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Question for our garden experts.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
On the road to our house, there is a group of trees that are just starting to get their leaves and they are a bright purple. I don't think they are fruit trees because they don't look like blossums. They are just bright purple leaves. They kind of remind me what I know as "smoke trees", but they aren't as fluffy (don't you just lOVE my scientific terms! ) The purple only lasts for a month or so then they turn green, but I don't see any fruit. These trees are in the woods, if that helps any. They don't look like they've been planted by anyone.

I've tried to find them on the internet but doing a search for "purple trees" doesn't really help.

Anyone have any idea what they are? I LOVE them, and we finally have some extra money to plant some trees around out house. I definitely want a dogwood tree, and a red maple, but this tree is so beautiful I would like one of those too....but I have NO idea what it is!
post #2 of 10
The only purple trees I really know of are Redbuds - but those are flowers. They're the Oklahoma state tree and actually do grow wild around here. We have one in our front yard, as do most of our neighbors.

http://www.kennedyscountrygardens.com/redbud3.jpg
There are a few different kinds, some being smaller or having brighter purple (fuschia) colored buds. Nearly forgot, it's less common around here, but there is a type that has pink flowers and deeper red colored leaves.
post #3 of 10
We have a gorgeous Norwegian Maple in our garden, the leaves on that start of as a beautiful purplish colour, then turn to green later on. In the autumn they turn a vibrant red before falling. It could be one of those.
post #4 of 10
The only purple leafed trees I know of aside from small ornamental maples are the flowering plum trees.

Beautiful trees, beautiful blooms, but extremely messy when the blooms start falling off.

I know there are some purple oak species as well, but I've never seen one.
post #5 of 10
Hey, hop over to www.verdantforums.com, join and post your question and you'll get an answer from our resident expert there, Steve!
post #6 of 10
Can you post a picture? I have a book on tree identification. 2 trees came to mind based on your description: a redbud or a plum.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
The only purple trees I really know of are Redbuds - but those are flowers. They're the Oklahoma state tree and actually do grow wild around here. We have one in our front yard, as do most of our neighbors.

http://www.kennedyscountrygardens.com/redbud3.jpg
There are a few different kinds, some being smaller or having brighter purple (fuschia) colored buds. Nearly forgot, it's less common around here, but there is a type that has pink flowers and deeper red colored leaves.
Actually, that could be it! It's hard to tell just driving by if they are leaves or flowers, but the color is about the same. They also are taller and straighter, but that probably is because they are competeing with other trees for sunlight and what not.

I'll try to get a pic later today, but there really isn't any place to stop along the road.

Thanks guys! At least I have a name now instead of just "purple tree"!
post #8 of 10
I figured it was likely a type of Redbud. This time of year they're blooming in full force while most other trees are still rather bare. They don't start getting their leaves until the blooms start dying off. Once they get those in they have lovely heart shaped leaves.
Here's a picture of the red leaf variety - I think it's called forest pansy. http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/ho...2/Redbud-2.jpg

I can't recall if the flowers make any mess when they drop, around here the wind blows everything away.
post #9 of 10
From your description I would say that they are a redbud as they flower before the leaves are developed. The Forest Pansy cultivar is quite a nice one. Redbuds can be grown as trees or shrubs. Too bad for me that they are only marginally hardy in my part of Wisconsin.
post #10 of 10
I have two redbud trees planted in my yard. One in the front yard and one in the back yard. The one in the back yard is gorgeous (probably because it gets more sunlight than the one in the front yard.) Neither one has buds yet...probably another two weeks or so around here....
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