species identification - Knowledgebase Question

w dover, vt
Question by groberts21
January 18, 2006
how do i identify which species of evergreen i have. i think it is a spruce. it looks like a miniature christmas tree. its new growth is light green, and the old growth is dark green. it is conical in shape

Answer from NGA
January 18, 2006


The best way is to take photos (close up and overall) to your local nursery and compare them to the trees they have, and consult with your professionally trained nursery staff. Most evergreens have new growth that is brighter green than the old growth, and many are pruned to create that Christmas tree shape. You need to look carefully at the needles and how they are arranged on the branch to determine the genus, such as pine, spruce, fir or so on. It may be impossible to determine the specific species however, since there are potentially hundreds of different possibilities. A very common one however that is sold as a small container grown holiday tree and looks lovely, is the dwarf Alberta spruce which has a natural pyramidal shape. So that might well be what you have. Good luck with your detective work!

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