Could you help identify this small tree in my back yard?

Asked March 22, 2020, 12:06 PM EDT

This is a volunteer plant in my backyard but there is only one of these in my large backyard. The leaves are extremely pointed, and some yellow flowers are about to form in the center top. Thanks a lot!

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Hello. This is a type of Mahonia. They are planted as ornamental shrubs, but two species, Mahonia bealei and Mahonia repens, have been found to have invasive tendencies in our area and may show up as "volunteers" by way of seed dispersal. If you decide to keep it, I recommend trimming off the flowers/fruits to avoid spread of the seeds into natural areas.

Here is our information about invasive plants,
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/invasive-plants

Christa