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Author Topic: Funny Bark- Solved!! White Ash  (Read 4996 times)

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Offline WDH

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Funny Bark- Solved!! White Ash
« on: January 19, 2009, 04:00:06 PM »
Bark characteristics are generally consistent in a given area.  However, this tree had bark characteristics that I found unusual for the species.  It seems this tree was using mimicry to stay unobstrusive.  Do you know what it is?

 



 

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Offline Tom

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Re: Funny Bark
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2009, 04:21:03 PM »
Sweet Gum?
extinct

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Funny Bark
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2009, 04:24:44 PM »
I had three guesses, until I saw the top.  :-\

What is the site/soil like? ;D

The diamond pattern bark is almost like butternut. But, I'm not seeing the symmetry in the top I'm used to in butternut growing in maple,yellow birch, ash ground. That's where I have found my best butternut timber. Butternut limbs I'm used to don't grow up in a twist like those. But some of the branch tips look stout enough. Gotta be getting warm. ;D


First glance of the trunk reminded me of old growth balsam poplar growing in a  cedar stand, only it's not orange enough. Knowing were your at rules that out. ;)

Only other guess I have is some kind of ash, but it doesn't appear to be opposite branching, so there goes that. :D

So back to the walnut family. :)
Move'n on.

Offline WDH

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Re: Funny Bark
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2009, 06:55:16 PM »
Tom, not sweetgum.

SD, the soil is calcareous.  This is a very unique area of interspersed tall grass blackland prairies.  These woods connect the prairies.  The soil has a high shrink/swell clay.  Pine will not grow in it.  There is a unique and rare plant assemblige on these soils.

Well, SD, you were all over the mark, then promptly at the end, talked yourself right out of it ;D.  I have to award the prize of all of Metalspinners crotch cherry to you though:D.  It is white ash, Fraxinus americana.  This tree, from the bark perspective, looks more like yellow poplar or cottonwood.  Just a couple of chains away is another specimen with more typical bark:

 



This bark is more typical of ash.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Funny Bark
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2009, 07:07:12 PM »
I see that kind of bark in your first pics on ash here sometimes. I credit it to green ash however. My white ash here have more symmetry and bark starts brown and becomes more ashened (color) and bark like your last pic. Black ash on the other hand is more twisty.  Does that odd ball ash have some orange-red in it? Because we also call it (green ash) red ash up here, that's why.

That bark sure looks like butternut. :D

The soil seems right for ash. ;D
Move'n on.

Offline WDH

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Re: Funny Bark
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2009, 07:11:05 PM »
No red orange in the bark.  That is the coarsest barked ash that I have ever seen.  Looked like very big, old yellow poplar or cottonwood.  The color was a light gray, like poplar.  Here, ash ash has more of a brownish greenish tint, probably because there is a species of green lichem that loves to grow on ash bark.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Funny Bark- Solved!! White Ash
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2009, 07:17:50 PM »
I guess that is why one of my thoughts was old growth balsam poplar. Starts out young with green-gray, then gray , and real old ones get orangey bark. :D

Bark ID? Hmph for the wood peckers. :D
Move'n on.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Funny Bark- Solved!! White Ash
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2009, 07:24:00 PM »
Now if you would have stood back and took a picture to see the branching arch up at the trunk, then downward, and an upward sweep on the end, then I could have said ash . ;D
Move'n on.

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Funny Bark- Solved!! White Ash
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2009, 09:12:28 PM »
That first pic sure does look like poplar.  But the second does look like ash with the "diamond weave".
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Re: Funny Bark- Solved!! White Ash
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2009, 10:15:02 PM »
Yep, that bark had big ridges that were flattened on top, just like yellow poplar.  That tree is probably as old as the hills.
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Offline Gary_C

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Re: Funny Bark- Solved!! White Ash
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2009, 12:12:57 AM »
By the time I get to see it, you claim to have it solved and give the prize to someone that mentioned everything imaginable. Hey Donk, you forgot to mention Maple.  :D :D

After dealing with all those variations in Aspen bark, I know how difficult bark ID can be. And speaking of Aspen, if that coarse bark did not go all the way up, with those branches at the top, Aspen would have been a guess.

So I am not sure I am going to buy that ID yet. Got any other proof?

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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Funny Bark- Solved!! White Ash
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2009, 06:29:08 AM »
Well Gary, that's about as good as it gets when bark is so unreliable to identify trees as I said way back on this forum. So just shot gun it and hope ya hit something. :D
Move'n on.

Offline Lanier_Lurker

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Re: Funny Bark- Solved!! White Ash
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2009, 07:26:15 AM »
Well, I was also late to this one.

I certainly would have thought it to be yellow poplar as well.

Don't know if I have any white ash in the area, but I probably do.  I have seen trees that appear to have the more typical bark like that shown in the second picture.

Offline WDH

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Re: Funny Bark- Solved!! White Ash
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2009, 12:12:38 PM »
Gary_C, it is definitely ash, opposite branching and samaras. 

SD uses a shotgun with #9 shot ;D.
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Offline Gary_C

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Re: Funny Bark- Solved!! White Ash
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2009, 02:03:07 PM »
So that's all you got?  ;D
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Funny Bark- Solved!! White Ash
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2009, 03:36:33 PM »
 :D :D

Well, when I look up that trunk I see branching alternating as you go up, I don't see any two main limbs opposite to one another. Now, that may well change when your looking at small limbs which we can't tell too much from any of the pictures. We just have to take your word. Although, it wasn't volunteered information until the 'quiz' was over. :D

I've said it before, it's easier when your on the other end looking at the live specimen. :D

I'll bet apples for donuts, that it's more than the bark you looked at to figure out that tree. ;)
Move'n on.

Offline Jeff

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Re: Funny Bark- Solved!! White Ash
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2009, 05:28:38 PM »
So that's all you got?  ;D

I've spent a little time with Danny and Dodgy as well, when they were actually in the presence of the trees they were examining.  The last thing in the world I would dream of doing is doubting or second guessing a conclusion either one had reached, especially when they have first hand, on site knowledge.  They know their stuff.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Funny Bark- Solved!! White Ash
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2009, 05:31:51 PM »
Yes they do.  :)
Move'n on.

Offline Dodgy Loner

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Re: Funny Bark- Solved!! White Ash
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2009, 03:42:01 PM »
Looks like I'm late to the party as well.  That's a strange-looking ash, indeed.  It definitely resembles a Populus more than a Fraxinus.  I would have guessed eastern cottonwood based on the deeply furrowed bark and coarse branches.  It's easy enough to see the opposite branching when you're looking at the tree in person, though.  Elms are another genus that can occasionally have confusing bark.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Funny Bark- Solved!! White Ash
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2009, 06:41:46 PM »
It is hard to see the upper limbs because of all the other small trees growing up underneath this tree.  It is the oddest ash bark that I have seen, but this is also one of the oddest sites that I have ever seen as well.
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