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This may be a strange question, but does anyone know what kind of tree this could be?

XKCD tree

I know, it's just a comic, but these trees, at “walking distance” within that comic are easily identifiable as Grandidier's Baobabs:

Gradidier's Baobab

(That might indicate, of course, that the above tree also occurs on Madagascar, but it's a comic, so all bets are off. And yes, we know, there are no squirrels on Madagascar.)

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Is there any reason to believe that it is a real species at all? –  kmm May 28 '13 at 13:18
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@kmm it does look vaguely familiar, I'm pretty sure I've seen images of such trees. –  terdon May 28 '13 at 15:33
    
I don't think this question can be answered, and it doesn't deal with real-world biology. The intent of the artist cannot be known and a silhouette can hardly be used for species determination. –  fileunderwater May 28 '13 at 20:07
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I know, it's a cartoon tree, and might not be a real one, but the second one is clearly identifiable, which is why I believe the first one could be as well. –  mscha May 28 '13 at 20:21
    
I noticed that in japanese animation, the fish are often identifiable, at least at the genus or family level. So the question makes sense to me. –  bli May 29 '13 at 7:19
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2 Answers

As @fileunderwater suggested, this looks like an Acacia. Like many others with OSX, I have this incuded picture of an acacia as one of my screensaver rotations.

It looks very similar in bauplan to the illustration.

enter image description here

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It looks like a pine to me. Might be close to Pinus pinaster but take into account that a) I'm not a botanist. b) I'm only familiar with pines that grow in my area (Catalonia).

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My guess (with an emphasis on guess) would rather be an Acacia species, since they are common on savanna/similar environments as Baobabs. They are fan/umbrella shaped (do a google image search). There are, however, more than 1300 species of Acacia worldwide. –  fileunderwater May 30 '13 at 13:55
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