Plant ID forum: ID these shrubs in an old photo?

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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Mar 25, 2013 5:22 PM CST

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Does anyone know what the evergreen shrubs are in the photo shown?

Thumb of 2013-03-25/dave/5dafd7
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Mar 25, 2013 5:31 PM CST

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Hard to say, but they look like Thuja to me.

https://www.google.com/search?q=thuja&hl=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&s...
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Mar 25, 2013 7:10 PM CST

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You may be right. Of all the thujas, I wonder if it'll ever be possible to figure out which one. Really, all we have to go on here is the shape of them in the photo and that's probably not enough.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
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Leftwood
Mar 26, 2013 1:14 PM CST
I am not sold that they are Thuja, but they seem to have vertically arranged foliage, which would indicate T. orientalis (now Platycladus) if they are. Certainly the two below are not Thuja, as they would never regenerate in those damaged areas in that fashion. So, if they are all the same, then none are Thuja, IMO. I am confident they all belong to Cuppresaceae.

Is this a college campus? Where? Maybe you can find a different photo of the same area, then.

Now I just thought, you said "shrubs". Do you mean all the lower growing stuff? Then definitely not Thuja, and I can't even narrow them to a family.

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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Mar 26, 2013 1:26 PM CST

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Thanks for this, Rick.

The subjects we're talking about are the ones with arrows pointing at them.

This photo is of the Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas. The trees have since long been removed.
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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KentPfeiffer
Mar 26, 2013 3:15 PM CST

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Is it possible to grow spruce trees in Texas? The two that the arrows are pointing to have sort of a blue spruce look to them.

The others look like thujas or maybe junipers that have been shaped.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Mar 26, 2013 5:42 PM CST

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I've never heard of people growing Blue Spruces in Texas but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen!
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
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ViburnumValley
Mar 28, 2013 9:37 PM CST
I don't think these are Thuja.

I think these plants in question are species/selections of Juniperus. The "odd" ones that Rick has pointed out could very well be one of the old clones like the Hollywood Juniper (Juniperus chinensis 'Kaizuka' syn. 'Torulosa').

With all the shearing that had obviously taken place, it would be hard to say more than that without additional images from different angles.

John
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Mar 29, 2013 11:09 AM CST

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Thanks for that. I think we have all we're going to get with this one photo. One of our local master gardeners gave me this picture asking for help, and I doubt there are any more photos that we could get our hands on.
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
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ViburnumValley
Mar 31, 2013 8:13 AM CST
You all that live much closer to Dallas might visit documentation of this historic institution, where there ARE likely more images.

I did a cursory internet search for this school, and found that there is more than a bit of information out there. I didn't find any pictures that categorically defined what is planted there, but there are photos of the front of the school with the flagpole showing the landscape - just not close up.

Texts like yearbooks would be where I'd begin the search. Those usually have all kinds of pictures from the school and its grounds.

You need a sleuthing/scavenger hunt forum, for instances like this...
John
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
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ViburnumValley
Mar 31, 2013 8:39 AM CST
Here's a few things I found - anybody know any old-timer graduates of this institution? Or someone willing to just visit their library?

Dave: did the master gardener have any idea what era the photo above was taken? Vehicles look to be from 1950s-ish.

http://www.classmates.com/yearbooks/Woodrow-Wilson-High-Scho... (1949 yearbook)
http://www.classmates.com/yearbooks/Woodrow-Wilson-High-Scho... (1947 yearbook; promising images on pp. 8/9, 10/11)
http://www.classmates.com/yearbooks/Woodrow-Wilson-High-Scho... (1939 yearbook; pp. 10-15 have closer images of conifers)

John
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Mar 31, 2013 11:42 AM CST

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John, she didn't give me any information except the photo and the request to let her know if anyone knew what the plants were. Shrug! She didn't even specify why she wanted to know!

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