas on the leaves, Mr. Hollow. I hope there will still be some on Monday. (and you’re right about location) More sleuthing to do it seems… Just got back from seeing friends in Rochester. In 2 days and after light snow, all the trees in their backyard, many of which were still fully gold when we got there, are totally denuded. It was gorgeous when the snow was falling against the gold leaves and crazy to see them gone in a flash. One tree was still all green and is now bare! Of course there are no pictures…

  4. andrea permalink
    November 26, 2007 2:18 pm

    lynn, you’ll have to take me there someday so i can take a closer look! i have a winter id book i can bring along too…

    i too have been admiring the coloration on the larch trees this year – there are some striking outcrops of larch going out towards corning on rte 13 (i was headed to see the last day of the glass flower exhibit at cmog)

  5. sarah permalink
    November 17, 2008 7:23 pm

    maybe it’s a dogwood? Did it have white or pink cross-shaped flowers in the spring? (good-sized, each petal almost as big as a leaf)

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