Confirm or clarify tree ID

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by 1950Greg, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. 1950Greg

    1950Greg Active Member

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    Location:
    Langley, B.C. Stones throw from old HBC farm.
    The photos where taken at Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver. Looks to be Cupressus funebris (Chinese weeping cypress.
     

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  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Lawson's Cypress Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, almost certainly the cultivar 'Intertexta'
     
  3. 1950Greg

    1950Greg Active Member

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  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Nope, wrong cone and shoot structure for that.
     
  5. 1950Greg

    1950Greg Active Member

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    What is throwing me off is how the crown droops unlike some pictures of Lawson's Cypress.
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    That's very variable depending on the cultivar - for 'Intertexta', it is very drooping. This cultivar also fits well on the rather open sprays, less densely branching than most Lawson's Cypress cultivars.

    If this tree had been in Britain, I'd have said 'Intertexta' without any doubt; my only qualification here is that I don't know if this particular cultivar is cultivated in Canada or not.
     
  7. 1950Greg

    1950Greg Active Member

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    Thank for all your help and advice. The next time I'm at Q.E. Park if I see anyone around I'll ask if they know anything about this planting.
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I've known about these 'Intertexta' near the Bloedel Conservatory for a long time. You can probably find them mentioned in Dr. Straley's Vancouver tree book. Dirr shows them in his picture CD as weeping Alaska cedar, guess he did not look very closely. Jacobson (1996, North American Landscape Trees, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley) lists a record for Vancouver of one 53' x 5'8", this is almost certainly one of the QE Park examples.
     
  9. 1950Greg

    1950Greg Active Member

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    Location:
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    I now have confirmation on the identity of the group of tree At Q.E. Park. from Alex Downie.

    The group of trees in your photo are weeping Lawson Cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana f. pendula), one of a number of similar weeping forms selected in England or Germany before 1890.

    The QE Park trees were planted in the late 1950's on the slope west of the Large Quarry Garden.

    This cultivar is commonly confused with the weeping Nootka or yellow cypress (Callitropsis nootkatensis ' Pendula') but the Nootka have nearly identical lateral and fascial branchlet leaves, wheras the Lawson cypress has much larger lateral leaves. A further identifying feature is the number of cone scales: C. nootkatensis has 4 vs 8 in C. lawsoniana. The classification of the Nootka cypress has undergone numerous changes over time. It started out as a Cupressus, then was reclassified as a Chamaecyparis, then moved into Xanthocyparis, and now is under Callitropsis!

    Cupressus funebris is a somewhat tender species from southern China which does not succeed for long in Vancouver's climate. It also has only 4 scales per cone.

    Hope this helps.


    Alex Downie
    Supervisor of Queen Elizabeth Park and Bloedel Conservatory
    Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation
    (604) 257-8596
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Forma (f.) is a botanical designation embracing a larger category (multiple similar seedlings) than cultivar (which in the growing of trees, often refers to vegetatively propagated clones). In this case "Various clones of more or less strongly drooping habit have been grown since the 1870s" (Jacobson, North American Landscape Trees).

    Trees shown were already correctly identified by Michael F. as C. lawsoniana 'Intertexta', recognized by hard and sparse foliage sprays. The followup to this should be that Mr. Downie is alerted to the true naming of these trees - and not that the mis-identification of them presented above is embraced by others.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  11. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Downie is wrong here too: "Cupressus funebris .... has only 4 scales per cone" - it has 6-8 scales per cone, though different shaped scales to those of Lawson's Cypress.
     

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