Let's Talk Conifers! forum: Something to get us started...

 
Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

Views: 22, Replies: 22 » Jump to the end
greenthumb
Feb 15, 2010 11:56 AM CST
Minneapolis, MN; Zone 4a
aka treelover3 @ Dave's Garden
Well, I figured I better start a thread to get this Cubit started.

I love conifers and it seems if the conifer is not hardy in my zone, I love it even more! The plant I dream of having in my garden is Cedrus libani 'Glauca Pendula', but I know folks that have tried this plant here a few times and MN is just too cold to grow this plant. I also want Sciadopitys in my garden and I have purchased a dwarf called 'Mitsch Select' to try in a protected spot. 'Mitsch Select' is supposed to stay quite low so may have hope with enough snow cover.

I love the firs, pines and the deciduous conifers (Larix, Metasequoia, Pseudolarix and Taxodium) and have a number of these plants/cultivars growing in my garden.

I am updating the list of the plants I have growing in my yard and once complete, I'll post it here. If anyone else would like to post the conifers they are growing, that would be great.
Thanks,
Mike
aka [email protected] Dave's
lakesidecallas
Feb 15, 2010 2:23 PM CST
Name: Susan B
East TN
What is the difference between firs, pines and conifers?
greenthumb
Feb 15, 2010 3:22 PM CST
Minneapolis, MN; Zone 4a
aka treelover3 @ Dave's Garden
Hi Susan,
Here is the definition of Conifer, from Wikipedia:

"The conifers, division Pinophyta, also known as division Coniferophyta or Coniferae, are one of 13 or 14 division level taxa within the Kingdom Plantae. Pinophytes are gymnosperms. They are cone-bearing seed plants with vascular tissue; all extant conifers are woody plants, the great majority being trees with just a few being shrubs. Typical examples of conifers include cedars, douglas-firs, cypresses, firs, junipers, kauris, larches, pines, redwoods, spruces, and yews.[1] The division contains approximately eight families, 68 genera, and 630 living species.[2][3] Although the total number of species is relatively small, conifers are of immense ecological importance. They are the dominant plants over huge areas of land,[4] most notably the boreal forests of the northern hemisphere,[1] but also in similar cool climates in mountains further south. While tropical rain forests have more biodiversity and turnover, the immense conifer forests of the world represent the largest terrestrial carbon sink, i.e. where carbon is bound as organic compounds. They are also of immense economic value, primarily for timber and paper production;[1][4] the wood of conifers is known as softwood."

Basically, conifers are cone bearing plants with needle-like leaves that are usually evergreen. Deciduous conifers (conifers that lose their needle-like leaves every fall) include baldcypress and Dawn Redwood.

Pines and firs are two genus' within the division known as conifers. Most folks will call any cone a "Pine cone", but only pines produce "pine cones". Firs produce fir cones and spruce produce spruce cones, etc. Big Grin

Firs and pines are often raised for use as Christmas trees due to the fragrant scent of their resin (sap).

Firs usually have very soft needles and are easy to touch. Pines usually have quite sharp needles and are not as easy to touch.

Conifers are the oldest and largest trees on earth. Pinus longaeva, the Great Basin bristlecone pine is the oldest tree on earth and Sequoiadendron giganteum, the giant sequoia or Sierra Redwood, is the largest tree on earth. Methuselah is the oldest tree and General Sherman is the tallest tree.

Sorry for the wordiness. Did this answer your question?
Thanks,
Mike


lakesidecallas
Feb 15, 2010 10:38 PM CST
Name: Susan B
East TN
Thanks Mike, yes it did, although I'll have to read it several times, I tend to call things "pines" even though they aren't.
Here in TN we have several varieties. I'll have to look up the proper names before I post, though.

And, I just planted a Metasequoia, Dawn Redwood here last fall. We hope it makes it, I had some Giant Sequoias make it through a few winters in WI but I think they eventually died.

I love Giant Sequoias, I planted some babies here a few years ago and got a big lecture from my tree-hugging stepdaughter on bringing in non-native species, and how they could become invasive. I had to laugh at her. I wish! Unfortunately, they didn't make it through the summer, too hot and dry.

Here's a photo of one of my Giant Sequoias after it's first winter (with protective gnome). It did green up that summer.

