Madjik_Man
Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:15 pm
Location: Boulder, CO

Please help identify this tree in our yard

So for years I've been calling it a "smoke tree" because I believe that's what a tree trimmer called it when it saw it. This morning I googled "smoke tree" because I was interested in learning more about its behavior and soon came to realize that what was most commonly referred to as a "smoke tree" is not what we have in our yard. I understand there are probably many variations of what is called a "smoke tree" but the most common search result was Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple'. Please see the pictures (and comments) below to help me identify this tree. Thanks in advance.

Pic #1: Taken in mid-May when it first flowered. As you can see, these flowers are different than the Continus coggygria flowers which give the latter the true "smoke" appearance. Also take note: in early Spring when the leaves first come back from Winter, they are all a bright colored light-green. In the next couple of photos you see how the leaves change to a deep purple a few weeks later

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Pic #2: The tree from afar (just right of the pergola post). As you can see the leaves on the tips of the branches are a really bright light-colored green and they turn to a deep purple as they are closer to the trunk

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Pic #3: A close up, taken today, showing how the leaves growing at the tip are a bright light-green and as you move away from the tip they turn to a darker green to eventually a deep purple. Also take note of the "berries" (or whatever they are, I have no clue)

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Pic #4: Not the greatest photo, but I just want to give you an idea of what it looks like

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Thanks in advance for helping me identify this tree.

bullthistle
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1152
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:26 pm
Location: North Carolina

First it is not a smoke bush and second it's kind of leggy so you'll need to prune it come fall. Been away too long but smoke bush blooms are light, airy and transparent. The flowers remind me of lilac but have no clue what your tree is. Go to cooperative extension if you don't get an answer.

Madjik_Man
Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:15 pm
Location: Boulder, CO

Thank you for the reply.

How far back should I prune it?

And what is "cooperative extension" if you don't mind me asking?

bullthistle
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Posts: 1152
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:26 pm
Location: North Carolina

I'd prune it back by 1/3. Cooperative extension is normally a county agency overseen by a state university. Just Google cooperative extension for your county and state. As I said it reminds me of a lilac but enever heard of one changes leaf color and being so shiny. Sorry.

MaineDesigner
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Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:17 pm
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b

It looks like Prunus virginiana. I'm not certain of the cultivar, perhaps 'Schubert' but I wouldn't take that to the bank.
You need to hire a better class of tree trimmer. There is no excuse for a supposed professional being that far off on an I.D.

Madjik_Man
Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:15 pm
Location: Boulder, CO

MaineDesigner wrote:It looks like Prunus virginiana. I'm not certain of the cultivar, perhaps 'Schubert' but I wouldn't take that to the bank.
You need to hire a better class of tree trimmer. There is no excuse for a supposed professional being that far off on an I.D.


When we moved into the house the previous owners planted three russian olives (considered noxious/invasive weeds here) that were all about 30 feet high that needed to be taken down. As well as three fully grown, standing dead poplars and 2 aspens.

I wasn't looking for an arborist per say, but some guy with a crew, chainsaws and the will to climb up those suckers and take them down for me (and then grind the stumps) :D

Thank you so much for identification... after googling it and seeing some images I do believe you are correct.

Much appreciated

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