Thread: Anyone know what tree this is?

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  1. #1

    Anyone know what tree this is? ANSWERED: European Smoketree

    Hi, all:

    I am new to the forum and very much a newbie when it comes to trees. I'm embarrassed to say it, but I think the only trees I can readily identify are maples and dogwoods (if they are in bloom). I've been feeding some birds near a tree in Harvard Yard, and I am trying to figure out what kind of tree it is. I could use your expertise!

    Below is a link to various pictures. Some have critters in them, since they were originally my focus. The tree has a trunk that splits into three smaller trunks very close to the ground, and they are held together by cables, I guess to keep it from splaying until it breaks. I've included pictures of the leaves, the branches, the trunk, what it looks like from underneath, and one taken in winter that I found on the web. I thought it might be a yellowwood, but the bark is not smooth. I am also curious about the white flowery wisps growing out of it, which I don't see in any descriptions online.

    The tree is located in Harvard Yard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

    Last edited by soobee620; 08-17-2012 at 10:15 AM. Reason: question answered!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Sylva NC zone 7
    purple smoke tree maybe.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the answer. I believe you are right. I had googled and googled and looked on tree ID websites and even on a site dedicated to Harvard Yard trees (!). I tried again with your suggestion. It turns out I missed the trees for the forest (no pun intended). The Harvard Yard tree site has a map of all the trees in Harvard Yard (I went to that site several times and somehow never noticed the maps). It's labeled a "European Smoketree", and I guess this specimen is not cultivated to have purple flowers or leaves. I sat under it nearly every day this summer, and I'm glad to finally know what it is! Thanks, again!

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