Help identifying two Southern CA trees?
January 23, 2013 8:19 AM   Subscribe

These two trees are in my friend's new Los Angeles backyard. Any idea what they are?

There's only one picture of Tree #2, and I can't remember if the needles were flat or square, so that one may be a long-shot.
posted by cocoagirl to Science & Nature (5 answers total)
The first looks like a Norfolk Pine.
posted by Cuspidx at 8:35 AM on January 23, 2013

No. 1 - Norfolk Island pine
No. 2 - Eastern white pine?
posted by Flashman at 8:42 AM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Cuspidx and Flashman have number 1, I think.

For number 2, it would help to know if the needles grow in bunches and, if so, how many are in each bunch. Honest-to-goodness pine trees have needles that grow in bunches, and each species has a characteristic number of needles per bunch. For instance, eastern white pine has 5 needles per bunch.
posted by mollweide at 9:17 AM on January 23, 2013

I hope it's not an eastern white pine, as it's well out of its range and USDA zone to survive indefinitely. The first is almost certainly an Auracaria of some species, and Norfolk Island is a good guess. The second may be a lodgepole, ponderosa or another species better suited to SoCal climate.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 10:12 AM on January 23, 2013

Are you sure the first and third picture are the same tree? I agree that the third pic looks like Auracaria, but that first image does not- it looks more like a fir. The third is Pinus sp. of some kind- you can see the papery sheathes around the base of the fascicles. To identify the species you would need to know the average number of needles in a fascicle, their length, and what the cones and bark look like. I'm guessing someone planted a bunch of live Christmas trees in the backyard at some point, which would explain the assortment.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:44 AM on January 23, 2013

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