Garden Diary - July 2023

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Unknown Tree, Now Known
Friday, 28 July 2023

I was visiting a friend yesterday. She lives in Kingwood Township, about 15 minutes away. I admired an odd tree, planted by her husband some years ago. I didn't recognize it. And she didn't recall what it might be.

It's of moderate size, neither very large or rather small.

The glossy, compound leaves are arranged pinnately, and
the small white flowers are in upright clusters.

Here's a closeup of a leaf

and another of a flower cluster.

And one last image, examining its bark.

I have two friends that are more knowledgeable about trees than am I,
and the more details I can provide, the more helpful in learning it's name.

My email:
"Here are images of her unknown tree, edited down for size. Flowers are very small, somewhat fragrant, just starting to drop individually. And bees love them. Bark smooth. Clearly not Amur cork tree. Care to make a guess?"

And I quickly received an answer.

"It’s an Evodia, or bee tree, that I first saw at the Morris Arboretum – a magnificent specimen it was too and probably still is! I have one that’s about twenty years old that is now full of honey bees and later when the seeds fall, full of mourning doves who have a particular fondness for the berries. I do have the occasional Evodia seedling coming up in my nursery, but its not significant to the point where one would call it invasive (although I have heard it referred to that way). Evodia Tetradiem, (formerly Evodia Danielii) is almost never found in garden centers and I think I grew mine from seed or got it through the Morris Arb."

Passed this information on to my friend, who was delighted, and said, "Yes! Now it rings a bell – thank you!"

Sometimes it is not what you know but rather who you know that is helpful.

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