Tree Identification

Asked March 25, 2018, 6:07 PM EDT

This is a deciduous tree with a multi-branched trunk. It is at least 25 feet tall and planted on a south slope behind our house in full sun. I am unsure of the age. The leaves are definitely simple, but their arrangement is tricky. If you look in photo 3232, you can see that some are clearly alternate along the stem. But there are other parts where there are three or more whorled leaves, especially the newly emerging leaves (visible on photo 3227--right in the center you see three older whorled leaves). This made it really difficult to identify. The newer leaves are bright crimson, the older leaves remaining from last year's growth are green. They are net-veined, pinnate. I would call the shape lanceolate, with serrate margins (cunnate base, acuminate apex). I don't recall any fruit or flowers on the tree. You can see that there is some sort of spotting on the old leaves. It looks like a fungal issue to me. The closest I got was thinking it might be some sort of Dogwood, but I really don't recall any fruit or flower so I am doubtful. Any ideas?

Washington County Oregon tree health tree identification

2 Responses

Thank you for your question. Without seeing the flowers or fruit, my best guess is that this is potentially some sort of variety of cherry (Prunus sp.) or a crabapple (Malus sp.). The leaves can be tricky, but they are definitely alternate despite the tight spacing on newer growth at the end of the branches. Once you see flowers or fruit (which should be fairly soon), I suggest using this identification tool from OSU Department of Horticultural Sciences:

https://landscapeplants.oregonstate.edu/node/2163