Need help with tree ID

ctnchprJuly 29, 2014

I've lived in my 20 acre Eastern deciduous woodlot for 3+ decades, and in that time, have been able to ID all the trees - except one. I've always thought it was an Elm, but its bark doesn't match any Elm that I've found in books or online.

My woodlot is 1/2 "hills & hollers", and 1/2 rich creek bottom. These trees grow only in the bottom, not a single one can be found on the hills. The leaves are very similar to the Eastern hophornbeam and the American hornbeam, but they're neither. TIA for any help.

This is the largest one:

This one is fairly young, with the top of my walking stick for scale:

The leaves on the left are the mystery tree, American hornbeam in the center, and Eastern hophornbeam on the right:

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beng(z6 western MD)

Tough one. An escaped zelkova? Chinkapin oak?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:43AM
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Elm leaves often have an unequal base, can you show a closer version of just the mystery tree's leaves?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:47AM
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The bark doesn't look like zelkova, but the leaves certainly do. I'm pretty sure it's from the elm family rather than the hornbeam/hophornbeam but I can't tell what species

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:17PM
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arbordave (SE MI)

possibly water elm (Planera aquatica)?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:43PM
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Thanks for all your responses.

arbordave, I think you've got it. The bark is very similar.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:57PM
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