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anyone recognise this shrub / tree with white bark and downward branches

ju1i3ju1i3 Camden Town, LondonPosts: 189
I saw these this week. Not sure it's considered a tree or a shrub. Curious what it is, thanks.



  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923
    the leaves look almost ash like, maybe even walnut? certainly not a native
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 80,421
    Are all the branches coming from one trunk or are they suckers?
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • ju1i3ju1i3 Camden Town, LondonPosts: 189
    The one trunk clearly has the downward branches, I'm not sure about other stems in the foreground. I'll need to go back and look at it further. I see two main stems (in the 2nd pic) but only after I got home did I realise, I'm not sure if they are growing from the same base.
  • ju1i3ju1i3 Camden Town, LondonPosts: 189
    No suckers but a number of branches growing from the same base.

    I also see not only is there white bark but some very dark bark. And some branches very upright and some downward-turning.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,233
    Look up Physocarpus (yellow leaved)  or ninebark.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • ju1i3ju1i3 Camden Town, LondonPosts: 189
    it doesn't have peeling bark
  • yorkshireroseyorkshirerose North YorkshirePosts: 574
    I've researched my Collins Tree Guide book, and the nearest I can find is Sassafras. The shape is described as being  a narrow dome of twisting branches, sometimes shrubby and gaunt. Grey bark. Leaves, odd shape, lobed, although old leaves are the norm, glossy green with silver under sides. Autumn colour yellow - pinkish. 
    Definitely not native - Ontario to Florida, Texas, Spain. (1560)

    May be totally wrong, but an interesting find whatever it is.
    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
  • ju1i3ju1i3 Camden Town, LondonPosts: 189
    Thank you @yorkshirerose and @fidgetbones. I don't think it's either of those but I'm no expert on trees so thank you for the ideas. I do have that Collins Complete Guide to British Trees but didn't find it much help. I did get an ID (for a different tree) from the Natural History Museum tree identification key ( I am weakest on trees, sadly. 

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,682
    There is a possibility of two plants in with that clump. The leaves are looking quite ragged, so a bit difficult to see well. I'm thinking it could be a Box Leaf Elder, Acer Negundo. Being so young, they don't always look the same as a mature specimen.
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,287
    edited November 2018
    I think Borderline has it pretty much nailed.

    If you see the pictures in this lady's blog and her description of the bloom on the stems. Also the structure of some of the branches.

    So might be as described on a couple of sites, violet twigged Box Elder or.
    Acer negundo violaceum
    I have square eyes from looking as it has intrigued me enough to spend too long searching. :D
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