Thread: Help me ID this new Tree!

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  1. #1

    Help me ID this new Tree!

    Hello everyone! I need help identifying this tree which randomly grew in my backyard.

    I noticed it about 6 weeks ago, nearly mowing it down thinking it was a weed. In that time it has gone from about 18 inches tall to nearly 8 feet tall!

    The trunk still has a beet-reddish hue to it on the bottom and green for the most of it (no "bark" as of yet.) The diameter of it seems around 1 1/2 - 2 inches. The leaves are large and green , on average 3 - 4 inches long. You'll also notice the long fluffy "tufts" sticking out from the apex of the tree and many of the upper limbs as well.

    My neighbors lot has many trees, but mostly elms and willow-types, so i cant seem to match the leaf-type to assume a seed came from their yard.

    I live in the desert southwest, in Arizona. Any info would be greatly appreciated! Here are some images:


















    Thanks!
    > michael

  2. #2
    Oak
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Lincoln, Nebraska - Lancaster County (Zone 5)
    Posts
    256

    RE: Help me ID this new Tree!

    I don't believe this is a woody plant. It doesn't look like a tree or shrub. Note the structure of the roots near the base of the plant.

    What does everyone else think of this assessment? Any thoughts on what type of plant this is?
    Sincerely, Robert
    Lincoln, NE (Zone 5)

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.
    - Martin Luther (1483-1546)

  3. #3

    RE: Help me ID this new Tree!

    hmmmmm... very interesting. Well, i suppose only time will tell. I dont claim to know the first thing about botany, but if your assessment is correct, it sure is a huge plant! Nearly 9 feet tall today!

    Anyhow, thanks for your input and would love to hear anyone elses opinions.

    thanks!

    > michael

  4. #4
    Oak
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Rome, GA
    Posts
    122

    RE: Help me ID this new Tree!

    I agree with Robert that this is not a woody plant, but a herbaceous annual or perennial (probably an annual weed). Although I live a long way from Arizona I'm pretty sure that it is in the genus Amaranthus (Pigweed or Water Hemp). Unfortunately, according to the Flora of North America there are around 51 species of Amaranthus in North America, although not that many have been reported from Arizona. You could wait until the plant is fully in bloom or fruit and post another picture, but probably the best thing to do is contact a botanist, either from a local college or a state botanical society or native plant society. I'll post a link to your post on The Georgia Botanical Society website, forum section, to see if anyone can identify the plant. Some of our folks have more experience with western plants.

    Hope this helps!
    Richard


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