My gardening philosophy is "anything that wants to grow in my garden gets to stay and grow unless it's poisonous or noxious." So volunteer trees and shrubs are allowed to grow until identified, then are moved to more convenient location as necessary. I have a viburnum bush that has gorgeous pinky/white fragrant flowers that just finished blooming (originally found growing in a crevice of the front walk) and a wild crabapple that is in full bloom, among others in the back yard, and a couple of Japanese maples and Bradford pears in the front yard.
So usually, I have no trouble ID'ing them, but this one has me stumped. I have what appears to be a tree growing in my flowerbed next to the house. I really should've done this last year -- now it's getting way too big and I have to move it (with difficulty) or cut it down.
Can you help me? Here are a couple of photos:
... Today, I went to a beautiful location called Sayen House and Gardens in Hamilton, NJ (www.sayengardens.org) for a friend's mom's memorial services and saw this very same plant. It appears to be either a tall shrub or an understory tree with a spreading/umbrella like growth habit and bears clusters of small hydrangea-like flowers -- I.e. umbels of buds flower from outside-in. (ugh, should've taken a picture, but it didn't occur to me) I didn't get a chance to speak to anyone from the gardens and it wasn't labeled, so I still don't know what it's called.
!!! THEN I tried Google Imaging for tree hydrangea and found "wild hydrangea" which is definitely the tree I saw at the gardens -- but the closeup of it doesn't look like the leaves I have!!! So now I'm wondering if I jumped to conclusions at the gardens. I found another tree ID by leaf site and now I'm wondering if this is a slippery elm -- not as WOW as the hydrangea, but still might be worth keeping for herbal/medicinal properties...
Since it's a volunteer, it's fruit or nut is probably favored by birds. It's also possible that it has an interesting seed that one of my kids picked up and planted there. It's hard to see but the leaf is deeply creased along the veins. Here are some more pics.
[img]https://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a123/njhorse/NHR/Image768.jpg[/img] [img]https://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a123/njhorse/NHR/Image765.jpg[/img] [img]https://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a123/njhorse/NHR/Image767.jpg[/img]