Tree in Georgia with mottled bark, shiny leaves

Minneapolis, MN

I'm trying to identify this tree from afar... it is growing in the yard of my friend in Georgia. The leaves look like some sort of magnolia or bay (maybe rhododendron, but it's a tall tree). Here is a shot of the leaves; I will follow up with a shot of the trunk, showing the distinctive bark.

Teresa

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Minneapolis, MN

Here is the bark of the tree.

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Minneapolis, MN

Someone suggested that this might be a water oak (Quercus nigra). The leaves look like that; not too sure about the trunk! Anyone know anything about water oak?

Teresa

Coon Rapids, MN(Zone 4b)

batscanner,
I'm not able to view the photo. Would you please try to post it again?
Thanks.

Minneapolis, MN

Hi 16blue--

I put a composite image of the trunk and the leaves on a server so you can hopefully see them better; I'll also re-attach that here, in case it works for you. The URL of the image is http://www.northerntrailspress.com/images/mystery_Georgia.jpg

Let me know if you have any ideas.

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Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Those leaves look like classic water oak (Quercus nigra) to me, also.

I don't see the bark picture(s). Could you post them individually here? How about a picture of the whole tree? Water Oak has a dense branching habit on younger trees, like Willow Oak.

Water oak bark is similar to willow oak and/or pin oak bark.

Minneapolis, MN

Hi VV--

The only bark photo I have is in the link in my message to 16blue. This tree is in a friend's yard in Georgia, and I am in Minnesota, so I can't take any more pix; and she is out of town right now. She did say that the bark near the base of the tree is rough, but as it gets higher up it smooths out. Not sure that helps! Tough to ID a tree via remote. Thanks for looking.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Have your friend take more pictures upon her return home, and send them to you. More leaves, branches, buds, stems, bark, the whole tree, acorns, site conditions - all these provide valuable information to make a good judgment on a plant's identity.

Your postings about bark on September 8 and September 24 show up as blanks here, so we can't see them. You could try reposting again, but I'm afraid that whatever format you are using is apparently incompatible. The link you provided on 9/24 also shows up blank for me.

Advice: don't do composite images - the size and resolution is usually so small as to be ineffective in aiding ID. Just attach one picture to each reply to the thread, and provide as high resolution as you have.

Minneapolis, MN

I figured out the problem with the original bark photo and the composite: they are CMYK. They show up just fine on my Mac, but I have a lot of graphics programs so that might be the difference. Here is the original bark photo, re-saved as RGB. I hope this shows up!

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Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

You do the IT; we'll do the ID...

I can see the image now - thank you for the effort to work it out.

That bark matches with what Water Oak (Quercus nigra) should look like on that age tree.

Know that one image of the leaves of a tree do not always a perfect ID make. Oaks especially are notorious for variable leaf morphology, not to mention that they are quite social and can hybridize with closely allied species. I still think this one favors Water Oak, but it wouldn't be unusual to find a Water Oak/Willow Oak hybrid, and others similar among the many species of oak indigenous to GA.

Is your friend's vacation more important than this tree ID? The nerve! A couple more images of leaves, buds, stems, acorns (shouldn't be afraid to nip off a short branch here or there - that appears to be a perfectly healthy tree) - and one of the WHOLE tree - then the story will be fully told.

Minneapolis, MN

OK, my friend has sent more photos. Here they go, one at a time. This is the base of the tree.

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Minneapolis, MN

Another shot, moving up the trunk.

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Minneapolis, MN

Moving up the trunk further... getting into the canopy.

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Minneapolis, MN

The canopy, taken from the ground (this is a tall tree and she can't get up into it).

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Minneapolis, MN

More leaves. There is a muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia) draped over the branches of this tree; those are the yellow heart-shaped leaves.

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Minneapolis, MN

This is a long view of another tree that she thinks is the same thing, only it is a bit healthier.

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Minneapolis, MN

The last shot... more leaves, taken from the ground. She says the bottom of the tree is not healthy and apparently there are no small branches she can get at to cut off (other than the one she took in the original leaf shot). She tried to get into it with a ladder, but it is too tall! Hope these help.

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Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

All those still look like Quercus nigra, Water Oak.

Minneapolis, MN

Thanks for the info, Viburnum Valley. My friend is pretty convinced that it's a water oak also, although until we started wondering about this she'd never even heard of one. Anyway, appreciate everyone's time on this! Case closed.

Teresa

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