Help to identify a tree?

(Question)

Hi! The tree in the picture I’ve attached appeared in my garden last year. I need to move it because it will shade my only vegetable spot, but i am wondering if it’s something worth transplanting or if i should just get rid of it. It looks like it might be a fruit tree?

(Answer)

Hi there, plant ID can be tricky, particularly without flowers.

I believe this tree may be a  Rusty Blackhaw (Viburnum rufidulum). It can get very large Рupwards of 25 ft with equal spread. You would want to consider if a tree that large will fit into your space. Rusty Blackhaw has lovely white flowers in the spring that turn into dark blue fruits that are favoured by wildlife. It grows slowly but is a hardy tree that should do well in most conditions. The second link provided has some images of the mature tree to give you an idea of what it would look like.

If you are going to transplant do it sooner rather than later. Transplanting a tree puts a great amount of stress on it and the warmer the temperatures get the most stressed your tree will get.

When you dig up your tree try and get as many of the roots as possible. Keep in mind that a trees roots really only extend at most 2 ft below the soil surface and are spread wide. Next prepare the new spot that you will be placing your tree – dig a wide hole (double the root ball) and roughen the sides. Your tree should be at the same depth as it was in the original spot – deeper and the trunk will rot, higher and the roots will be exposed. Fill the hole taking care to ensure there is good soil contact with the roots (i.e. pat down the soil as you go with your hands). Once you’ve filled your hole a good wood chip mulch in a donut shape around the trunk (not touching the trunk) will help to keep your tree moist and reduce the number of weeds that can pop up around the tree. Only stake the tree if it feels really really wobbly otherwise leave it to build a strong root system to support itself. Water your tree (remembering the roots go out far so don’t just water at the base) and enjoy!

Here are some links on Rusty Blackhaw as well as some more in depth description of transplanting trees:

https://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/database/documents/pdf/tree_fact_sheets/vibrufa.pdf

https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=VIRU

https://extension.psu.edu/plants/gardening/fact-sheets/trees-shrubs/transplanting-or-moving-trees-and-shrubs-in-the-landscape

Another alternative is Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica). Given the fact that the plant has self seeded, has this quite characteristic curved venation and new growth has a reddish tint, it could be Common Buckthorn. See the following link for further information: https://www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/OIPC_BMP_Buckthorn.pdf

Wishing you a happy summer.