Tree IDs #7: Second mystery tree - Any ideas?

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Blog entry by Gary Fixler posted 03-14-2009 12:38 AM 1641 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: First mystery tree followup - Orchid Tree (Bauhinia variegata) Part 7 of Tree IDs series Part 8: The deadly Chinese Elm »

These shots are from late February. I have several more since then backing up in my collection, so it’s time to roll out another mystery tree. I saw this one while paying a ticket at a Santa Monica, CA courthouse (missing front plate – whoops!). I love the swanky designs on its limbs.

The leaves remind me a lot of Ficus benjamina (Benjamin fig/Weeping fig), but the trunk and limbs do not. Maybe a cultivar, or some other kind of ficus? Here are several photos, from this Flickr set:

mystery tree

mystery tree

mystery tree

mystery tree

mystery tree

mystery tree

Thanks in advance for any help putting a name to this one.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

4 comments so far

View Emeralds's profile


143 posts in 4801 days

#1 posted 03-14-2009 01:04 AM


To me it looks like an Ash. Just happens to be my favorite species of hardwood since it’s rock hard, nicely figured and relatively inexpensive. It may also be some form of Willow. I’m certainly no expert on them but that is what it looks like to me.


-- JMP

View spanky46's profile


995 posts in 4629 days

#2 posted 03-14-2009 01:04 AM

Looks like ASH or ELM!!!!

-- spanky46 -- Never enough clamps...Never enough tools...Never enough time.

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4620 days

#3 posted 03-14-2009 02:19 AM

Emeralds and spanky, you guys look to be right about it being some kind of ash. It can’t be an elm, spanky, and the reason is a nice new bit of wisdom for me: while both have compound leaves, those of elms are alternate, while those of ash are opposite. A few of my pics show opposite leaves – a rather rare thing, apparently.

Now to figure out which kind of ash, if it is indeed an ash (90% sure it is). I’ve found a few pictures online with extremely similar leaves and branches, but those were not identified down to the common name. The common names I’ve found don’t seem to match exactly, and so far, I’ve not found any with the cool splitting limb bark. I have found one with square stems that seem like young versions of these limbs, but the young limbs in my pics do not have that feature. This is a tricky one.

Thanks, guys!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5538 days

#4 posted 03-14-2009 03:04 PM

I think its Hackberry, my son had some trees like this in his yard in Hot Springs, AR

Here’s some pictures of what the wood looks like.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

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