Plant ID forum: Tree in Northern California

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Berkeley, CA
danieldumont
Jan 21, 2018 11:21 AM CST
A pine of some sort?
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jan 21, 2018 4:58 PM CST
No, its a Douglas Fir.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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[Last edited by DaisyI - Jan 29, 2018 12:59 PM (+)]
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Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
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ViburnumValley
Jan 22, 2018 12:22 PM CST
As Daisyl notes - that's a Douglasfir, or Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga sp.) but NOT a Fir (Abies sp.) of any kind. A true Fir (Abies sp.) will have a cone that perches upright on a branch until it disintegrates when the seeds shed. Firs don't drop a woody structured cone like this shown, like Pines and Spruces do.

The best ID feature provided was the old cone. The exserted bracts sticking out on the cone separate the Pseudotsuga tribe from most others. There are at least two species that I've seen in the western US, which include Pseudotsuga menziesii and Pseudotsuga macrocarpa.

Pseudotsuga menziesii is most common, and probably what you have there.
John
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Jan 22, 2018 7:50 PM CST
And after all that, its still a Douglas Fir.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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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
Jan 22, 2018 7:53 PM CST
Why do the Christmas trees sold as "Douglas Fir" not look like a Douglas Fir?
Porkpal
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jan 22, 2018 8:35 PM CST
Two reasons: They are sheared to make them Christmas tree shaped and the one usually used for Christmas trees is a cultivator of Douglas Fir.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Farmer Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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ViburnumValley
Jan 27, 2018 9:28 PM CST
And after all that - the plant is not and never will be a Fir (Abies sp.). Proper representation of the Pseudotsuga sp. will never refer to them as a Fir.

If one wishes to participate in plant identification by providing appropriate information, then glossing over instances where it is easy to mistakenly steer people in directions that are clearly wrong shouldn't be promulgated.

Conifers are one of those areas where common language steers people in directions where they won't find the correct answers. This is a site where they can be steered back in the right direction. Flippant statements won't help anyone in finding the information they seek. Residents of western North American landscapes get to live with all these different coniferous species, and should be appreciative of the differences between them and in the ways to properly identify them. The Eddy Arboretum (Placerville, CA) is a great collection in the middle of California that many reading this thread can visit, and personally see just how much difference there is between pines, spruces, firs, Douglas-firs, and many other conifers - and why terminology matters - a lot.

I'm sure Daisyl was a bit nonchalant in the response above, but there are many observers around the world who will benefit from more precise responses here, and many new-to-the-site participants who will gain value when they respond to questions here. Give the right and most correct information the first time. It saves lots of interpretation and reconciliation of information after the fact.
John
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jan 29, 2018 1:02 PM CST
WOW!!

I admit, its not a FIR but its still a Douglas Fir and I don't know how to refer to it if I can't use fir in the name. I will correct my first statement as I was thinking Douglas Fir but did not think about it not actually being a fir. Slip of the brain.

But your double rant is also not helpful but if you need someone to yell at, yell away.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org

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