What species is this tree? What are the hairy balls on it?

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  • Welcome to the site! For identification questions, it's always a good idea to include detail photos of leaves, bark, flowers, fruit... and state where in the world you found it.
    – Stephie
    Oct 11, 2015 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


It looks a lot like a smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria).

While it only rarely forms a tree, sometimes the bush grows into the shape of a small tree.

The "fluffy balls" are seed heads, consisting of elongated remenants of the flowers, surrounding the tiny seeds.

  • Yes, smoke bush, badly in need of heavy pruning
    – kevinskio
    Oct 11, 2015 at 12:40
  • 1
    @kevinsky Or the result of a misguided attempt of growing a tree ;-)
    – Stephie
    Oct 11, 2015 at 13:03
  • Actually, it does look rather Seuss-like, perhaps like the Truffula tree from The Lorax. I might try to grow one like this myself... :)
    – hoc_age
    Oct 11, 2015 at 13:23
  • Hey Smoke Tree/shrub are very beautiful and very cool. They need 'guidance'...pruning. I'd make sure my smoke tree never gets too high by cutting the leader back. Thin all skinny twigs/branches out of the middle and leave only branches that grow outwards. Get rid of redundant branches, stuff that crosses, stuff that isn't healthy. Just do a little pruning every few months. Fall color is spectacular!! This is a specimen tree, so planting just one is great.
    – stormy
    Oct 12, 2015 at 4:51

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