Identification: Chamaecyparis - lots of pollen cones

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by wcutler, Aug 30, 2018.

  1. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I am not happy with any of my guesses for the ID of this tree next to the pedestrian bridge on the way to the Stanley Park rose garden, and I'm not even certain it's Chamaecyparis.

    I noticed it because it looked like half of it consisted of dead leaves, but it turned out that all those dark bits were pollen cones. Tons of them. From the other side, I can see that are are also dead leaves, but from the bridge where it first caught my eye, there were some bare branches, but otherwise no dead leaves.
    Chamaecyparis_StanleyParkPedBridge_Cutler_20180830_150527.jpg Chamaecyparis_StanleyParkPedBridge_Cutler_20180830_153843.jpg Chamaecyparis_StanleyParkPedBridge_Cutler_20180830_154258.jpg Chamaecyparis_StanleyParkPedBridge_Cutler_20180830_150654.jpg
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  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yep, Lawson's Cypress for sure; it is the cultivar 'Wisselii', which has a reputation for heavy pollen cone crops (it can look very purple overall in spring, there's so many).

    Photo from Alamy stock photos.

    Photo from Flickr.
     
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  3. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Thanks, Michael, for the ID and the links. It didn't occur to me that it could be Lawson's Cypress, since I was sure it was different from this, which I believe to be Lawson's Cypress.
    20130827_StanleyPark_ChamaecyparisLawsoniana_Cutler_P1520258.JPG 20130827_StanleyPark_ChamaecyparisLawsoniana_Cutler_P1520254.JPG 20130827_StanleyPark_ChamaecyparisLawsoniana_Cutler_P1520253c2.JPG
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yep, that's also a Lawson's Cypress - it just shows the degree of variation in the available cultivars. The seed cones do remain fairly constant though, with very similar scale structure, varying only in size (smaller than the wild type in some cultivars, slightly larger in 'Intertexta'). Foliage scent is also fairly constant, and can be useful for ID.
     
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  5. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    OK, I'll start sniffing them! Thanks, Michael.
     
  6. Margot

    Margot Well-Known Member

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    There is an excellent article from a 2002 issue of Pacific Horticulture magazine "The Untimely Demise of the Lawson Cypress" which I stumbled upon when looking for more information on Lawson's Cypress. I remembered how so many of these gorgeous trees died in my Burnaby neighbourhood around the 1970s.

    The more I read the article, the more I was impressed with the knowledge of the author and the quality of his writing. Scrolling back to the top, I discovered it was Douglas Justice! Now I'm going to take out a subscription to the magazine.
     
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  7. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Thanks for the reference, Margot! I edited your posting to add the link. That was very sad reading - I wonder if anything has changed in that story. There certainly are a lot of good-looking trees still around of that species.
     
  8. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    It occurred to me to check the Vancouver Trees app (link is to read about the app). Cypress root rot caused by Phytophthora lateralis is still a problem. Buyers of new Lawson Cypress here are cautioned to make sure their trees are "grafted onto rot-resistant stock, such as Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' ".
     
  9. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Active Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    I've been told that the US Forest Service in Oregon has a number of phytophthora-resistant seedlings that are being bulked up. I suspect, however, that their priority will be to use them for reforestation purposes. It would be nice to see identifiable cultivars that we could easily distinguish from the older, susceptible ones. Until then, we'll have to rely on grafted plants.
     
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