Can anyone please identify this bush/shrub? Is it ok to burn in fire pit? Giant bush is like a tree. Can anyone else confirm Honeysuckle?

enter image description hereCan you identify this bush or shrub?enter image description here

for size reference

  • P.S. This is in Northern Illinois suburbs Commented Jul 2, 2017 at 15:38
  • I am glad you are just pruning this guy! Whatever it turns out to be, properly pruned will give your yard a huge bonus. Ailanthus or Lonicera...gorgeous bark, branching and a healthier small tree!
    – stormy
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 18:57

2 Answers 2


This looks like a honeysuckle shrub to me. Lonicera Spp.. Yes you can burn it, but you'll need to allow it to dry after it is cut down.

  • honeysuckle seems likely, how could i know for sure? Commented Jul 2, 2017 at 21:09
  • @Jeff Yasumoto, FWIW, I'm doubtful abt. Lonicera. The leaves in your photo don't look at all like the plant that I am used to calling "honeysuckle", or, from internet, "Lonicera". Those are leaves slightly furry & not borne in a long sequence on a stalk (petiole?) However, a different plant, Tecoma capensis,or Cape Honeysuckle does have leaves just like in your picture. But both Honeysuckles are big sprawling climbing vines, and I wonder what circumstance would form them into the shape of your plant. At any rate, at this time of year, wouldn't any honeysuckle in the US be blooming like mad?
    – Lorel C.
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 16:16
  • I can pretty much guarantee that this is a shrub honeysuckle. I grew up in the woods of Ohio where it is very invasive as it is in much of Eastern U.S. They can get quite large. There are numerous species and it's not really worth our time to figure out which one it is, so we'll just call it honesuckle shrub. This is not a vine and is different than what Lorel ^ is referring to. What would really seal the deal is a picture or remembrance of the flowers. They should have petals that are either yellow or white and curve back. There should be long arching stamens that protrude beyond
    – Tyler K.
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 18:27
  • the flower. They should smell really nice. Most honeysuckles will have a fleshy red berry on them after flowering. The twigs should have a hollow pith and the older wood should have a darker brown pith. (the pith is the center) The mature bark should look exactly like the shrub you have ;)
    – Tyler K.
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 18:32
  • Here is some relevant info fosc.org/RIP/BushHoneysuckle.htm
    – Tyler K.
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 18:34

I think this is Ailanthus altissima. Tree of Heaven that was cut down and grew back. I wouldn't be getting rid of this tree at all. I'd be pruning it to show off the trunks, thinning this out...you have a small patio tree that is worth its weight in gold. Why are you having it removed? What is that ground cover below. It will not be very pretty afterwords. If it is periwinkle...then good riddance but...Ailanthus altissima description

  • not getting rid of it. just pruning it and considering using the wood for fire Commented Jul 2, 2017 at 21:09
  • 1
    Never heard of anyone desiring Ailanthus! It is a wretched "weed" tree here that people loath. haha I can't even tell you how many trees of heaven I have cut down!
    – Tyler K.
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 18:35
  • This is definitely not Ailanthus. You would know Ailanthus the second you started cutting it as the odor is quite strong and unique. I find it nauseating, but others may disagree. The bark and growth habit say bush honeysuckle to me, but the leaves aren't pubescent as they are on the varieties invading on Long Island.
    – That Idiot
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 12:54
  • I agree with That Idiot. Not Ailanthus, that hideous stinky tree (peanut butter & garlic). Ailanthus' growth habit is straight up, a foot a week, no gnarly twisty-turnies.
    – Lorel C.
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 1:32

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