Can you help me identify a NW tree that's in my yard? Info, photos and ...
September 7, 2009 8:39 PM   Subscribe

Stumped! Can you help me ID a tree in my yard? (In the Northwest)?

Here's a 'before' photo of the tree, which was trimmed today and looks awesome but everyone I know, including a few arborists ID it differently.
Here's a close up of a branch and needles

Here's what I'm pretty sure it's not:
Cryptomeria japonica
Calocedrus decurrens (Incense Cedar)
Sequoia giganteum.

If it's a juniper, what kind of juniper???
The branches smell a little like pines.
The needles are soft and sharp when green and very prickly when brown and dead.
When you look head-on at a stem, the needles are arranged like organized little x's, not spiral.
The tree is <20'
I'm in the northwest.
It's an evergreen conifer and has very small cones.
Thank you!
posted by lois1950 to Home & Garden (13 answers total)
Why don't you think it's a giant sequoia? Foliage looks pretty similar.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:12 PM on September 7, 2009

Could we get a picture of the cones?
posted by Tsuga at 9:17 PM on September 7, 2009

You're right but close up, my tree has little separate needles and the Sequoia has little awl-shaped leaves that start on the branch and curve out. Thanks though...
posted by lois1950 at 9:18 PM on September 7, 2009

Thanks, Thuja! It's raining like crazy but here are a couple I just found. Pretty small. What do you think??
posted by lois1950 at 9:27 PM on September 7, 2009

Tsuga, not Thuja...
posted by lois1950 at 9:45 PM on September 7, 2009

I'm not Thuja or Tsuga, but I think if they aren't from same tree type, they are definitely in the same family. It may be that they are the same, but because one is maybe a little drier ( or something like that, older as opposed to fresher, new growth-old growth????), it looks a slightly different. Just a thought.
posted by Taurid at 9:58 PM on September 7, 2009

I couldn't make out the brown things in that picture very well. My guess from the leaves is that it's one of the junipers that has needle-like, not scale-like, leaves, e.g. Juniperus communis. In which case the cones should look like little "berries".
posted by Tsuga at 10:41 PM on September 7, 2009

I think it is a thuja! Western red cedar is the closest match I can find, anyway.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:56 PM on September 7, 2009

I have a Platte River juniper hedge with branches and needles exactly like this. Here's some juniper identification info.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:57 PM on September 7, 2009

Taurid: Could be, if you're talking about the Giant Sequoia... similar needles but enough difference too.
Tsuga: I'm inclined to think it's a juniper but the cones never look like berries.
Ambrosia Voyeur: it's not Thuja plicata (Western red cedar) because it has needles and not overlapping scales.
Weapons-grade pandemonium: I can't find info about Platte River juniper hedges. It is a tall tree, not a hedge...
Thank you all. Don't give up yet, please!
posted by lois1950 at 1:15 AM on September 8, 2009

Mine is only a hedge because it has been kept trimmed. It's 15 feet high. Definitely a cousin.
The place to ask is UBC Botanical Garden Forums.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:29 AM on September 8, 2009

Or, if you're in/near Seattle, the library at the Center for Urban Horticulture near the University of Washington may be able to help. Sorry, to pressed for time to scare up a link, but easily googleable.
posted by Sublimity at 9:45 AM on September 8, 2009

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