Thumbnail by lakesidecallas

greenthumb
Feb 16, 2010 8:22 AM CST
Minneapolis, MN; Zone 4a
aka treelover3 @ Dave's Garden
Hi Susan,
I'm glad it helped. I guess I should have just said that conifers are cone-bearing plants and left it at that, but sometimes "cones" don't always look like cones, i.e. Juniper "berries". (:o)

Wow, you had a giant sequoia survive in Wisconsin over a winter or two? That's impressive! I planted a really dwarf selection and it didn't make it through its first winter. Is the photo above from WI or TN? I'm guessing TN, but if it's WI, I may need to give Sequoiadendron another try.

I, too, love sequoias and would love to find one that would be hardy here, but I guess I need to be happy that Metasequoia survives here. I have the straight species of Metasequoia as well as Ogon (Gold Rush) and 'Miss Grace' (the slightly weeping form of Dawn Redwood.) 'Miss Grace' has really nice bluish-green foliage and it is very different from the species plant I have planted in my yard. I found a DR witch's in a nursery in Canada and am unsure about trying to order it.

In TN, you shouldn't have any trouble growing Metasequoia at all. Just making sure the plant stays moist enough is all it will take to keep the plant healthy. Your temps are mild enough that you don't need to worry about the top of the plant being winter-killed. Dawn Redwood love long, warm falls to help mature its new growth and you should have no problem with that.

I just joined your three cubits. I love voodoo, bananas and anything unusual.
Thanks,
Mike
aka treelover3 @ Dave's.
lakesidecallas
Feb 17, 2010 10:13 PM CST
Name: Susan B
East TN
Yes, the photo is from WI. The tree made it through a cold winter without much snowcover. I got inspired because we saw some big Sequoiadendrons in MI, right across the lake from us.
The prevailing winds blow east across Lake Michigan in the winter, picking up the heat from the water and making it warmer right on the other side of the lake.

Thumbnail by lakesidecallas

lakesidecallas
Feb 17, 2010 10:25 PM CST
Name: Susan B
East TN
Me and Puppy

Thumbnail by lakesidecallas

greenthumb
Feb 18, 2010 6:02 PM CST
Minneapolis, MN; Zone 4a
aka treelover3 @ Dave's Garden
Wow, great photos!

That's a big dog! What kind is it?

I bet the East side of the lake is probably zone 6 so that's why the Sequoiadendrons survive. I'll have to live vicariously through you! (:o)
Mike
Imagevalleylynn
Feb 18, 2010 6:12 PM CST
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR zone 8
Those are some really great photo Susan.
Wow, that is a big dog.
lakesidecallas
Feb 18, 2010 9:28 PM CST
Name: Susan B
East TN
That's my Puppy. He's an Anatolian Shepherd Dog. You can see some more photos in the Pet forum under dog breeds.


That tree was really awesome. I had read there was one there but didn't expect it to be so big. There were several of various sizes. You could see where some had winter damage to them.
Imageknoxred
Feb 25, 2010 8:25 PM CST
Name: Red
Knoxville, TN
Hi, Mike

What are my chances of growing Larix here in E. Tennessee? I know GA was too hot and humid for them when I lived there. I'm now a zone further north and would like to give it a try, but we still get plenty of hot and humid stuff here. The cultivar I had in mind particularly was named 'Sparkler', I believe. I saw it at O'Brien's hosta nursery on a trip to CT.
greenthumb
Feb 26, 2010 1:20 PM CST
Minneapolis, MN; Zone 4a
aka treelover3 @ Dave's Garden
Hi knoxred,
Unfortunately, 'Blue Sparkler' is a selection of Larix laricina, or Tamarack, which is hardy from zone 1 to zone 4, so its chances of survival in your zone 7 (?) garden is not likely.

Larix kaempferi, the Japanese larch, is hardy to zone 6 and Pseudolarix amabilis, the Golden Larch, is hardy from zone 4 to zone 9, so would be the deciduous conifer you could plant. Unfortunately, there are no dwarf forms of Pseudolarix amabilis, so if you don't have a lot of space, you are kind of out of luck.

You could certainly try the 'Blue Sparkler', but I wouldn't recommend it. There are a number of dwarf Japanese larches and you would have a better chance with one of them surviving than the Larix laricina surviving, provided you can give the plant afternoon shade.

