Western red cedar grows new branches (vs Douglas fir)

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Georgia Strait, Nov 16, 2022.

  1. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    I wonder if there’s a special botany biology word for our BC native red cedars regrowing branches from their trunks —- whereas it seems our native Douglas firs do not seem to

    i have both species nearby and this is my amateur science observation

    in the past we talked about words for special conditions in nature - i wonder where that thread is here -

    1. Petrichor
    2. Scent of freshly mown hay / lawn
    3. Sound of whispering evergreen trees
    4. Tomatoes sprouting seeds inside the fruit

    Back to topic question — why do western red cedars sprout new branches whereas Douglas firs do not seem to

    and is there a special word for this sprouting ability

    i attached a couple of cedar photos below
    Thank you
     

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    Last edited: Nov 16, 2022
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Search "epicormic shoot" for starters
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yep, epicormic shoots. Sitka Spruce also does so. Interesting that your Western Redcedar has, as it doesn't do this very commonly.
     

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  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Having lived most of my life here in their native area - in fact I have spontaneous (wild living) examples of all three on my current property - I have seen trunk sprouts being produced by each species many times over the years.
     
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  5. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    Thank you RonB —

    1. do you know why Douglas fir do NOT seem to show this same new branch sprout capability?

    that said - in this coastal view neighbourhood - we do know that “topped” firs and red cedars (and many others incl arbutus) get a bushy “Gibsons haircut” appearance as named by @Willard (brush cut)

    2. these sprout branches are not coming out of exact location of previously trimmed branch junction

    Fascinating
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Any thoughts on which it is commonest in, in your experience? In cultivation here, it's common in Sitka Spruce but scarce in Western Redcedar and Douglas-fir.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    All the remaining large ancient Thuja have candelabra tops. This might be taken as an indication that it sprouts more readily.
     
  8. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    for us in lower mainland BC —- We’d likely have to go to Long Beach (Ucluelet Tofino) to see a Sitka spruce

    or up in Haida Gwaii (& Alaska panhandle region)

    i am not saying the spruce area not elsewhere — just thinking of places we can fly / drive to

    Sitka really do have that thick branched look (as viewed by human looking up) — when you know, you know - as they say (plus kinglet birds!)

    i think one can view them readily in USA nw coast?
     
  9. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Georgia, Sitka Spruce trees are common in the North Shore forests, mostly growing in moist valley bottoms.
     
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  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Sitka spruce may often be found anywhere in the region there is surface water. I haven't been up there in years, don't specifically remember but presumably the species is present in the wetlands east and south of Vancouver.
     
  11. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Took a look around on google street view, and to my surprise, struggled to find many Sitka Spruce. There's one here from a main road between Delta and Surrey, but it looks to be in a private area.
     
  12. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    struggled to find many

    This could be why I don't have specific recollections; down here, farther south in the Puget Trough there are very many occurrences of the presence of surface water being flagged by landmark height spruces. For instance the single individual present on my 5 acres is growing in the one seasonal stream that crosses the parcel. In one of two sections of the stream visible to me where there is a past history of water puddling and lingering for extended periods.

    A 1973 collection (see Record 26) from a Myrica and Sphagnum association in Pitt Meadows is documented here (map enlarges to give quite a close view); with all the time that has elapsed (and with peat probably being present) who knows if the site is still intact.

    CPNWH Search Results (pnwherbaria.org)
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2022
  13. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    And I was deliberately selecting streamsides, too, like this site (pan around, too) - all Douglas-fir and Red Alder, no Sitka Spruce.
     
  14. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    Back to topic of trees that sprout new fresh branches — I noticed this near ocean coastal Vanc today

    Sprouting new branches

    a yew?
    A big yew?

    compare to red cedar next to possible yew.

    see photos below
     

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  15. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    This journal article suggest Doug Fir does have this type of branch growth?

    The role of epicormic shoot production in maintaining foliage in old Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir) trees

    i don’t have access nor am I looking for academic purposes — simply curious as it’s what I’ve observed

    none of the Doug fir or cedar i have observed have been “topped” or “spiralled” — just old trees in a Coast neighbourhood

    thank you @Ron B — i value your posts
     
  16. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Last edited: Nov 17, 2022

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