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Old 09-08-2019, 04:25 AM   #1
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Maple Tree Growing Like a Cactus???


I have this young maple tree growing in my back yard. When I bought the house 5 years ago, it was buried in a thick line of weeds and vines and brush. I quickly cleared that all out, so for at least 3 if not 4 years, this tree has been free to grow.

But it is growing in the most peculiar way. It looks like a cactus! It has a central trunk, and then big long branches shooting off of it and curving up. The tree is mostly flat. It's the strangest thing. Given its young age, and how many years it's been free of the weeds and vines, you'd think it would pretty much grow normally at this point, wouldn't you?

Also the leaves themselves also look unusual. All very large leaves with unusually long stems.

Here is a photo. Unfortunately it's hard to make out because all the green blends together. In real life, it's much easier to see where the maple tree ends and the other trees begin.

The second photo is with the trunk and main branches highlighted in red so you can really see the odd shape of this thing.
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Maple Tree Growing Like a Cactus???-funny-tree.jpg   Maple Tree Growing Like a Cactus???-trunk.jpg  
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Old 09-08-2019, 04:26 AM   #2
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Re: Maple Tree Growing Like a Cactus???


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Old 09-08-2019, 04:56 AM   #3
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Re: Maple Tree Growing Like a Cactus???


It looks like a big leaf maple.
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Old 09-08-2019, 05:06 AM   #4
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Re: Maple Tree Growing Like a Cactus???


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Originally Posted by Nealtw View Post
It looks like a big leaf maple.
Hmmm interesting. The trunk definitely looks like a very young version of that. However the leaves to me look just like regular old sugar maple leaves, and not what wikipedia tells me big leaf maple looks like.

Also it says big leaf maple has leaves up to a foot across. I'm not sure I want to deal with leaves like that every fall, so I hope that's not what the tree is.
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Old 09-08-2019, 05:36 AM   #5
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Re: Maple Tree Growing Like a Cactus???


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Hmmm interesting. The trunk definitely looks like a very young version of that. However the leaves to me look just like regular old sugar maple leaves, and not what wikipedia tells me big leaf maple looks like.

Also it says big leaf maple has leaves up to a foot across. I'm not sure I want to deal with leaves like that every fall, so I hope that's not what the tree is.
I am not sure how it would get there, no one here wants them in the yard. It was just the shape of the branches that I was looking at.
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:29 AM   #6
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Re: Maple Tree Growing Like a Cactus???


It looks desperate for sun.
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:33 AM   #7
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Re: Maple Tree Growing Like a Cactus???


Not a tree pro for sure but it looks like it is still competing for space. If the other trees around it are going to stay it will be hard for the maple to fill in, IMO.

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Old 09-08-2019, 07:01 AM   #8
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Re: Maple Tree Growing Like a Cactus???


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It looks desperate for sun.
It looks like it in that photo but it's really not. The sun is to my back and it's all wide open. There one green sumac branch growing out of a stump but thats about it. It's really got it's own space and plenty of sunlight. This picture makes it look like a mashed up jungle but most of the green is from trees way behind this one.
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:40 PM   #9
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Re: Maple Tree Growing Like a Cactus???


It's really hard to tell from the pic, but trees will send branches towards light so the leaves can photosynthesize, either up, out or a combination of both.
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