Backyard tree identification

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by ptjmliao, Oct 24, 2020.

  1. ptjmliao

    ptjmliao Member

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    Hey there,

    Please ID the tree about 30 feet in height of my backyard in Vancouver. The leaf partially turn browned and dropped all over the ground in October. I assumed it’s normal for the tree. Attached please find the pictures. Thanks.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Thuja plicata
     
  3. Margot

    Margot Contributor

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    Thuja plicata aka Western Red Cedar.

    We had 4 very old cedars like yours when we lived in Burnaby. They dropped so many old leaves (a process called 'flagging') on the driveway in October/November every year that I needed a snow shovel to clean them up. I always felt they were well-worth the extra work though because they are incredibly beautiful.

    As summers become drier in this part of the world, I would advise keeping a close eye on yours over the summer and make sure it has enough water. It can be tricky to assess because the symptoms of water deprivation in terms of excessive browning and dry leaves can take a long time to become visible. Here on Vancouver Island where I now live, a great many cedars have died in recent years, due to several years of unusually low rainfall.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    One that small growing in a normal setting will not of course be "very old".
     
  5. Margot

    Margot Contributor

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    When I said my cedars were 'very old' I was comparing them to others in the City, not to specimens that may live in excess of 1000 years elsewhere.

    I am puzzled by your comment @Ron B , wondering if you are saying that younger trees need less water than older ones or if you're just correcting my imprecise use of the term 'very old'?
     
  6. ptjmliao

    ptjmliao Member

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    Thanks the reply from Ron and Margot. The trunk is 80cm in diameter , more than 30 feet in height, I didn’t know that I need to water it in summer .
     
  7. Margot

    Margot Contributor

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    Thuja plicata require lots of water to remain healthy. See: https://depts.washington.edu/propplnt/Plants/Thuja plicata.htm

    Historically, the Lower Mainland has had enough rainfall to provide all the water cedars need but, as the climate and weather patterns change, we can't count on that anymore.

    On Vancouver Island, there are many areas where countless cedars have died after successive summers with inadequate water. You certainly won't do your tree any harm to put the sprinkler on it for an hour or two every now and then over the dry months. The larger it grows, the more water it will require.

    Keep an eye on your cedar and watch for signs that it may be thirsty, such as dry looking leaves and excessive flagging in the fall. You'll become familiar with how it ought to look and behave.
     

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