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|

Conifers – Hiba Cedar

Hiba Cedar (Thujopsis dolabrata) When you compare the scale leaves on this plant to those of our Western Red Cedar, you can’t but see that they are large indeed and have a pronounced white underside (due to a waxy surface). With larger leaves and a stiff growth habit, Hiba Cedar really stands out. A [...]

2022-02-16T16:01:13+00:00February 16th, 2022|

February Director’s Note

Raise your hand if you have PTSD about snow in February? I feel confident that we have passed through the snowiest portion of our winter. (See how I didn't say 'no more snow?') This next week seems pretty mild and spring-like. I was outside all day on 'Sun'-day, working in my garden, basking in the [...]

2022-02-07T15:26:25+00:00February 7th, 2022|