Identification: Unknown Chinese Conifer

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by Pinecraze, May 6, 2021.

  1. Pinecraze

    Pinecraze New Member

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    Chiangmai, Thailand
    Hello fellow conifer enthusiasts!

    We got this tree from a local nursery in Chiang Mai, Thailand, about 3 months ago. The owner was unaware of the specific species, merely calling it a Chinese conifer. We then started doing some research online, but didn't find anything convincing. Nevertheless, out of the countless kinds of cypresses that we've compared with, one particular species stood out, which is the critically endangered Chinese Swamp Cypress (Glyptostrobus pensilis). The narrow conical shape of the tree, foliage behavior, as well as leaf structure seem to match, although the bark on our specimen is a much darker shade.

    Regarding the foliage, we haven't seen it firsthand whether it sheds its leaves entirely (like Dawn redwood and Glyptostrobus pensilis), or not, but currently it seems to be in a recovery stage after being transplanted, with new growths throughout the tree. The nursery did mention it being leafy in the wet season, and losing them in the drier period, so it's likely deciduous.

    Any thoughts on this??

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    The tree is roughly 30 feet tall:

    xx0OX0Z.jpg EBpPP0j.jpg
    Branches curving upwards:

    fYW8ywB.jpg yZHSFVb.jpg UNh8k7R.jpg

    Close-up shots of the foliage:

    V1e6Yri.jpg JEyV7J4.jpg
    Bark texture:
    Meimo5z.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2021
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Regrettably not Glyptostrobus! Note that the leaves are in whorls of 3; in Glyptostrobus, the leaves are arranged spirally. Leaves in 3s like this is charactersitc of many junipers; with an origin in China, it is likely Juniperus chinensis. The mix of adult scale leaves and juvenile needle-like leaves on the same shoots also fits this (though this can be a feature of several other junipers too).
     
  3. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Has it been only 3 months since you acquired this tree? Do you know how old it is? I'm amazed - and curious.
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Looks like a semi-mature tree, perhaps 20 years old at purchase - exceedingly expensive, and with a low success rate. This specimen is alive, but it's very far from thriving. I don't think it'll ever make a good specimen, as it won't fill in the bare areas. Not worth the cost at all.
     

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