Snaggers's picture

Spruce with cone stubs

Observed: 1st January 2012 By: Snaggers
conifer and cones
Description:

Can any one tell me what species of spruce this is and what if anything has eaten the cones, or is this their normal shape

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Silver Fir (Abies) interacts

Comments

MrG's picture

Silver Fir Cones

The cones of silver firs (Abies) break up on the tree so it is quite normal to see just the central part remaining. I'm not sure anything eats the cones as such; it is the seeds within the cones that are eaten.

David Jardine's picture

Silver Firs

Abies are a difficult group - the key characteristics for differentiating them are:
- needles - pectinate (flat on rows either side of the stem) or distributed around the stem
- needles - colour, particularly on the underside
- bud - colour
- twigs - hairy (pubescent) or smooth, and colouration of any hairs
- cones - shape and size.

Grand Fir has pectinate needles; this photo does not, which suggest that this specimen is not A. grandis. It might be Noble Fir (Abies procera) but there is not sufficient in the photo to be certain.

David Jardine's picture

ps

Sitka spruce is the most commonly planted conifer in Scotland.

While Abies grandis has been widely planted in Scotland, there are significant areas of Noble fir (A. procera) which was planted in particularly thin/rocky, infertile soils

David Jardine's picture

More photos

If more (close up) photos are available, it may be possible to be more certain of the identification of this tree.

David Trevan's picture

Abies!

I agree that Abies are a difficult group, there are over 50 species plus numerous hybrids and cultivars listed in Cassell's Trees of Britain and Northern Europe(More and White).I got my facts a bit wrong as it states in that textbook that A. grandis is the most productive conifer there, sorry!
I agree with David Jardine that more close ups of the foliage/habit/cones intact would facilitate a more accurate identification of this conifer.
PS Alan Mitchell Conifers in the British Isles describes 60 or so species!

David J Trevan

David Trevan's picture

Abies!

I agree that Abies are a difficult group, there are over 50 species plus numerous hybrids and cultivars listed in Cassell's Trees of Britain and Northern Europe(More and White).I got my facts a bit wrong as it states in that textbook that A. grandis is the most productive conifer there, sorry!
I agree with David Jardine that more close ups of the foliage/habit/cones intact would facilitate a more accurate identification of this conifer.
PS Alan Mitchell Conifers in the British Isles describes 60 or so species!

David J Trevan

Refugee's picture

Male Cones?

I have seen male cones on Cedar that are upright as those are. They get noticed in the odd week or so they are on the plant before they fade and fall.
Those do look like cone spines that are similar to those of cedar. I would try googling the term "spruce with upright cones" or a latin name for the cone type as the ones on cedar and see what comes up.

Refugee

David Trevan's picture

Abies versus Cedrus

Cedars have needles that are in whorls on spurs in the older shoots,and single needles on the young growth.

David J Trevan

Refugee's picture

What is left

At the base of each of the younger cone spines there appears to be the last few scales of the cone. They look like cedar cone scales. Perhaps search for "spruce" and the latin name for that cone type.
It certainly sheds the scales in the same way as cedar.

Refugee

David Jardine's picture

Deciduous cones

Abies have deciduous cones just like cedars - ie they disintegrate on the trees, leaving the central spine standing as seen in this photo

Refugee's picture

Fir

Oh yes it is a fir as opposed to a spruce.
It is getting less confusing now.

Refugee