Volunteers in your Yard

So what type of volunteers have you had sprout up in your yard, and I do not mean the two- or four-footed varieties! I’ve been lucky enough to have a fig tree pop up as well as a native Toyon and an unknown palm.

The fig popped up on a slope in the back yard sometime in 2016, I’m glad I didn’t yank it when I first saw it: It’s pretty leggy at the moment. No idea if I’ll win the lottery and get a tasty productive tree out of it, but if nothing else it may prove to be a good root stock for future grafting efforts.

Here it is back in December 2016:

I think this is a Toyon, or Christmas Berry (Heteromeles arbutifolia). I’ve had a number pop up in the back yard, one is trying to get big, but I keep it cut back so it won’t crowd my Mission fig tree. This one I intend to put in the front yard when I get around to yanking out all the grass. I’d like to put mostly natives in the front. The back will be for fruit trees! :grinning:

And the unknown palm. It sprouted near one of my apple trees in a not very good location. I’ll let it get big and then probably give it away to a neighbor. I’m somewhat curious as to what type it is, there are a ton of different ones in the neighborhood, so I’ll let it get a bit bigger before I give it away.

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Black walnut, tons of them. If I didn’t mow them my entire yard would be black walnuts. I also have a few pecan seedlings


From time to time I dig up a seedling and pot it up. Currently impressed with a wild magnolia grandiflora I found about 2 inches tall a couple years ago.

All my volunteers are from stuff I have planted. Ton’s of blackberries and raspberries, a fig tree (strange, I’m in Michigan!) Ton’s of different annual flowers come up every year, ground cherries, chives, peppers, and tomatoes.

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Here’s a few of the dozens of monthly children …

Here’s the parents :slightly_smiling_face:


same here with the milkweed. I’ve got it everywhere, banana as well.

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I was going to say the same thing - lots of black walnut. You almost have to dig them up to get rid of them. We have a massive black walnut tree on our property.


If I keep them mowed they will die but if the come up in a fence row or next to a structure they can be hard to get rid of

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Very nice! A lot of different volunteers showing up!

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That second photo looks like Laurel Sumac, not Toyon. The leaf shape isn’t right. Toyon leaves look like a holly leaf. I had the childhood chore of hacking both of these bushes armed with a machete to clear my parents land.

mulberry. mulberry every where! from my neighbor‘ mulberry tree

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I had multiple gooseberries and black currant. Also concord grape is now “planted” all over my neighborhood - I believe form the plant I started near the road. Also alpine strawberries are popping up every year here and there, thanks to birds and chipmunks.

You see probably right, we have both in the area.