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Legalize the Constitution
Picture of TMats
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My B.S. degree is in Renewable Natural Resources, majoring in Rangeland Management. As one of my professors put it, “When I go on hikes and everyone else is looking up at the trees, I’m looking down at the grasses and forbs.” Still, you can’t work 25 years for the Forest Service and not learn a little bit about trees.

Yesterday, I helped haul trees from a nursery, north of Fort Collins. I said something about the spruce trees being loaded on the trailer and one of the guys working on the farm said, “I just call them all ‘pine trees’.” Yeah, so do a lot of other people. Therefore, I offer this quick-and-dirty guide to conifers (which is a better catch-all name than “pine”).

Spruce trees have square needles, which are sharp. Roll a spruce needle in your fingers and you’ll feel the edges. Feel the tip of the needle. If you’ve ever had a spruce for a Christmas tree, the sharpness of the needle is especially noticeable when you go to take it down; the needles are drier and they hurt. Spruce=square and sharp.

Fir trees have flat needles. They are noticeably softer than spruce. The tips are rounded. The most common fir in the West is the Subalpine fir, which is not a terribly pretty tree, nor is it valuable for its wood. Foresters have a couple of uncomplimentary names for Subalpine fir. OTOH, one of the prettiest conifers in the forest is the Douglas fir. It is not a “true fir,” in fact, its scientific name essentially means “false fir,” but its needles are as I described above. BTW, the wood from Doug fir is very valuable. Fir=flat

Pine trees. The needles of pines are always clustered. If you pick the needles off a Ponderosa pine, you’ll find the cluster of 3 needles is wrapped, or bundled in a bark colored “fascicle.” There are Piñon pines with a single-needle, but even that one needle is wrapped at it base. Pines=wrapped in fascicles.

There you go


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When you’re happy, you enjoy the music.

When you’re sad, you understand the lyrics.
- George Jones
 
Posts: 9195 | Location: Wyoming | Registered: January 10, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Age Quod Agis
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Very helpful. Thanks.

Tall green thing>tree>pine tree>conifer>Ponderosa Pine with three needles wrapped in a fascicle.

"Faciscle" sounds like a fancy name for "Italian Ice", Mussolini's favorite dessert.



"We may consent to be governed, but we will not be ruled." - Kevin D. Williamson, 2012

"All the citizens of this land are of right freemen; they owe no allegiance to any class and should recognize no task-masters. Under the chart of their liberties, under the law of high heaven, they are free and without shackles on their limbs nor mortgages upon the fruits of their brain or muscles; they bow down before no prince, potentate, or sovereign, nor kiss the royal robes of any crowned head; they render homage only to their God and should pay tribute only to their Government. Such at least is the spirit of our institutions, the character of our written national compact."

Charles Triplett O’Ferrall of Virginia - In Congress, May 1, 1888
 
Posts: 10376 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: November 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Shit don't
mean shit
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Thanks for the review! Based on where I live, I should be an expert in all things coniferous. Wink

Mostly Ponderosa in my area.
 
Posts: 4777 | Location: 7400 feet in Conifer CO | Registered: November 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Staring back
from the abyss
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And then there are larch which are coniferous and deciduous.

Around these parts there are mostly larch, doug fir, and Ponderosa. I wish they were all the first two. I despise Ponderosas. They are the weeds of the forest. Ugly and messy trees that leave ankle-busting cones and needles everywhere. They also grow everywhere, including right through rocks. The wood isn't good for lumber or firewood either. Can't stand 'em. Unfortunately, they are everywhere and it's all that I have on my property except for one lone doug fir. I contemplated planting a bunch of fir and larch but I'll be long dead by the time they are appreciable. Somebody a couple hundred years from now would be glad I planted them though.


________________________________________________________

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy." Winston Churchill
 
Posts: 16343 | Location: Montana | Registered: November 01, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I'm Fine
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Eastern White, loblolly, pitch, and short-leaf pine here in TN. Loblolly mostly where I grew up in Tucker GA.

Also something I call scrub cedar, but don't know what its real name is. Sum-bitches can be 3" tall and have a 9 or 10 inch root - really hard to pull up if you don't want them growing in your yard...


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SBrooks
 
Posts: 3383 | Location: East Tennessee | Registered: August 21, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
goodheart
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Mountain hemlocks in the Sierras: tip bends over.


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Posts: 15475 | Location: One hop from Paradise | Registered: July 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In the Sierra, hard to tell Ponderosa from Jeffery pine. I was taught to pick up a cone: Porderosa cones have sharp claws that stick straight out, hurting your hand. Jeffery's claws are curled inward, like a cat's. So "Prickley Ponderosa" and "Gentle Jeffery".


Near the ocean
 
Posts: 2106 | Location: Central Time Zone Florida | Registered: February 03, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I believe I can now recognise different trees from quite a long way away.


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Posts: 10958 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Legalize the Constitution
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quote:
Originally posted by Gustofer:
And then there are larch which are coniferous and deciduous.

Around these parts there are mostly larch, doug fir, and Ponderosa. I wish they were all the first two. I despise Ponderosas. They are the weeds of the forest. Ugly and messy trees that leave ankle-busting cones and needles everywhere. They also grow everywhere, including right through rocks. The wood isn't good for lumber or firewood either. Can't stand 'em. Unfortunately, they are everywhere and it's all that I have on my property except for one lone doug fir. I contemplated planting a bunch of fir and larch but I'll be long dead by the time they are appreciable. Somebody a couple hundred years from now would be glad I planted them though.

Wow, we have a different opinion of Ponderosas. The wood IS good for lumber, which is why most of the “yellow pine” forests of the West have been cut over. Someday you need to drive down to the North Kaibab south of Fredonia, AZ (or Kanab, UT if you prefer the larger town). There are extensive stands of “yellow barks,” massive old-growth Ponderosa that are magnificent. They’re called yellow-barks because only after attaining significant age and size does their bark turn from black (foresters, in fact, call them “black barks”) to a beautiful golden red color. I would be hard pressed to choose between P pine and Doug fir for a favorite conifer.


__________________________________________________________
When you’re happy, you enjoy the music.

When you’re sad, you understand the lyrics.
- George Jones
 
Posts: 9195 | Location: Wyoming | Registered: January 10, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Staring back
from the abyss
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I considered clearing part of my property at one point of Ponderosas and couldn't give them away. I couldn't find anyone who would take them. Now, granted, they're not huge old growth trees that you can mill anything out of, but still....


________________________________________________________

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy." Winston Churchill
 
Posts: 16343 | Location: Montana | Registered: November 01, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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