poppet's picture

Conifer

Observed: 13th December 2012 By: poppetpoppet’s reputation in Plants
PC110014  (1)
PC110014  (3)
PC110014  (5)
PC130001 - cryptomeria - sequoiadendron - sequoia
PC130007
PC130009
Description:

Planted conifer in a park. small pointy leaves, slightly scented. Red bark.
The picture of four leaves lined up - from left, the conifer in question, Cryptomeria japonica, Sequoiadendron giganteum and Sequoia sempervirens.
On the last picture shows the habit of the tree a little... the mound on the right is actually a branch from the main(left)trunk, so it is not growing in a conical shape. Some of the branches droop then come back up. Some of the lower branches were removed, but if not it may layer itself...?
There is no cones visible on the tree and I could not find any on the ground either.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Japanese Red-cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) interacts

Comments

Rachy Ramone's picture

I'm not sure...

...I would have said that Cryptomeria leaf scales are much "longer" than those shown here (excellent close-up photo, by the way!) and are generally flexible: these look much shorter and more rigid, so I'm going for Sequoia.

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY

David Trevan's picture

Sequoiadendron/Cryptomeria

I'm not sure either but the more I try and zoom in on the images the more unsure I become as whether it is a Sequoiadendron or Cryptomeria, apart from the close up the main images don't seem to be clear enough.Conifers are quite difficult in many ways because you can't pick up a lot of the characteristics from a photo!It's also far to big to be a Taiwania which has kind of similar features!!!

David J Trevan

Rachy Ramone's picture

Ah, the challenge of photo ID...

....I hate it! But it's good for me to try, so I do.

Conifers are quite difficult in many ways, I would say...

I particularly love section DH in Poland, conifers with leaf scales, where the main differentiation seems to be smell!!!

*rolls eyes*

You are quite right that the bases of Sequoia are more "buttressy" but I don't think that photo of the trunk actually shows the very bottom.

Possibly Poppet might have more photos? *enquiring look*

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY

David Trevan's picture

Smell!

I agree totally about the smell of conifers, they are a good way of distinguishing some of them, my favourite is Thuja plicata with it's gorgeous pineapple smell.

David J Trevan

Rachy Ramone's picture

Smell!

Agreed, Thuja plicata's pineapple scent is an easy one... or Sitka spruce, smelling of bananas.

I'm less sure about how to differentiate between "Parsley, sour" and "Parsley, sweet", especially with the option of "Rancid" as a side-dish!

(memo to self, Thujopsis is easy to ID by the white patches, no real need to sniff it...)

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY

Jonathan's picture

I think that I'm going to

I think that I'm going to stick with S.gianteum
Did you know that the leaves at the top of the tree and those at the bottom look totally different? Its so dry at the top of Sg that the leaves there are xerophytic. I think that these would be like the ones at the top, though where they cam from I don't know. Maybe Poppet can tell us? Were they found on the ground, or picked from low down?

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

poppet's picture

any other suggestions?

Thanks Jonathan for the ID, but according to the senior gardener (who's knowledge is immense)in the area, it is not Sequoiadendron, but he doesn't know what it is...

any other suggestions are very welcome!

poppet's picture

and not Cryptomeria

Thank you everybody for the comments. But again, it is not supposed to be Cryptomeria either... today I had the leaves side by side and C. leaves are much larger, more rigid and not overlapping.

The leaves close-up photo, leaves were from low down. (where I could reach!)

I will try taking more picture if I have a chance! Thanks again.

Jonathan's picture

OK. I'm sure we can pin it

OK. I'm sure we can pin it down eventually. There are not that many things it can be, I would have thought.

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

David Trevan's picture

Conifers again!

As Jonathan has pointed out conifer foliage can be variable, and some also display what us horticulturists call "Juvenility" or the more technical term heterophylly, where quite different types of foliage can appear on the same plant, it is often age related but a lot of garden cultivars are juvenile forms, one of the best known is Cryptomeria japonica
' Elegans', a juvenile form of the Japanese Cedar with soft, bronzy foliage.The juvenile forms are often much easier to propagate by vegetative means than the adult forms.
This doesn't really help our id above but it is a factor to consider when identifying conifers.
If you are now looking at other possibilities how about the Tasmanian Cedars, Athrotaxus which can have similar foliage and reddish bark, except they are not totally hardy and I'm not sure get that big in the UK.

David J Trevan

Rachy Ramone's picture

If the Senior Gardener doesn't know...

...then it is possible that we won't be able to pin this one down.

It's clearly an ornamental, deliberately planted, and could well be something quite rare or unusual, brought in by a plant collector.

But it's interesting, going through the process of ID.

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY

poppet's picture

more picture

Hi, I added some more pictures including the bottom of the trunk. I could not find any cones on the tree nor on the ground...

Thank you all very much for the comments, I didn't know about juvenile foliage on conifers. Its all very interesting :)

Jonathan's picture

Your picture of Cryptomeria

Your picture of Cryptomeria foliage seems the closest match.

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

Rachy Ramone's picture

Brilliant, Poppet!

Well done for the additional photos, the one of the four conifers side by side is very interesting, and hopefully very helpful.

It's clear to see how the Cryptomeria are very much longer than the S. giganteum.

The odd thing is, I am sure I have seen the exact same scales as your mystery tree recently, probably at Batsford Arboretum. I think that's why I was sure it was Wellingtonia, as they definitely have those, there.

Let's hope someone comes up with a positive ID!

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY