My NWF Field Guide to Trees of North America boasts covering 700 species, but fails to identify a tree newly planted on a parkway in Chicago. The folks who planted the tree never answer their door.
I found another tree with such leaves in the Cook County Forest Preserve yesterday. Attached is a photo of an average to large specimen. It grows on the branch as a simple alternate leaf. In the photo you can see it is ovate with lobed base, has a pointed tip with toothed margins.
Do you know this tree?
Answer Dear Pete, I am absolutely not sure about this leaf. It is often difficult to identify plants by one leaf only, although your description of a simple alternate leaf is helpful. I'm pretty sure that this is either a fruitless mulberry or some type of cottonwood. If it's a cottonwood, its fall colors will likely be more yellow. You might look up the shapes of fruitless mulberry (rounded, not too tall) against cottonwoods (generally taller and more pointed) and see if that helps. I'm sorry if this information is not too helpful, but it's the best I can do. Perhaps a picture of the tree would help. Anyway, I hope this at least steers you in the right direction. Good luck, Melissa
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Melissa, I think you're right on the fruitless mulberry. The only similar cottonwood leaf I could find on Google was that of the Black Cottonwood, but that has opposite veins and mostly smooth margins, plus it's out of range, which is mostly Utah. I will add an insert into my NWF tree book.
Plant diseases, landscaping, tropical plants, roses, herbs, plant care, grafting, horticulture, plant identification, anything about plants I can likely answer.
35 years experience in various plant businesses, 1984 Certified Texas Master Gardener.
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