The work came at a time when Mondrian was beginning to experiment with Cubism: its foreground and background elements seem to intermingle, and the palette is very restricted. The tree is subtly oval in form, following another Cubist practice seen in works by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Mondrian's oval became explicit, framing the work, in paintings that followed over the next three or four years. Apple Tree in Flower, also from 1912, is a similarly sized composition. Though the outline of the "apple tree" recalls that of Gray Tree, the work is significantly more faceted and abstract.