We live in Denver and replaced some of our lawn with mulch a few years ago. Earlier this summer a new friend appeared where we have not planted anything ourselves. We used to have a maple tree about 20 feet away (cut down and the stump ground out) and 3 failed attempts at a pear tree about 12 to 15 feet away (but we don't recall the 8-9 foot trees ever having leaves this shape and certainly not as large as this!).

This plant has spade like leaves as seen in the pictures, and is current about a foot and a half to two feet tall after appearing a month or two ago. We have been watering it every day, curious what it would turn into.

Thank you for your assistance!

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2 Answers 2


Cottonwood or close relative ( popular). It will grow fast . Often considered undesirable.

  • 1
    The leaves don't quite look right; of course the plant is still young. Perhaps a different, member of the Populus genus?
    – Jurp
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 4:01
  • One of our neighbors actually has a large cottonwood, and it's leaves look very much like these, so I believe that is most likely what it is. Thank you!
    – devyndraen
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 15:47

It could be Morus nigra looking at the leaf close up, though quite why it would pop up on it's own I don't know - it wouldn't in the UK. https://www.ornamental-trees.co.uk/morus-nigra-p192

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