In your area, Taxodium distichum 'Secrest', would be a good dwarf plant to try, since Taxodium (Baldcypress) is native in that area of the country and is also a deciduous conifer. There are also some dwarf forms of Metasequoia (Dawn Redwood) that would be worth a try.
Good luck and let us know what plant you decide to try.
Thanks,
Mike
lakesidecallas
Feb 26, 2010 8:47 PM CST
Name: Susan B
East TN
Wow, you know your trees, Mike!
greenthumb
Feb 27, 2010 2:42 PM CST
Minneapolis, MN; Zone 4a
aka treelover3 @ Dave's Garden
Big Grin

Well, my name on Dave's Garden is treelover3 and it could also be coniferlover3! Big Grin
Mike
lakesidecallas
Feb 27, 2010 2:43 PM CST
Name: Susan B
East TN
Thumbs up
ImageViburnumValley
Feb 28, 2010 4:00 PM CST
Name: John
Scott County KY
Hey, all - just found this place. Thanks for starting this one up, Mike. Now, if you can just keep Resin from making lots of spell Czechs and corrections to our nomenclature...

I'd suggest knoxred take a look at availability of Larix decidua too, in the Larch category. As far as Taxodium spp., Taxodium mucronatum is another, and the threadleaf-like variant of Baldcypress known usually as Taxodium ascendens (Pondcypress) is a very good plant for TN.

A small form of Baldcypress which is becoming very common in this part of the world is Taxodium distichum 'Peve Minaret'. It is a slower growing and very compact version of the standard big tree Baldcypress.

OK - I can't resist since Resin may never show. For more than one genus, say genera.

For lakesidecallas and others wondering what conifers include, here's some additional ones:

Chamaecyparis spp. which are the Falsecypress group; you probably are familiar some of the threadleaf types.

Calocedrus spp., esp. Calocedrus decurrens - the Incense Cedar does well here.

Cunninghamia lanceolata - the Chinese Fir is deadly sharp, but very happy growing zone 6 and south.

Picea spp. - the Spruces are one of the common backbone species of conifers, but don't usually do too well south of zone 6. You'll see/know Norway Spruce, but most of the spruces are happier where winters are cold and summers are not as long and hot (high soil temps) as TN and south. There are probably a few that should be tried, though.

Abies spp. - the Firs are great trees, and again most of them are best in zone 6 and north. The Momi Fir (Abies firma) and Greek Fir (Abies cephalonica) are two that deserve more use in the south.

X Cupressocyparis leylandii - ah, the ubiquitous Leyland Cypress (and probably has a new Latin binomial by now) needs no introduction, and probably less landscape use.

Thuja spp. - the Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) and Western Redcedar (Thuja plicata) are two tough narrow evergreens that do well in Ohio River valley gardens.

Cedrus spp. - the true Cedars are probably all species that will do quite well in TN and the rest of the zone 6-8 belt. Most of them will get some winter burn for me and nearby in KY, but site them out of incessant winter winds and they should be good.

Tsuga spp. - the Hemlocks are certainly native into the Appalachian region of TN; it's one of the hallmark conifers of the Smokies. Good fine textured conifer for many uses.

I started to post here as an introduction; see what you got started, Mike?

Thumbnail by ViburnumValley

greenthumb
Feb 28, 2010 8:10 PM CST
Minneapolis, MN; Zone 4a
aka treelover3 @ Dave's Garden
Thanks for the correction, VV! I know the word genera, but it failed to come forth out of the nether regions of my mind when I was typing.

Thanks for the thorough listing of conifers - I really appreciate all of the typing you did to get that info posted here.

Do you think that Gweedo and the rest of the bunch would want to join cubits? I could send them a link and see if there is any interest.
Thanks,
Mike
ImageViburnumValley
Feb 28, 2010 8:31 PM CST
Name: John
Scott County KY
C your cmail.

Quoting:...I really appreciate all of the typing you did...

Now - do you think that was all that excruciating? Lead me on with another question, but my caveat will always be:

Pour the coffee before embarking on reading. Epistle is my middle name.
Imageconifers
Mar 4, 2010 11:55 AM CST
Name: Elizabeth
Iowa, zone 5a
Well this is exciting! We never did get a full blown conifers forum going on DG!

I'm Elizabeth / ic_conifers and this is my first post on cubits Lovey dubby
Elizabeth
greenthumb
Mar 4, 2010 5:52 PM CST
Minneapolis, MN; Zone 4a
aka treelover3 @ Dave's Garden
Welcome Elizabeth!

I'm glad you joined us and it's good to have another "addict" in the group. Big Grin

Mike

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« Back to the top
« Cubits.org homepage
« Conifers cubit homepage
« Let's Talk Conifers! forum

You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Conifers

WELCOME TO THE CONIFERS CUBIT! This is the place to discuss all things conifer; share your photos, talk about successes, failures, pushing zones and even trade or sell conifers you've propagated.

» Home
» Forums

Cubit owner: greenthumb