Need assistance identifying this tree/shrub

I have a tree in my yard that is proving annoyingly difficult to identify. Can any tree-lovers help?

Description:
Simple broadleaf. Alternate branching. Elongated, elliptical-shaped leaves with very gradual taper at both the base and tip. Margins are smooth from base to midpoint. From midpoint to tip there are extremely subtle teeth or lobes (I can’t tell which, it’s that subtle). Leaves somewhat fragrant when crushed. The bark is mostly smooth with some stripe-like wrinkling. Unknown whether it produces fruit, unknown whether it is evergreen or deciduous. Found growing in Atlanta, Georgia.

A branch with leaves
Leaf detail

Some things that looked kind of like it, but I wasn’t sure:

  • Willow (my specimen lacks the distinctive finely toothed border of the willow)
  • Laurel (my specimen has a much more tapered base and tip than laurels seem to)
  • Wax myrtle (my specimen doesn’t look quite so waxy, but this is my best match so far).

Any help appreciated… it is really irritating me that this mundane-looking tree is proving so difficult to identify.

Your first link didn’t work.

How tall is it?

Looks Oleanderish.

It’s about 12 feet tall. Right from ground level it splits into 5 main trunks that are about 5-6 inches in diameter each. The branching is highly asymmetric and meandering, and the overall form of the tree is dome-ish.

I note that a mod has edited the post and the link is currently working for me, please try it again.

Am forwarding this to my brother-in-law, who identifies and inventories trees as part of his job. However, he is currently on site somewhere in a California forest, so it may be a few days before he gets back to me. I’ll let you know if he comes up with anything.

I think this is probably correct. It certainly looks like a species in the genus Myrica, which are variously called waxmyrtles or bayberries (especially with regard to flower type and position). It seems most likely to be Southern Bayberry Myrica cerifolia.

Other links:
http://www.cybertruffle.org.uk/vinales/eng/myrica_cerifera.htm


It’s definitely not Oleander, which has very different flowers.