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SOLVED: Possible eucalyptus tree, ID please

Oak Ridge, TN(Zone 7a)

There are several small trees on some wooded land in East Tennessee that I am having difficulty identifying with local tree keys. I've been searching online to see if they are an invasive species, and they look similar to some kind of ironbark eucalyptus. I've never seen one in person though so there's a good chance I'm wrong.

These pictures were taken in the last two weeks. The young leaves are soft, blue-silver, and grow in a slightly crumpled cluster. The older leaves are narrow, smoother, opposite, and more green. The young twigs are white and pink. There are dried tiny flowers on them with small lance shaped seeds inside. The trees tend to grow very close together, or are possibly mutli-trunked. The trees are surviving, even spreading, despite the frosts, but the foliage is still sparse (although most of the trees have no leaves at all here in January).

Thank you so much for any assistance! I've been trying to solve this puzzle for weeks.

Thumbnail by peasnrice Thumbnail by peasnrice Thumbnail by peasnrice Thumbnail by peasnrice Thumbnail by peasnrice
Portland, United States

No Eucalyptus can survive in zone 7a, and those leaves, while blue enough, are too veiny to be confused with the leathery leaves of Eucalyptus. If that trunk belongs to your plant, then I am a bit stumped, although the leaves do resemble Buddleia, the butterfly bush.

Beautiful, BC(Zone 8b)

I agree. A Buddleia.

Oak Ridge, TN(Zone 7a)

The trunk is a part of it, so I did a quick search for "buddleia trunk" and found a very similar image of leaves sprouting in clusters from an old trunk here:

I've never seen leaves like that before. I think the tree is beautiful. I would like to figure out specifically which variety it is.

There are actually a handful of eucalyptus that can survive here (at least according to the web), but I was having difficulty figuring out how one would find it's way out in the county like that.

Thank you so much! I'm going to try to pinpoint the species now =D

Oak Ridge, TN(Zone 7a)

I think I will have to wait for it to flower to know which type of buddleia it is. The leaves have a definite silver/blue, but the "bushes" are quite tall with thick trunks. Figures the reason I can't identify the tree is because it isn't even a tree in the first place. *sigh*

Sadly it's listed as invasive in my state. That makes me sad because it's gorgeous.

Anyway, thanks for the help. You folks are awesome =D

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

It's Buddleia davidii--that's the most commonly planted variety and the one that can become a pest in some areas (and it's also the only species that occurs in the wild in TN). If these are in a wooded area, they won't be a particular cultivar anymore (originally they likely came from seeds from a named cultivar in someone's garden--but they don't come true from seed so even if they still have some resemblance to one of the named cultivars, technically they're not that cultivar anymore)

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