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Mystery tree

AdstidAdstid Posts: 22
Hello. Can anyone shed any light on a puzzling tree I have in my border? I think it is a viburnum - but I'm not sure. This is my second year in a 3-acre garden and I can't quite remember what this particular tree did last year. I have a feeling it flowered twice - differently - as if once as it was meant to and once from shoots growing from below a graft union. I would say one flowering was your standard yellow viburnum and the other something more "special"-looking, but I honestly can't remember - last year's gardening is all a bit of a blur with so many plants to get to know!
A few days ago when I was weeding beneath it I snipped through a lot of vigorous twining shoots that looked like they might be suckers - I didn't want the root stock to "take over" and the "proper/special" tree to be lost. But today, coming with my tripod ladder to untwine and remove those severed stems from the canopy (and that of the neighbouring tree) I am even more confused. Because there are similar vigorous twining shoots coming off from higher branches, not only from below the possible graft union. They are all young shoots - none of the old growth is so long and twining. All these shoots twine around the older stems and each other and are very difficult to remove without damage. What am I dealing with here? And should I be taking out all these twisting shoots or leaving them all be? Any ideas? 
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  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
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  • AdstidAdstid Posts: 22
    edited 16 May
    Oops - just realised I typed viburnum instead of laburnum! 
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Todmorden, West YorksPosts: 4,248
    I agree, it looks like a wisteria, trained as a standard.  But I'd expect a standard wisteria would have a main stem (like a trunk), then top growth which has a weeping habit and is supported with some sort of framework.  Confusing...  If it is a wisteria you could get some flowers in the next few weeks, which would help the identification.

    I'd say don't do any radical pruning until you're sure what you're dealing with.  This could be one for @nutcutlet...
    "Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change"    Stephen Hawking
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 3,408
    If it is wisteria, it would need some fairly special pruning to keep it as a standard tree.
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  • FireFire LondonPosts: 3,408
    For sure. Just wise to go carefully and get some advice.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,820
    If it is a Laburnum tree, they could be suckers coming from the rootstock as it is usually a grafted tree.
    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 45,898
    My bet is laburnum  :)
    If you stop taking chances, you'll stay where you sit. You won't live any longer, but it'll feel like it.” 
  • AdstidAdstid Posts: 22
    Exactly what I thought, fidgetbones. And I was busily taking them out until I saw that some were coming from branches rather than below where the graft union would be - at which point I got cold feet and posted on here! 
    Young stems of wisteria and laburnum look pretty similar, Freddie's Dad - I'm pretty sure it's the latter - though I agree a standard wisteria would be a lovely thing. My friend has one that is glorious. 
    I will hold fire for a couple of weeks till it flowers and see if the situation becomes clearer. I should say that the previous owner of the garden had a taste for the unusual (and a budget to match) so there are some weird and wonderful things in my garden - which is great, but every so often it stumps me, as now!
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Todmorden, West YorksPosts: 4,248
    Still not sure about the laburnum ID.  In my experience laburnum leaves have more of the "pea" about them, with leaflets in threes... though there are other small trees with leaves more like yours, for instance Koelreuteria paniculata, Pride of India, or Cassia fistula, the Golden Chain tree, which has flowers very like laburnum.  Time will tell, I guess!   :)
    "Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change"    Stephen Hawking
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