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I have this tree in my backyard and I am not sure if it's any "special" to keep. I need to area for kid. Can you tell what tree is it?

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  • what area of the world? – kevinsky Jul 23 '18 at 10:27
  • And is it evergreen or does it lose its leaves in winter? – Bamboo Jul 23 '18 at 11:40
  • This is from Pacific Northwest (Seattle). I wasn't at this new house during winter so I couldn't tell. – HP. Jul 24 '18 at 2:13
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The distinctive peeling, cinnamon colored bark, and the glossy leaves/buds led me to the Pacific Madrone tree (Arbesus mendiesii). It looks very much like your photos. It is a native American evergreen tree from the Pacific northwest. It is very limited in its range. This tree has very distinct flowers and berries as well, so they might help you make a positive identification. If this is your tree, it is a desirable tree, and you may want to consider keeping it. Here are some links that may be helpful.

http://www.nwplants.com/business/catalog/arb_men.html

https://www.nrem.iastate.edu/class/for356/species/Arbutus_menziesii.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbutus_menziesii

http://owic.oregonstate.edu/pacific-madrone-arbutus-menziesii

  • I lived in the PNW for some time and saw these often. One interesting feature is that if you want to use this wood for firewood, split it while it's still green. It's virtually impossible to split when it's dried.They are attractive trees, though. – Tim Nevins Jul 23 '18 at 20:08
  • Are they evergreen? The flowers are just OK. I would prefer something more impressive like cherry blossom,... – HP. Jul 24 '18 at 2:14
  • I added an additional link that is much more descriptive of the Madrone tree. It describes it as an evergreen. Rather than replace it with the brief beauty of a (disease prone) cherry tree, perhaps you could leave the established tree and enhance the garden space below (pond/plantings/bench etc.). It is a beautiful tree. Your photos suggest a lot of potential there. – user22542 Jul 24 '18 at 10:50
  • OPINION ALERT: I like Madronas, I've never had one. I've seen plenty. In my opinion the visual interest is in the trunk and bark. The branches tend to grow higher on the plant, so when it gets 50 feet tall you will have to crane your neck to see green. I personally don't think it makes a good centerpiece for a small-ish garden. That said: if it was mine I'd keep it, but I can imagine others would be dissatisfied with it's aesthetic presence and be painfully reminded every time they saw it. – Tim Nevins Jul 24 '18 at 17:55
  • The comment I entered is just a comment - nothing else intended. Though I live in the eastern US with no Madrone trees, I have many trees to consider each year. The 300 year old American elm in my front yard risks Dutch elm disease every year, but the extremely large and aged circumference of it makes me cherish it each year. I was merely offering (my opinionated) observation - only that - for consideration. – user22542 Jul 24 '18 at 19:25

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