reddish purple leaved seedling identification

Asked July 7, 2017, 10:32 AM EDT

I think it might be a hawthorn or edible crab apple. I dont have any of these trees with reddish purple leaves and neither do my neighbors. It was growing out in my field and I put it in a container before we made hay. I potted it up two weeks ago but I recently found two more smaller ones that are about two inches tall. I just found it odd that it has red purple leaves because I dont have any trees with red leaves and no neighbor close does either. There is one neighbor farther away who has a maple with red purple leaves but this doesnt look like a maple too me. Last year on the completely opposite side of my 20 acres I found an apple seedling with red purple leaves under and apple tree with green leaves and all the other seedlings near it had green leaves too. Can you tell me what kind of tree this might be? Thank you

Westmoreland County Pennsylvania

1 Response

It looks more like a crabapple than a hawthorn, and there are varieties of crabapples that have purple leaves. You are correct that it is definitely not a maple - maples have opposite leaves, and this seedling has alternate leaves.
Birds often eat crabapple fruit, and they probably deposited the seeds on your property. It is hard to say where the parent tree is located...
Best regards,