Identification: Thoughts on this one from the Siskiyous?

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by Daniel Mosquin, Sep 20, 2022.

  1. Daniel Mosquin

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

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    Hi,

    Not going to give a specific location, other than Oregon-California. We only found the two plants, nothing larger nearby that we could spot. We have a thought as to what it might be, but are doubting our ID.
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    General appearance like smooth Arizona cypress, setting looks like one where that species might be seen also.
     
  3. Daniel Mosquin

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

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    Wayyyy out of range, but I suppose it is a possibility that someone planted it. This was in a USFS Botanical Area.
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Cupressus glabra is showing up on several invasive species lists around the Mediterranean (Spain, Portugal, France, Morocco, etc.); no reason why it shouldn't be so there, too. How far is it from the nearest gardens? While the seed isn't likely to blow, it could be carried & 'sown' by birds (chickadees would be my suspect), or (most likely) grow from cones on dumped hedge clippings.

    Cupressus bakeri is what's native in the area, but it doesn't look like that.
     
  5. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    I'm curious what your guess might be.
     
  6. Daniel Mosquin

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

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    Our guess has been Cupressus sargentii. Nearest human habitations would be about 5miles/8km away in only one direction, all other directions are wilderness. There is a purported C. sargentii population of only a few young trees about 3mi/5km away as the crow flies, but it hard to believe that these haven’t been noticed by botanists as they are in an area well-known for its hanging Darlingtonia fens.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  8. Daniel Mosquin

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

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    Yes, we had. Most foliage photos do not have such pointy leaves, that one seems to be an outlier of an image. It seems to match “Branchlets decussate, (1.5)2-2.5 mm diam. Leaves usually with inconspicuous, shallow, pitlike, abaxial gland that usually does not produce drop of resin, often glaucous.”
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Pointiness due presumably to juvenility
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Chris Earle of conifers.org says (pers. comm.) "Looks like C. sargentii from that area as shown to me by Frank Callahan."
     
  11. Daniel Mosquin

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

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    Cool. Well, we visited the site of the C. sargentii on the Deer Creek Ranch (Siskiyou Field Institute) this morning, it did look very similar. The ones photographed above are about 3-4 miles away from that population, so maybe a new site? Does Chris know if there are 2 populations?
     
  12. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  13. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Deliberately planted as part of an Assisted Plant Migration scheme, perhaps? Most of the California cypresses are at high risk of extinction from increased fire frequency with global warming (a fire return period shorter than coning age will soon eradicate them) and have very limited natural seed dispersal range. A policy of planting new sites further north in cooler locations with lower fire risk will be needed to protect them. This might be either official (USDAFS doing it with some species I understand), or unofficial (like the 'Torreya Guardians' in the eastern States), someone just doing it without telling anyone....
     
  14. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I asked at the Cupressus Conservation Project, and got this reply:

    Tricky. Don't remember a sargentii with such a glaucous foliage. Also the younger plant is green... Such glaucous foliage without resin dots makes me think of an arizonica, for instance the Mount Lemmon population. But there could be cultivar with glaucous foliage among sargentii. Maybe.

    If in Oregon, I would bet on transplants by Callahan. Why do not they communicate the exact locality? Can you ask?

    The absence of cones does not help.​

    Could you add the location now, please?
     
  15. Daniel Mosquin

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

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    I was being cagey because I didn't want an identification that was based on presumption. There were no cones, unfortunately. I'm still not certain if I should share exactly where until I run through the process with the USFS to have them check it. The plants on the Siskiyou Field Institute site--despite being on private land--have been damaged (presumably) by collectors, with the branches on both obvious trees having been torn off while the tree was scaled, and one of the trees having had the top broken off.
     
  16. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Thanks! Unfortunately an ID with coneless recently-planted specimens of unknown source isn't possible (at least, not without DNA tests!).
     

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