Identification: Small tree ID

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by orpheus, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. orpheus

    orpheus Active Member

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I received this small (10 inch) tree as a gift without identifying information. Can anyone ID this tree for me?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,325
    Likes Received:
    294
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Cupressus leylandii...?
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    11,227
    Likes Received:
    410
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    One of the many semi-dwarf Lawson's Cypress cultivars, perhaps most likely Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Allumii' or C. l. 'Ellwoodii'.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,959
    Likes Received:
    663
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    'Alumii' is neither dwarfish nor juvenile (the one shown is a juvenile foliage form). 'Ellwoodii' is common as a tabletop Christmas tree and frequently asked about, but other cultivars have been offered in my area and I am not sure one shown here has the right foliage for that particular selection.

    Tree may not persist under San Diego conditions.
     
  5. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,057
    Likes Received:
    98
    Location:
    Kootenays, BC, Canada
    I am curious how you can tell a juvenile specimen of Cupressus from that of Chamaecyparis?
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    11,227
    Likes Received:
    410
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    By long experience from its 'jizz'. Not an easily definable thing, much like recognising someone you know from seeing them even at a distance.
     
  7. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,472
    Likes Received:
    544
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    In North America, I've heard the term gestalt with regard to plants, not familiar with birder lingo.
     
  8. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,057
    Likes Received:
    98
    Location:
    Kootenays, BC, Canada
    Thank you Michael. So, I wonder if I could see the difference when looking at both of them at the same time. Couldn't find a picture of a juvenile plant on the Net. Does anybody have a picture of a juvenile Cupressus and could post it here?
     
  9. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    11,227
    Likes Received:
    410
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    Here's a juvenile Cupressus macrocarpa

    (public domain pic from wkimedia)
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,057
    Likes Received:
    98
    Location:
    Kootenays, BC, Canada
    Great, thanks again. Looks quite different, though the difference could be attributed to the maturity of new growth? It looks like Cupressus on your picture is just developing new growth (the picture taken probably in spring or in early summer) while new growth on orpheus's Chamaecyparis is already mature (the picture taken either late in fall or in winter).

    Question: is the Cupressus on your picture in its second year already?

    One more question, the difficulty in distinguishing the juvenile specimens applies to all Cupressaceae family or is it only difficult to tell a baby Cupressus from that of Chamaecyparis?
     
  11. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    11,227
    Likes Received:
    410
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    Don't know how old the cypress in the pic is (it's not my pic), but 2 years is probably about right.

    Yes, many juvenile Cupressaceae are tricky, e.g. Cupressus and Juniperus can be surprisingly similar to each other (worse than trying to tell either from Chamaecyparis).

    But there's always the case of 'Sanderi' - this juvenile-foliage cultivar defied identification for 84 years, moving through five different genera (including one, Shishindenia, created for it alone) until 1978 when chemical analysis of its resin finally showed it to be a cultivar of Platycladus orientalis.

    So don't worry if you can't always get one right!
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  12. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,057
    Likes Received:
    98
    Location:
    Kootenays, BC, Canada
    Interesting!
     

Share This Page