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I'm stumped, Carolina Buckthorn, but no..

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Old Greenhorn:
OK, I am stumped. I have about 6 or 7 or these in ages from saplings to semi-mature trees. They have a beech-like leaf.


The bark is deeply grooved and is a lighter color than most local trees, almost light  tan.


Some of the branches grow out and down before they go up, which is either an environmental anomaly or just weird.


The tree drops a LOT of small blue berries this time of year and I can't say that the critters are too interested. These have a small dot on the bottom rather than the star you would see on a Blueberry, also they seem just a tad less round than a Blueberry.


The only ID I can come up with is Carolina Buckthorn, but that just can't be right as we are WAY north of the range for this tree. 
 Anybody have any ideas? I am thinking these are junk trees and I would like to this them out and let the birches grow up better. But I don't like cutting anything I can't identify. This area is overgrown and choices need to be made.

Texas Ranger:
Black tupelo

Old Greenhorn:
Well TR, you could very well be correct and probably are but two little things are bothering me. First, the leaves on my trees do not get that shiny dark green color on them (with and oil like finish) and second I am at the very tip top hairy edge of that tree's range. I counted the stalks and I have 8 of them in a 20 foot span, so yeah, they could have been planted for fence row, but I don't know. You ID is spot on except that color thing is digging at me. If you are correct, I am not sure what I could do with them, but for sure I have to thin out the small ones. Nothing good can come from that density.

Yes, blackgum.  Those fruits are not berries at all, but are drupes which have a pit like an olive or cherry.  Bite down on one and check it out.  

Are the berries from a black gum edible? 


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