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Tree ID from Seed Pods

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Hi All,

There is a very large tree down the block from me that looks like it would make a nice canopy tree. It has leaves like a lot of the other big bean trees, it appears to be evergreen as it has full canopy still in the middle of January. I don't know about its flowers as I have not seen it in flower. It has kidney shaped seed pods that are like little rattles right now. Pics of the seed pods:

post-228-1168534329_thumb.jpg

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...

post-228-1168534358_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for input!

post-228-1168534393_thumb.jpg

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It will fall on your house after it grows to giant size in like a week. Enterolobium of one kind or another, they look the same to me.

A pretty tree to be sure but not for those worried about a tree incursion into the home on a stormy night.

Someone might also say something about "invasive" this or that but that is less an immediate concern for planting when the other aspects are considered (giant, fast, breaky)

Alan

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That is an Ear Tree, Enterolobium contortisiliqua. These can get huge and grow fast. Give it lots of room as mentioned, the branches can be brittle and it gets a large root system. If they are properly pruned and trained when younger, you can develop a stronger branch structure. There are a few large ones around town in average yards that survived the 3 hurricanes in 2004 with minimal damage but they have been pruned correctly.

I think these are one of the most tropical looking trees. They need no care; drought tolerant, hardy into low 20sF, no pests. They have small white, flower "balls" in spring. They are extremely fast growing. I planted a 6" seedling that was about 2 months old last Aug. and it is now 15ft tall.

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Thanks for the ID. I think I might try to germinate some of these. If it can really take down into the lower 20's, it sounds like it would be a winner for a canopy tree around here. The tree near here is like a huge umbrella that covers probably a 50' diameter area under it. Only problem I could see is that it has billions of these seed pods falling onto the ground (plus the mentioned susceptibility to storm damage). I have thought about planting Royal Poinciana or Cassia fistula, but this tree seems to be a bit hardier to cold plus aren't these big bean trees all susceptible to hurricanes? I like the idea that all these trees are nitrogen fixers (right?). I really am looking for something to provide very fast canopy.

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Eric- It looks like the fruits of E cyclocarpa I have seen in Tamaulipas. Not saying its not contortisiliqua. Any shots of the actual seeds?  I can take a pic of a seed from  the ones I saw in Tamps.

Zac

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The flash yellowed them out a bit:

post-228-1168553990_thumb.jpg

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OK, it is an Enterolobium of some type. I may hold off on trying to grow this as I already have a little Ficus elastica growing in my backyard. I shouldn't test the wind gods too much given my geographical location! It is a beautiful, massive tropical looking tree though.....

I did some research on these. They say they are deciduous, when do they actually lose their leaves??

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The Ear Trees in FL have always been identified as Enterolobium cyclocarpum but I was told these have been misidentified. E. cyclocarpum have pods that don't "twist" or contort. Also, E. cyclocarpum is not as hardy as E. contortisiliqua. The big trees at Fairchild and at Flamingo are both labled as E. contortisiliqua and they look exactly like those around here. In the Orlando area, Ear Trees have naturalized and come up wild but only in areas near "civilization". I don't see them growing in vast monocultures crowding out natives. I hate to see them called invasive, which they are not. Also, I love when a lot is cleared for development. they quickly remove the Ear Trees because they are weak and brittle but the old Laurel Oaks are left, which are weak and nasty trees that always break apart and almost all are rotten inside. We need a couple more hurricanes to knock the rest of them down!

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