I was helping my mother clean up her backyard, and I wonder if anyone can ID this tree for me. The most noteable feature (to me) is that the crushed leaves of this tree smell very herbaceous, very similar to basil.
Could it be:
looks like a type of Bay tree.
I agree, it probably is some sort of laurel or myrtle tree. They produce “bay leaves”.
Looks like the woodpeckers like that tree as well.
The old sap sucker got it.
Looks like a Laurel for sure and quite possibly a bay laurel. Don’t eat it if you aren’t sure what it is though.
A better photo might make me more sure, but I’m 90% sure its wax myrtle, Myrica carisifera, a very common native species in the coastal plains of Georgia. I could be more certain with a photo of berries or flowers. The berries are tiny, grayish blue and covered in a highly aromatic wax which can be used to give candles flagrance. The leave can be used for mosquito repellent in a pinch and as a repellent to flees when placed in a bedding area for dogs. I don’t know if its safe to eat or not. God bless.
I think you’re completely right, Marcus. I’ve looked at some pictures online and everything seems to match.
Thank you everyone for your help!
I have a M. cerifera that has never produced berries. It’s been in the ground for 5 years. I believe they can be male and female, and may or may not produce berries. I’m looking for berries or cuttings from a female. They are a minor nitrogen fixer, which is why I am attracted to them. Plus, any evergreen interests me for the purposes of fodder and my ultimate goal of creating my own jungle. Not to be confused with the Northern Bayberry M. pennsylvanica.
I don’t think this tree had any berries so it might be a male tree as well, just like yours.
with source of wax and aromatics, organic pesticides can be extracted from this tree, as most of those in the Myrtle family. This could be another plant that would help ward off Asian Citrus Psyllids to prevent spread of HLB or greening disease!
Well, it does smell heavenly when it’s leaves are crushed! I’ve never encountered a tree with such aromatic leaves.
They are male and female. It’s a very common species around here. They are aggressive growers and spread, so if one were to consider adding it to an orchard, they need to factor in the work that will be involved in preventing it from taking over.
Do they spread asexually in nature or only through seeds? Otherwise planting all males would make sense if there’s a cheap way to determine the sex of the seedling trees.
I’ve heard they can spread by suckering. However, my tree/bush only suckers at the main trunk. This may be due to my heavy compacted soil. I could probably eliminate it with a few swipes of an axe and routine mowing.
rather than start a new thread, i’ll grow an existing convo.
this tree in the foreground was planted by my home’s previous owner. the photo’s a bit busy—in the background is the trunk of a king palm, and there are a couple different types of vines. i’ve no idea whether this tree will produce something tasty down the line. (tasty by human standards.)
the leaves have serrated edges, and the new branches are reddish looking.
thanks in advance for spreading some knowledge!