ID Help Please

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ID Help Please

Post  kirk@localbonsai.com on Tue May 20, 2014 4:17 pm

Hi all,

One of my hobbies is exploring native species for use in bonsai. Two years ago, I collected this specimen in a swampy area near Boston, MA - but I am still unsure of the specie.

Leaves are alternate and serrated as seen from the pictures in the link. In the Boston area, these trees grow like weeds; very hardy and adventitious - see link below for pictures

http://localbonsai.com/unidentified-bonsai/

Much thanks,

-Kirk

kirk@localbonsai.com
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Re: ID Help Please

Post  kirk@localbonsai.com on Wed May 21, 2014 3:25 pm

I've narrowed it down to the Rhamnus Genus with the help of some friends, i.e. Buckthorn - which is actually invasive to the New England area! This type of shrub can display opposite, alternate, or semi-opposite leaves, and normally has berries despite the lack of fruit on my specimen.

I'm putting my money on Rhamnus Carthartica ; I invite others to dispute this educated guess.

THanks,

-kdr152004

kirk@localbonsai.com
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Re: ID Help Please

Post  DougB on Wed May 21, 2014 4:48 pm

Take some pictures and samples to your local Agricultural Extension office. The agent or master gardeners should be able to provide a positive ID.

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Re: ID Help Please

Post  David Brunner on Thu May 22, 2014 1:49 am

Hello Kirk - I'm certain that your plant is indeed Rhamnus cathartica, the common buckthorn.  It is indeed a noxious weed and is listed as a prohibited plant in Massachusetts as well as a number of other states.  It is native to Eurasia where it typically grows as a shade-tolerant forest understory shrub or small tree.  The leaves and seeds are toxic to humans and many animals.

David B.

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Re: ID Help Please

Post  kirk@localbonsai.com on Thu May 22, 2014 2:53 pm

David, thanks for confirming my beliefs - hmmm, sounds like I'm living on the wild-side of bonsai now; an illegal plant!

kirk@localbonsai.com
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Re: ID Help Please

Post  JimLewis on Thu May 22, 2014 3:15 pm

And, Kirk, if you would amend your profile to give us a better idea of what part of the United States you live it, it will be helpful when we try to give advice. TNX

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: ID Help Please

Post  Leo Schordje on Mon May 26, 2014 4:30 pm

Don't worry, growing in a bonsai pot the "Jack Booted Storm Troopers of the USDA" won't bother you. It is a noxious invasive species, a real problem here in the Midwest, but in a bonsai pot you may have trouble keeping it going.

I can't remember the details, but Rhamus have a "different than the typical Chinese elm or Japanese Maple" growth pattern. Read some of the bonsai blogs, the Japanese species in Rhamus has been used for bonsai and there are suggestions as to when to prune. They do not back bud in the same way that maples or elms do. I believe they have one growth flush per year. The European buckthorn should behave similarly to the Japanese species. Also comb through Graham Potter's bonsai blogs and videos. It is native there and he may have advise.

That is all the advise I can offer.

Don't plant it in the ground to bulk up the trunk, if you do your local Nature Conservancy members will spot it, dig it out and burn it.

Never let it go to seed.

Have fun.

Leo Schordje
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hi

Post  tap pi lu on Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:09 am

type of thorn, planted in Vietnam, fruit is the fruit of good

tap pi lu
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