ID a random tree I've been growing

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ID a random tree I've been growing

Post  Kinetikx on Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:50 pm

About 4 or 5 years ago this tree/shrub/whatever came as a hitchhiker with a tree that I bought at a local mom and pop run nursery.  Like I generally do when I find something that looks like it might be interesting I slapped it into a pot and largely ignored it since then.  Well now it's about time to either repot and start work with it or toss it to the compost.  Over the years I figured I'd find out what it is in my travels but nothing has jumped out at me.  
So the details: the trunk is about 1 inch now and it is fairly dense light colored wood.  The bark is kind of reminiscent of ficus and so are the shoots.  The buds are nothing like ficus however.  The opposite leathery evergreen leaves are rather large which is why I've never really considered it anything especially useful as bonsai.  It doesn't mind drying out in the least.  In the time I've had it it hasn't flowered or fruited.



Any ideas what it could be?

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Re: ID a random tree I've been growing

Post  Kinetikx on Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:28 am

I've been using some online ID keys and I think I've narrowed it down to some sort of Ligustrum but I'm not exactly sure which. That's always crept into my mind when I wondered what it was but what has kept me unsure in the past was the lack of flowers. Unless they need to be a certain age before flowering then that would explain no flowers yet.

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Re: ID a random tree I've been growing

Post  fiona on Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:14 am

It would be really helpful if you could give some indication of size as I am not picking that up from the pictures.

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Re: ID a random tree I've been growing

Post  JimLewis on Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:47 pm

There are a lot of feral Ligustrum in Florida, but I don't recognize this as one of them. Along with the opposite leaves, I suspect the red petioles may be distinctive. Be aware, however, that in your area of Florida the plant could be from anywhere in the world where freezing weather is rare.

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Re: ID a random tree I've been growing

Post  Kinetikx on Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:37 pm

fiona wrote:It would be really helpful if you could give some indication of size as I am not picking that up from the pictures.

Here you go.  


That is about the average size.  Some are about half again as big as that.  As it has become more root bound some leaves are smaller as can also be seen.

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Re: ID a random tree I've been growing

Post  David Brunner on Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:00 pm

Hello Kinetikx – I’m sure you are right that this is a Ligustrum.  It sure looks like Ligustrum lucidum (Glossy Privet) to me.  L. lucidum is indicated as a noxious weed in Florida.  It is mostly spread by birds which have eaten the berries.  L. lucidum can make a nice bonsai.  It is very fast growing, buds back easily, and the leaves reduce nicely.  I grew one for years and its care was easy.  It will need very frequent repotting as the root growth is amazing.

David B.

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Re: ID a random tree I've been growing

Post  Kinetikx on Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:52 pm

Excellent. Thank you for the confirmation. After exhausting all the online resources I could over the past few days that's the species I landed on last night as well.

There's no wonder why this stuff is invasive, despite years of downright neglect it never even skipped a beat. As a bonsai with actual care given to it it might not turn out half bad Very Happy

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Re: ID a random tree I've been growing

Post  Kinetikx on Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:51 pm

Got around to working with it today and chopped it and trimmed the ridiculously dense root system.  

And I tend to leave myself surprises sometimes.  I totally forgot that I planted it on a ceramic tile however long ago.
Sorry for the out of focus but I only took the one picture and my hands were covered in dirt so I wasn't exactly trying to be Ansel Adams.

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Re: ID a random tree I've been growing

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