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Thread: Tree id

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    Montgomery, Al
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    Default Tree id

    Can anyone identify this tree? Friend gave it to me a 3 years ago and told me bees cover the blooms in the summer.
    Thanks
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Jun 2014
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    West Jordan, UT, USA
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    Default Re: Tree id

    reminds me of a young mulberry. I could be wrong.

  3. #3
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    Apr 2016
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    Mogollon Rim, Arizona 85933
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    Default Re: Tree id

    easy, that's the deadly Ricin tree aka Castor Bean

  4. #4
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    Montgomery, Al
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    Default Re: Tree id

    Thanks. I googled images of the ricin tree and their leaves appear to be more pointed on the tips whereas the leaves on mine appear more rounded. Are there different species of ricin trees?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Tree id

    Could it be a sassafras tree!

  6. #6
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    Mar 2016
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    Hall, Georgia, USA
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    Default Re: Tree id

    I don't think so. Sassafras grows wild all around my house. They tend to have 3 different leaf shapes on the same tree (an oval, a 3-pointed, and a mitten shaped leaf). Finding the 3 lobed leaf and the mitten leaf on the same tree is a sure-fire identifier for sassafras. If you cut the stem, it should smell like root beer. (I've generally heard you should not make sassafras tea with it, however, since there are some toxic liver-rotting chemicals in it).

    I also don't recall any blooms on them. If they had blooms, they didn't make an impression. (Not like the sumac in my yard which had like 500 bees on it at once).

    Thanks!
    Mike

  7. #7
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    Aug 2016
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    Phoenix, Arizona USA
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    Default Re: Tree id

    The leaf looks like that of the common fig tree.

    Fig.jpg
    Mclain

  8. #8
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    Apr 2016
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    Mogollon Rim, Arizona 85933
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    Default Re: Tree id

    not sas or mulberry

    it's a castor bean, wait till it flowers, yes there are different types they grow fast and tall every year
    with those long tall stalks

    that's where mcbain mis identified.

    fig stalks don't grow like a castor bean tree
    I have several castor beans and I have 3 celestial figs, 2 brown turkey figs, stalks on figs grow exceedingly slow
    with grey white bark, figs do not grow fast and do not have green stalks.

    the castor bean is deadly, if you have kids or animals, keep them away,
    just a little nibble on the bean and it will put you down in 2hrs

  9. #9
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    Aug 2016
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    Phoenix, Arizona USA
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    87

    Default Re: Tree id

    Good call David. Just looked up some pictures and it looks like you're right.
    Mclain

  10. #10
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    Mar 2016
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    Hall, Georgia, USA
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    Default Re: Tree id

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidZ View Post

    the castor bean is deadly, if you have kids or animals, keep them away,
    just a little nibble on the bean and it will put you down in 2hrs
    I feel a little dumb for asking, but maybe other readers are thinking the same question.

    If this thing can kill (I assume "put down" means "to kill" above) a child or a pet in two hours, why would anyone cultivate it? I don't think I've ever seen a tree like this. And, thank goodness for that!

    Does this tree have positive uses or aspects which balance out the whole "kill all your children" downside risks?



    Mike

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Perth west aust
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    12

    Default Re: Tree id

    As its name implies castor oil is processed from this plant. According to google 5-6 seeds need to be ingested before a 5 day painful wait til death...
    Introduced Castor bean grows wild around here and it's leaf is markedly different to the one in the op's photo. I've not seen bees around its flower either.

  12. #12
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    Jun 2016
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    west central Arkansas
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    Default Re: Tree id

    From Wikipedia:
    "Ricin /ˈraɪsɪn/ is a highly toxic, naturally occurring lectin (a carbohydrate-binding protein) produced in the seeds of the castor oil plant, Ricinus communis. A dose of purified ricin powder the size of a few grains of table salt can kill an adult human.[1] The median lethal dose (LD50) of ricin is around 22 micrograms per kilogram of body weight if the exposure is from injection or inhalation (1.78 milligram for an average adult). [2] Oral exposure to ricin is far less toxic as some of the poison is inactivated in the stomach. An estimated lethal oral dose in humans is approximately 1 milligram per kilogram.[2]"

    Anyone ever watch Breaking Bad? Poor Brock.

  13. #13
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    Mar 2016
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    Hall, Georgia, USA
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    Default Re: Tree id

    So, unless one is a suspense movie villain, no real practical use. (I love me some cold-press olive oil, but even that would not tempt me to kill Fido or AvatarSon. I've never had castor oil, but it is presented in old movies as a punishment).

    I guess I have to mark off "castor oil plantation" from my list of retirement ideas. I've already ruled out "become a millionaire from my bees."

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Tree id

    put down means put down
    kill means kill

  15. #15
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    Dec 2011
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    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
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    617

    Default Re: Tree id

    When I was a kid all ails were cured by a table spoon of castor oil, and believe me after one dose of that stuff I would never let my parents know if I was sick ever again.
    Johno

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Montgomery, Al
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    41

    Default Re: Tree id

    I finally got the tree identified. A friend of mine who manages a large tree nursery near Birminham identified it as a Chinese parasol tree.
    JB

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