John Pilkington's picture

Lodgepole Pine?

Observed: 5th January 2013 By: John PilkingtonJohn Pilkington’s reputation in PlantsJohn Pilkington’s reputation in PlantsJohn Pilkington’s reputation in PlantsJohn Pilkington’s reputation in PlantsJohn Pilkington’s reputation in Plants
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Description:

Seen on one of several smaller trees along edge of path near Taf Fechan forest.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) interacts

Comments

Rachy Ramone's picture

Those short needles...

...do look like Scots Pine, but they don't normally have spines on the scales of the cones, which you can see on your second photo.

(Nice photos, btw!)

It might be Bosnian Pine - Pinus heldriechii - which is described as having stiff needles up to 9cm; second year cones "deep blue" which fits with your photo, and, importantly, "scales have a recurved prickle".

I'll put it up as a secondary ID and we'll see what other people think!

Although this is clearly not native to the UK, it is described as being "planted for ornament, thriving on free-draining soils."

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

John Pilkington's picture

Feedback

Rachy - as always, many thanks for your feedback - will also do some more searching based on your guidance - John

Rachy Ramone's picture

You're welcome...

...conifers are a bit of a bugbear, so I've been concentrating on them this winter - and if I have gleaned any small expertise, I'm most willing to share 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

David Jardine's picture

More about observation please

If there was a reasonable area of these trees (and not just a single specimen tree) then I am fairly sure this would be a Lodgepole Pine as this is not an uncommon tree in forests.

All the best

Rachy Ramone's picture

Lodgepole?

I dismissed that one, although it does have short paired needles, because the cones are described as "rounded to ovoid, usually a shiny yellow brown" which does not quite fit the photos above.

But it's always worth a try!

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 Jardine's picture

Lodgepole

Hi

Lodgepole pine is a highly variable tree with around 30 different provenances recognised - these all have different cone structures, branching patterns, bark thicknesses and the cones shown are consistent with Lodgepole Pine. The colouration of all species of pine cones change as they age and usually start green or purple then become browner (and eventually grey). A key feature of this photo is that the tree has not dropped its cones, which is also consistent with Lodgepole which I have seen with over 5 years of old cones on one branch (an adaption to keep seed until they are released in a fire).

Lodgepole Pine is a very common forest tree in parts of Britain with 10s of thousands of hectares planted.....I have not come across the use of Bosnian Pine in British Forestry (I've worked for the FC for over 30 years), so on balance of probability I think this is very likely to be a Lodgepole Pine.

see also
http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/229868?nav=users_observations

where you will see LP cones which are not rounded to ovoid, but more cylindrical

John Pilkington's picture

Lodgepole or Bosnian

Both - thanks for the pointers. This small tree/shrub (~10-12ft tall) was one of several similar ones that bordered a bigger area of predominantly pine trees (inevitably I suppose in this part of Wales). I am not sure how much variety there was in the patch as a whole. Looking at a variety of pictures on web-sites, and based on comments of relative population sizes/commonality, I am currently inclined to favour Lodgepole. If/when I pass that way again, I will see if there are any other clues to help identification. Any other views? John

John Pilkington's picture

Identification Change

Given the above discussion, I believe it to be appropriate to change the title.