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What kind of tree is this?

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Ever since we moved in this house last year this tree has perplexed me. During the house hunting, before we bought it - I saw a racoon coming out of one of the holes. The thing is HUGE - it may not look like it from the picture, but I am waaaaaay up a hill and when you go to the bottom of the tree - it is large enough around that my husband and I together couldn't wrap our arms around it. It has lots and lots of "holes" and nooks and crannies. Any ideas?

post #2 of 42
I don't know but it sure is knobby!! Could it be Oak?
post #3 of 42
Wow that is an unsual tree!
post #4 of 42
It is knobby. What area in the country do you live in?
post #5 of 42
Thread Starter 
Near Cleveland Ohio / Great lakes area. The tree is growing by a small stream. I know some think it ugly, but for some reason it just fascinates me!
post #6 of 42
mmm are the trees managed there - it looks like they've had their branches taken off until they reach a particular height. Be interesting to see pictures of any leaves - perhaps when they fall to the ground might be a good idea unless you fancy a climb!
post #7 of 42
What a beautiful tree! I agree with Stormy; it could be an oak.
If you can find a leaf from it, take a pic and post it...I'm pretty good at identifying leaves.
post #8 of 42
Thread Starter 
Nope definately not managed - I live in a wooded area, lots of tall trees. Matter of fact twofatcats would love my yard - quite a bit of it is the dastardy moss!

One trouble with getting a leaf - it is surrounded by trees and the branches are soooo far up, I would have to climb it to get a leaf - and I don't like heights!
post #9 of 42
Ooh no - no climbing! that is an amazing tree if it's not managed then. Very unusual.

We have plenty of moss too - the problem is stopping it growing!!!
post #10 of 42
I would guess it's an oak but it's not very big around for as old as that tree looks.
post #11 of 42
Thread Starter 
It is very big around, the picture is taken way up a hill and from a good ways away. You could hide a few people standing side by side behind the tree and have room left over! Picture a full grown raccoon coming out from one of those holes - plus the first picture dosen't show the bottom. Once the ground dries up a bit, I will have to make the hike down the steep hill and get a better perspective picture.
post #12 of 42
It's nice that it's old and holey for the coons. Gives them a place to live. Probably plenty of squirrels in there, too
post #13 of 42
You really can't tell the species because it isn't in leaf or anything! Even if you can't pluck a leaf off, when it leafs out you could zoom the camera onto some leaves, couldn't you? Also, look in the leaf litter below the tree for last year's leaves. Post pics of all the different kinds you find around its base, and also look for things like acorns (if it's an oak, there will be acorns below it, most certainly).
post #14 of 42
It would be helpful to get the bark a little closer, too.
post #15 of 42
Yes, a close up of the bark, plus some of the old leaves beneath it would probably help identify it.
post #16 of 42
Could it be the rare "deer tree" ??? lol

post #17 of 42
Thread Starter 
LOL, is that where all the dear have been coming from!

I found a tree forum, and one person told me the same as you, it is hard to tell what kind of tree it is, but they think it has lead a hard life. Probably been here before the rest of the "forest" and as the younger trees have grown up around it and shaded it, the tree has "self pruned".
post #18 of 42
haha i saw that and just HAD to PS the antlers on! lol
post #19 of 42
Thread Starter 
The tree now has a name, "The Deer Tree" - Whish me luck, I am going to try to make it to the bottom of the steep hill tomorrow for closer pictures, and I will let it know that it now has a name, and that it has freinds all over the country/world. Yes, I am odd, I talk to the plants and the trees.
post #20 of 42
Hmmm. I'm not sure that would be an oak. There are alot of "live oaks" here in Fla. They get huge, but their trunks are stout, & shorter, with a huge canopy of twisted thick branches & small leaves. The perfect climbing tree, definitely.
Do you know any woodworkers/carpenters?
post #21 of 42
post #22 of 42
Deer tree!!!! LOL

Well, if you don't make it back up from the ravine, the buzzards will find you!! I always tell my grandmother I will find her that way because she's 88 and goes down the ravine.
post #23 of 42
What a fascinating tree. I love trees. I think you are looking at a very old Elm tree. American Elms are native to the upper midwest and the oak tree would not have the knobbiness and the vertical grain at that age. Here is a photo of a very old elm. See? There is an old man's face at the bottom!

post #24 of 42
I have seen those trees here in Washington, I don't know what they are though.
post #25 of 42
I love the name and that's a great PS pic!
post #26 of 42
hehe thank you!
post #27 of 42
Thread Starter 
Finally got down there last night:

Looking up at the top half of the tree:

Base of tree:

Tree's bark:

Tree root:

Was down there by myself, couldn't get a size comparison with me in it, so I stuck my hand out.

Since it is in the middle of a heavily wooded area, there were several types of leaves - but this was the major one. Others I saw looked like maple (had one of those I specifically planted at the old house!)
post #28 of 42
I would say oak, and I'm pretty sure, but if my home computer is working tonight (it takes frequent breaks), I'll show it to my BF. He's a landscaper from Akron, so he'll know for sure.
post #29 of 42
That is a pin oak leaf you are holding however the tree itself doesn't seem to be a oak tree. Lots of oak trees retain thier leaves throughout the winter. This tree's back is plated and scaly. Some type of white oak.
For fun check this out: www.cnr.vt.edu/dendro. Then click on ID keys!!
post #30 of 42
Thread Starter 
Wow, great site! I have that bookmarked for later in the season - I will start to find out what all the trees are in my yard (ok, not all - most)
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