Is my elder a rowan?

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Is my elder a rowan?

Post: #261648 Povester
Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:26 am

Just tried to add a picture but failed. We have a lovely tree outside our new house that we thought was an elder. We got very excited as it started to flower, planning lots of elderflower cordial. However, a closer look and quick consultation of the tree book suggests its a rowan. Any tips how to tell them apart? Can I make rowan flower cordial??

Thanks, Cath

Oh and how do I add an image to my post? I tried to copy and paste without success.

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Re: Is my elder a rowan?

Post: #261650 Odsox
Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:00 pm

Pictures are easy ... when you know how :iconbiggrin:
When you post, below the box you are writing in there are two tabs "Options" & "Upload attachment".
Click on "Upload attachment" and choose the file in the box and then click "Add the file", if your picture is small(ish), say 640 x 480, it will display on the posting, if it's bigger it will be a clickable link.
Then choose "Place inline" and your picture will be wherever you want it in your text (wherever your cursor is at the time), otherwise it will appear at the bottom of your post.

Without seeing a picture I would point out that elder usually has wrinkly rough bark where a rowan has fairly smooth bark plus crushed elder leaves smell a bit disgusting, but a picture would clinch it.

Hope that helps.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

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Re: Is my elder a rowan?

Post: #261652 oldjerry
Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:23 pm

I can't do pictures either.
It's unusual to see an Elder much more than say 20ft,whereas a Rowan will do FAR more.There you have it the former is really a large shrub,the latter a tree.So you will find that an Elder tends to be 'shrubby' in appearance for a number of years.Tony's spot on about the bark,and the Elder leaves are much softer and a more defined green.Both are rather pleasant,if there's room,plant whichever you don't have!!

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Re: Is my elder a rowan?

Post: #261654 Povester
Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:49 pm

Still trying to upload a picture, found the attachment place, thanks Tony but my image is too big. Just got a new computer with new software and its taking a while to get used to.

The tree is probably about 20 ft but the bark looks quite rough. Hmmmm..

I will persevere with the pics, best way to get a definitive answer.

Be back soon...

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Re: Is my elder a rowan?

Post: #261666 MKG
Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:27 pm

If the tree's that big, you shouldn't have any trouble distinguishing elder from rowan - the leaves are MARKEDLY different, as is the growth habit. Just use Google Images - you'll know immediately.

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Re: Is my elder a rowan?

Post: #262039 sleepyowl
Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:26 am

if it is an elder it will have more than one trunk normally with is being a shrub rather than a tree
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Re: Is my elder a rowan?

Post: #262229 Povester
Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:56 pm

Hope this picture makes it....

elder rowan2.jpg
elder rowan2.jpg (81.6 KiB) Viewed 3084 times


What do you think? Not sure if the picture is good enough for a proper id.

It does have more than one trunk. The flowers are coming out now. Fingers crossed for elderflower!

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Re: Is my elder a rowan?

Post: #262230 Stickweaver
Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:15 pm

Definitely looks like an elder to me. If there are any flowers that are going brown, smell them. They often smell of cat's wee when going over.

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Re: Is my elder a rowan?

Post: #262232 MKG
Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:59 pm

Another elder vote.

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Re: Is my elder a rowan?

Post: #262233 Povester
Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:09 pm

All good news....

I've been looking round on the internet and I have found it hard to tell the difference between the elder and rowan leaves and flowers. We had a sniff of the flowers today and they smelled very nice and I read that Rowan flowers smell of rotting meat to attract flies which pollinate them. Which made me wonder again about our tree because I have noticed lots of flies around it and not many bees.

Maybe I will just have to buy lots of lemons and sugar this week and have a go.

Thanks for all your help everyone.

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Re: Is my elder a rowan?

Post: #262239 Davie Crockett
Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:35 pm

Looks like Elder to me too!
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Re: Is my elder a rowan?

Post: #262241 MKG
Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:53 pm

The berries'll be a dead giveaway.

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Re: Is my elder a rowan?

Post: #262259 boboff
Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:37 am

Thats an Elder.
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Re: Is my elder a rowan?

Post: #262264 oldjerry
Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:25 am

Useless aside.
Growers of over-wintering or early broad beans,will be all to aware of the blackfly .A couple of weeks before they hit the beans ,they can usually be found on the fresh elder growth,so you could lessen their numbers before they do any serious damage.(I know you can pinch out the tops of the beans,but I like to eat these,preferably without added protein!)

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Re: Is my elder a rowan?

Post: #262268 donegalwildman
Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:44 am

That's definitely Elder. Our flowers opened this week, so elderflower cordial is now under way. Lovely smell.


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