Revamp of old question: Need help identifying 3 southeastern Minnesota trees.
June 18, 2008 10:10 PM   Subscribe

Revamp of old question: Need help identifying 3 southeastern Minnesota trees.

Ok, this is a repeat of a previous question I asked here because it got too old and no one who was helping me saw the upodate with pictures. Here is the same stuff over again:

Need help identifying 3 tree branches from the Southeastern Minnesota region.

I recently came back from the local zoo here in southern MN with some branches in tow for nature studies fun. However, in my research of what they were, 3 seemed to be giving me a little trouble. I have taken photos of the branches in their length and a closeup of each of their leaf clippings for examples.

The first I believe to be a Northern White Cedar and I just need a rousing yay to be sure I am correct on it.

Cedar Closeup

The second is giving me some hard time, but I am pretty sure it is a spruce, just stuck on what kind exactly, like Black, Norway, White, Sitka, or Eastern.

Spruce Closeup

The third is the crowning jewel of confusion. I am not sure if I accidentally grabbed a leaf from too low on this still young branch, but I am thinking I have it narrowed to a Maple tree, just not sure what kind. Some back details for you is that the tree itself was not large, maybe about 10 feet tall and acting as a decorative tree lining on the sidewalk to the zoo. None of the leaves on the rest of the tree were glossy/waxy looking, just rather plain green with a minor bit of shine. Leaves on the rest of the tree were soft and moving, not stiff, and none that I remember were any bigger than maybe a dollar bill.

Maple Wannabe
Maple Wannabe Closeup

As a note, I have contacted the zoo itself, but they don't offer me a lot of help. I am starting to wonder if I need to make a second trip to the zoo.

This is the new pictures that I updated with:

Ok, I have an update for everyone. Was able to get back to the zoo yesterday and took some photos of the trees themselves. Maybe now we can finish this one off
posted by LittleNami to Science & Nature (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
All those bottom nine links are wrong. They go back to this AskMe thread.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:32 PM on June 18, 2008

Woops, thank you for notifying me on that!
posted by LittleNami at 10:36 PM on June 18, 2008

There we go ^^ Here is the real pictures, sorry people -_-

Maple? 2



So sorry about that
posted by LittleNami at 10:44 PM on June 18, 2008

That's no kind of maple I've ever seen, and I'm from the midwest, originally. The seeds aren't right, and I'm sure you realize, the leaves don't look quite right. I'd look at sycamore varieties as an alternative, since they are kind of maple-ish.
posted by Goofyy at 11:02 PM on June 18, 2008

That's no kind of maple I've ever seen, and I'm from the midwest, originally.

Me too, and it's starting to look like some sort of Sassafras or possibly a poplar or larch?
posted by The Light Fantastic at 12:38 AM on June 19, 2008

Not sassafras, I've known that well since my grandmother first introduced me to the tea.
posted by Goofyy at 2:47 AM on June 19, 2008

I'm pretty sure about this:
Red Cedar
The Spruce is a little harder. The determining factor is whether the the twig have small hairs on them. This is not visible in your images. Also the white spruce is is always conical which it is not in your image. I'm going with Black Spruce. You can make your own determination at this link.
posted by Xurando at 4:33 AM on June 19, 2008

The maple (which I think it is, although I can't quite tell if the leaves and branches are opposite one another) is probably not a native species. I don't think those are seeds, I think they are flower buds. Look at this image of Amur or Tartarian Maple (Acer tataricum). It looks like the same species to me, although if it's a cultivated variety it may be hard to definitively identify it.
posted by mollweide at 8:01 AM on June 19, 2008

I'm going to have to agree with mollweide on the maple, I've considered the Amur Maple also, but I wasn't sure since the leaves on this particular tree weren't glossy. However, I forgot to take into account that it might be a cultivated variety for southeastern Minnesota's weather.

Xurando, the main reason why I thought it was not Sycamore was because the mature leaves on this tree have 3 points, two lobes, not 5 points, 4 lobes. Otherwise that was my idea on that one.

As for the Cedar, I agree with you on that one Xurando. Red looks like the one.

When it comes to Spruce, I was stuck also. If I remember correctly, the tree did not have little hairs, but I can't be for sure since it was some time ago. At least it is narrowed to Black and White ^^

Thanks guys and gals! You all really helped me get this figured out ^^
posted by LittleNami at 8:36 AM on June 19, 2008

Oh, Xurando, I would have to go with White Spruce after some looking at that site you linked.
posted by LittleNami at 8:38 AM on June 19, 2008

The cedar does look to be a northern white cedar. It's not a eastern red cedar because their needles are scale-like but not flat, and their fruit does not turn woody like the northern white cedar. It remains a slightly fleshy, blue-like berry until it dries up and/or is eaten in the winter by desperate birds. In fact, the eastern red is not a cedar at all but a juniper, which have similar fruit. Crush an eastern red cedar fruit and you'll smell gin, which makes sense since juniper is a primary flavoring agent of gin.

I agree with Xurando on the spruce, though. It does seem to be a black spruce, although the cones look a little big.

Check out the Virginia Tech tree ID pages for more info.
posted by mollweide at 8:43 AM on June 19, 2008

On preview, the cones don't look right for white spruce (too big and elongate).
posted by mollweide at 8:46 AM on June 19, 2008

Duh, -1 for reading comprehension. You weren't suggestion it was eastern red cedar, Xurando, sorry about that.
posted by mollweide at 8:49 AM on June 19, 2008

« Older Portable Soldering Iron   |   Lots of stuff in apartment glows under uv-light.... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.