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I just had a second person who lives in Newton but grew up somewhere else tell me about  ‘volunteer trees’ in their yard. The woman on Parmenter Road grew up in Kansas, the woman on Myrtle Street in Missouri and Iowa. What they’re talking about is trees that sprout on their own instead of being planted on purpose. Even though I spent a few years in Chicago and Detroit, I’d never heard the term until about a month ago, and find it utterly charming. So much more positive than the only expression I can think of — ‘weed trees’ — which I’d reserve for Norway maples and ailanthus (tree of heaven).

Does anyone else use this expression, and if so, where are you from originally? I’m wondering what other neat expressions are out there that I just haven’t stumbled across, being holed up in the Northeast.