Answer: Conifers are best identified by the cone shape and size, and by the number of needles in a bundle. However, based on your description of branching habit, I'm guessing it could be Pinus engelmannii. These trees develop one row of branches each year and they're almost always evenly distributed around the trunk. Another possiblility is the Araucaria family. A. araucana, commonly called Monkey Puzzle tree. The needles are shorter than you describe, but the branching pattern matches. A. heterophylla, or Norfolk Island Pine, has smaller needles but the correct branching pattern. Wish I could offer more help!
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