About Emma McDonald

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Emma McDonald has created 64 blog entries.

Conifers – Larch

Larch (Larix) There are a number of this deciduous conifer in this grove, all of them turning gorgeous tones of yellow in late fall. They typically grow best in full sun. Note the small cones that persist on the branches; only age or fire makes them come off. Washington state has three native larches: [...]

2022-02-16T15:44:28+00:00February 16th, 2022|

Conifers – Himalayan White Pine

Himalayan White Pine (Pinus wallichiana) Extra-long needles that end up drooping in a graceful fashion is a hallmark of this pine. It hails from the foothills of the Himalayas and is an important timber tree throughout its range. Here, it doesn’t grow too much beyond 60’ and is best suited out of a windy [...]

2022-02-16T15:44:35+00:00February 16th, 2022|

Conifers – Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) Indigenous peoples for centuries used this native tree for things like building material from canoes to box construction and more. Today we also associate it with shingles and decking as well. Note the smaller scale leaves and compare to the Hiba Cedar’s foliage (number one of this series). Thus, [...]

2022-02-16T15:44:41+00:00February 16th, 2022|

Conifers – Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) Look over the hillside and you’ll see quite a few other Douglas Firs growing tall and majestic. With age, the bark starts developing a thick layer that has these deep furrows. Check out some fallen cones distinctive with the characteristic ‘mouse- tail’ emanating between the scales. If there are any [...]

2022-02-16T15:44:48+00:00February 16th, 2022|

Conifers – California Nutmeg Tree

California Nutmeg Tree (Torreya californica) You’re seeing stump sprouts from what was a large specimen that unfortunately started tipping over, probably as a result of a girdling root system that never was fully able to spread out and give stability. Look at the size of the almost horizontal trunk to see why it needed to [...]

2022-02-16T15:44:55+00:00February 16th, 2022|

Conifers – Leyland Cypress

Leyland Cypress (X Cupressocyparis leylandii; also as Cupressus x leylandii)  I love the trunk of this specimen as it reminds me of Monterey Cypress, one of its parents, the other being the Alaskan Yellow Cedar. Most Leyland Cypress are not pruned up like this one but rather present an overly large and dense plant. Being fast-growing, [...]

2022-02-16T15:45:01+00:00February 16th, 2022|

Conifers – Sargent’s Weeping Hemlock

Sargent’s Weeping Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis ‘Pendula’) Dwarf forms of plants attract both those whose space is limited and those who enjoy variation in their garden. With the graceful weeping branches, you can add beauty to the equation too.  This naturally occurring dwarf of the Eastern Hemlock was found in upstate New York close to [...]

2022-02-16T15:45:07+00:00February 16th, 2022|

Conifers – Incense Cedar

Incense Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens) Hard to see the foliage but look at this bark – long, flat plates of a deep rich brown. The wood inside is honey-toned and does smell very nice once cut. A tree of the Siskiyous and Sierras, it is a prized timber tree. Often planted in landscapes where a [...]

2022-02-16T15:45:12+00:00February 16th, 2022|

Conifers – Mountain Hemlock

Mountain Hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana) You will see this native in the upper zones of our mountains where it prefers much more sunlight than our other native hemlock, the Western Hemlock. For this reason and a slower growth rate, it is a good choice for lowland gardens. The specimen here is rather open, showing its intolerance to [...]

2022-02-16T15:45:17+00:00February 16th, 2022|

Conifers – Japanese White Pine

Japanese White Pine (Pinus parviflora) If you have the elbow room, this lovely pine should be considered. It doesn’t get too tall in our area (15-20’) but does spread out. Strong horizontal branches give quite a screening effect. Clusters of five needles are tightly arranged along the branches with big spaces between. There is [...]

2022-02-16T15:45:22+00:00February 16th, 2022|