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Old 06-06-2010, 08:27 PM   #1
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Default Shrub of a friend

My buddy has this growing in a corner by his house. He says it was a volunteer and he's never seen a fruit or flower on it. He really likes it and would like to know what it is. Any help?
Shrub of a friend-wut1.jpgShrub of a friend-wut2.jpg
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:14 PM   #2
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Could it be an eastern ninebark/ Physocarpus opulifolius?
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:16 AM   #3
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It's not Physocarpus. It's not a lot of things. I'm not getting a good take on this plant. I think it has alternate leaves but I can't tell for sure. I don't see any thorns. Does it have any? Any fuzziness to the leaves at all? Are there any twigs you could get photos of? Is somebody sculpting that bush into that shape? It's probably a shrub that blooms on new wood if someone's pruning it. That might explain why it doesn't bloom.
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:51 PM   #4
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Possibly Morus alba - White Mulberry, severely pruned. The leaf shapes vary a lot depending on the form.
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:45 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the input. He has shaped it, so that may explain the lack of fruit or blooms. It has no thorns and the leaves are alternate (both items from memory). I'm fairly certain that the leaves were completely smooth. Exploring benji1's suggestion leads me to believe that he may be right that it's a White Mulberry, but a fruitless cultivar bred as an ornamental. This would mean that it wasn't a volunteer, but planted by his uncle who lived there before him. It also means that, although it is a non-native, he doesn't have to worry about it spreading itself as an invasive, which the fruiting cultivars are considered to be.
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Old 06-10-2010, 12:39 AM   #6
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There are no sterile mulberries and even the males bloom, they just don't set fruit. I'm prettys sure it's not Morus spp. There's variability in Morus but... not that much variability and Morus blooms on old wood. This is killing me. I'd love to figure out what this is. Can you get any photos of twigs that haven't been pruned and maybe some close up photos?
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Old 06-10-2010, 06:35 AM   #7
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This is where I got the info about fruitless mulberries. It's a USDA fact sheet hosted by the University of Florida. http://hort.ufl.edu/trees/MORALBA.pdf
I'll probably be visiting my buddy this weekend so I'll collect several detail pics for you to work with and post them here.
Dan
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Old 06-11-2010, 12:40 AM   #8
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There are fruitless mulberries just like there are fruitless bradford pears.... they're not sterile. I sent off your photo to some friends.... you're stumping them. Now they want to know what it is.
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:59 AM   #9
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If there is no fruit, how would they propagate, other than through cuttings and such? Could you explain to me the difference between sterile and fruitless? I'd really like to know.
This weekend I'll take many photos of the shrub in question including twigs, bark, undersides of leaves and any other points of interest that I can discern. Sorry to make you wait but my friend lives about an hour away and I gotta work!
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Old 06-11-2010, 06:27 AM   #10
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I'm a little slap happy.... my sleep was interrupted by the spotted rooster in our window well calling out to its momma like a foghorn. The tree isn't shooting blanks. The pollen is viable. The pdf is a great help understanding how it works. Hang onto the pdf. It's hard to find online. I have the original interview with the "father" of the Bradford Pear who was sorry he had ever unleashed this monster on us. It was really sad. You could tell his heart was bleeding over the ecological damage to the environment done by these "sterile" trees when the horticultural industry got their hands on them and began creating stepford wives of trees to make a buck.
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File Type: doc The Coming Plague of Pears.doc (70.5 KB, 3 views)
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