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We had a "Tree" in the back yard which we did not plant. Leaves are about 8 inches in length and about 3 inches wide, very waxy. The roots look like extremely long carrots. The largest was about 4 inches in diameter at the base, and a half inch at the end, about 15-20 feet long. Further they're a yellowish orange color which aids in the carrot-like appearance. Any ideas what it might be? We took out 3 dozen or so of the roots while I think we got it all however, I can't really be sure.

We're in South Florida USA if that helps.

Some googling has brought up the carrotwood species but I can't find any pictures of its root system.

First Image

Root by itself

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  • @AndrewMorton the largest one we took out looks very similar to the second image in the post, except dia at largest part was 4 or so inches and very long. Was no more than a few inches down from surface too. All of the leaves had been removed earlier so I do not have any photos of them.
    – dstarh
    Feb 16 at 19:33
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    I do see one leaf at the bottom of the first photo. If this is a leaf from the tree, please post a close-up of it, if still have one of the smaller diameter (like 1/4") branches, please scrape the bark off with your fingernail (if possible) and let me know if the wood under the bark is also orange. Finally, what color is the bark of the trunk? I may have an ID for you.
    – Jurp
    Feb 16 at 22:30
  • @Jurp Bark of the trunk was brown, the orange color is just the surface, not even much of a bark, but it is an almond color within (sans the skin). The leaf in the picture is not of this plant.
    – dstarh
    Feb 16 at 22:51
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    Thanks for checking; my ID fails, unfortunately.
    – Jurp
    Feb 16 at 23:13
  • @jurp thanks. My main concern is that we may have missed a few roots somewhere. I want to know how likely it is to return.
    – dstarh
    Feb 17 at 0:00
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One candidate that you might want to eliminate is the Asian Bittersweet Vine. If the roots are thick but spreading sideways and not straight down that is a significant clue to its growth pattern. Your S Florida location is somewhat outside its normal range. Hortus III says that the branches are spiny when young. If this is the plant then it is known to be persistent in the soil, but like all persistent weeds it only requires that the gardener be even more persistent.

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