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Author Topic: Spiky mystery tree  (Read 1595 times)

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Offline Southside logger

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Spiky mystery tree
« on: May 30, 2018, 10:22:18 PM »
I have seen these around every now and then and have wondered what they are. The spikes are quite pronounced and this one is about 4' tall.

Any ideas?
Thanks


 



 



 
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Offline bluthum

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Re: Spiky mystery tree
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2018, 03:53:28 AM »
Looks like hercules club [ Aralia spinosa].

Offline WDH

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Re: Spiky mystery tree
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2018, 07:20:50 AM »
Yes.  Also called the Devil's Walking Stick.
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Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: Spiky mystery tree
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2018, 10:14:38 AM »
We call them Devils walking sticks too, that whole thing is just one leaf its my impression that its the largest deciduous tree leaf in the US, I don't know if you would call it double or triple compound. The birds around here love to eat there seeds in the fall. The largest I have found are probably 16'-18' but I try to cut them down when found.
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Offline bluthum

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Re: Spiky mystery tree
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2018, 11:18:40 AM »
They often do have a generous offering of blue black fruits that the birds like. The fruits very vaguely resemble elderberries though not even appearing in the same season. I mention that because I'm thinking they are somewhat poisonous to humans. I knew a fellow once who was planning to pick some for making "elderberry" wine, I talked him out of that. Supposedly it's the green berries that are toxic.

This is one plant deer don't seem to chew on too much.

Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: Spiky mystery tree
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2018, 04:01:12 PM »
 That is the one I find when I jump the creek and grab a tree for balance. arg-smiley
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Offline WDH

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Re: Spiky mystery tree
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2018, 08:51:17 PM »
 I don't know if you would call it double or triple compound.
Technically, bi-pinnate compound .  Uh Oh, the Big Word Club will hammer me now.  They seem to ride my back :).  
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Spiky mystery tree
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2018, 10:12:17 PM »
   I helped my BIL at wife's old home place near Cullman Ala last summer while we were cleaning out a bunch of them. There was a spring run-off in their pasture that was nearly overrun with them. I ran the chain saw and they dragged them out to a brush pile. Real wicked looking plant.
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Offline JBlain

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Re: Spiky mystery tree
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2018, 10:48:34 PM »
My money would be on a newer invasive that is much more aggressive from Asia.  Japanese angelica-tree.  Looks almost identical to our native one.  Up to last year I assumed it was the native variety on our place in PA.  After keying the leave serrations out, it was from the invasive from Asia.  I had a couple very large patches and that is also a telltale sign of the invasive.  They are all gone now thanks to a little hack and squirter and foliage chemical. 
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Re: Spiky mystery tree
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2018, 12:49:38 PM »
I hadn't heard of the invasive import. Sounds like that might be a grim weed.

Offline WDH

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Re: Spiky mystery tree
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2018, 08:12:40 PM »
Same genus, minor differences, basically the same plant.  It sticks you just the same. 
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Re: Spiky mystery tree
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2018, 08:26:47 PM »
I get that. Locally the native plant is, in my opinion, a harmless, actually welcome part of the forest landscape.  Sure, I've been snagged clawing my way up a slope but no biggie.

But if it as an aggressive invasive i could get sour.... 

Offline ESFted

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Re: Spiky mystery tree
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2018, 02:01:01 PM »
I know it as devil's walking stick.   It prefers deep moist soils and in our area of Virginia is one of the plants we look for as evidence when delineating wetlands as part of the property development process.  A friend has a large grove of them near one of his properties and has trespass trouble with several Asian ladies who sneak in to harvest something from them when they are in flower.  I haven't figured out what it is they are after....food or medicinal?
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Online clearcut

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Re: Spiky mystery tree
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2018, 02:50:23 PM »
Related to the ginseng, fresh bark and berries used for toothaches and joint pain. 

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Spiky mystery tree
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2018, 06:28:58 PM »
is one of the plants we look for as evidence when delineating wetlands as part of the property development process


Are you saying you consider it to be evidence of wetlands?  This one was on the edge of tillable clay soil under a mix of pine and hardwood, probably and old fence row 75 years ago is my guess.     
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Re: Spiky mystery tree
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2018, 07:23:32 AM »
Plants are only one indicator of a jurisdictional wetland.  There are soil and hydrological tests that must be met as well for an area to be classed as a wetland by the Corps of Engineers. 
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Re: Spiky mystery tree
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2018, 10:34:49 PM »
Yup. WDH has the answer. In addition to wetlands, the confirmed presence of the endangered Small whorled pogonia (Isotria medeoloides) will seriously mess with a developers plans.
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