Plant ID forum: Mystery plant

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Everyday
Dec 13, 2016 3:00 PM CST
These little conifers are popping up in my suburban northern Virginia garden (zone 7). They are very prickly. Anyone know what they are? They just appeared this year. There are five of them within a couple feet of each other. There are no similar-looking plants nearby. Is it possible that they're popping up from underground remains of a tree that was removed? I lived in my home for five years without ever seeing anything similar but they appeared not long after my neighbor removed a large tree that shaded my garden.
Thanks for the help!
Thumb of 2016-12-13/Everyday/bf7492

Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Dec 13, 2016 3:50 PM CST
They look a lot like what we call Texas Red Cedar - which is actually a cypress. Was your neighbor's tree just on the other side of that fence?
Porkpal

Everyday
Dec 13, 2016 5:31 PM CST
porkpal said:Was your neighbor's tree just on the other side of that fence?

Yep

Everyday
Dec 13, 2016 7:49 PM CST
Planted by birds then?
Name: Feng Xiao Long
Bogor, Java, Indonesia (Zone 13a)
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XiaoLong
Dec 13, 2016 9:00 PM CST
i think its come from the root of the big tree. after removing the trunk, some roots still remain and sprouting back. Smiling
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Dec 13, 2016 9:31 PM CST
I agree with Xiao.
Porkpal

Everyday
Dec 14, 2016 12:32 PM CST
Everyone agree that this is red cedar? Looks more like "blue cedar" to me.
Name: Carter Mayer
Houston, TX (Zone 9b)
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Carter
Dec 14, 2016 1:30 PM CST
Will cedars sprout from underground roots? I'm not familiar with them, but I think that verification would be a big clue towards ID confirmation. I don't know how common a trait this may or may not be for conifers.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Dec 14, 2016 3:53 PM CST
Good question...
Porkpal
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Dec 14, 2016 4:19 PM CST
My understanding is that only a few conifers produce suckers. Is it possible to take off a representative twig with needles, lay it on a piece of white paper (to keep the camera auto-focus on the plant) and take a closer picture?

Everyday
Dec 14, 2016 7:20 PM CST
Thumb of 2016-12-15/Everyday/3f3c55

Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Dec 14, 2016 8:33 PM CST
Maybe Eastern red cedar which is actually a juniper, Juniperus virginiana

https://www.google.ca/search?q...





Everyday
Dec 19, 2016 7:24 AM CST
Thanks everyone for your help!
Since they appear to be eastern red cedar I'm thinking about just letting one of them grow. Is it possible to distinguish males from females at this size?
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Dec 19, 2016 8:29 AM CST
I have not found that cedars come up from old root stock , but they do come from seeds, apparently dispersed by the birds.
I have dug them from the flower gardens I tend and there are no cedars on the properties.
They do transplant well if dug young Around two foot or smaller.
They also survive in pots for a couple years in my zone 5 if kept watered.

Enjoy natures free gifts Smiling
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN, USA zon
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
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Leftwood
Dec 19, 2016 5:53 PM CST
As a point of information to avoid more confusion, if Texas Red cedar is actually a cypress according to porkpal, it is not the same as Eastern Red cedar which is a juniper (Juniperus virginiana).

Whatever the conifer is, it is very doubtful that the plants have risen from existing roots. You will know when you dig them up.

Estern Red cedars are not red (of course), but they are rarely that blue, especially in the late fall and winter. I assume the photo was taken within the last month? For this reason, I wonder if they are more likely Rocky Mountain junipers (Juniperus scopulorum), and seedlings of a variety human planted in the area.

I can't think of anything that looks like those (juniper, cypress, false cypress, etc.) that have male plants and female plants. While they all do have male flowers and female flowers, both sexes are born on the same plant. I would choose the one that has the best qualities that you want, but it's difficult at this stage of growth, so I would not spend a lot of effort deliberating. And I would dig and transplant in your spring, not at this time of the year.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Dec 19, 2016 6:02 PM CST
Rick, Texas Red Cedar is, indeed, a Juniper. I don't know why I said Cypress...? Its wood is what is red; the foliage is a slightly bluish green.
Porkpal
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)

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plantladylin
Dec 19, 2016 8:27 PM CST
Sure looks like Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) to me also. Great photos for comparison on this page: http://dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dend...
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~



Everyday
Dec 20, 2016 8:30 AM CST
From the USDA plant guide:
"Red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is a medium-sized dioecious or rarely monoecious tree. . .Male and female cones are on separate trees."
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN, USA zon
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
Seed Starter Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Leftwood
Dec 20, 2016 11:13 AM CST
Well I can't argue with that verifiable information. I have several conifer books that post date the 1989 citing, and none mention this. I've noticed at least a couple of the wild trees around me that are both male and female, so I guess we have some of the rare ones here. Thanks for the correction. Smiling Sorry, I don't know that there is any way to distiguish the sexes when young.

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