Tuesday, February 1, 2011

tree year project 2011, #2

coast Douglas-fir
Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii

The first sprouts of spring green on the Douglas-fir began appearing in the past week, nestled next to old pine cones and last year's growth. We've had an unusually warm January with little rain, but I don't think the weather has impacted the annual progression of this tree.

I'm wondering if the bright green bits are new shoots, new cones, or... I don't know what. I readily admit I know very little about trees and haven't been too eager to learn about them or post to Nature ID. As partial explanation of this brain freeze: for an assignment to key trees on campus, I received my only fail-grade... ever.... I've been harboring a resentment around trees ever since.

If it weren't for the trademark mouse-tail cones, I would never guess the ID of this tree since it's been pruned over many, many years into something that resembles more of a cypress shape than a standard Christmas tree. I'm starting to wonder if this individual tree is a cultivated garden variety due to its relatively short stature and unusual shape.

I have much to learn about this tree in the coming year, and I'm documenting this for The Tree Year project. As is the case of my typical tree ID thingahoo, this is my first post of this old and gnarly pine by itself without pretty birds, deer, odonate or other accoutrements (I suggest simply looking at the pictures from my old posts).


ps 08/08/11 - I now believe those buds are female cones.


Anonymous said...

I think you're doing a good job in getting over the tree-brain-freeze! :-)
I don't know either if the new things are cones - maybe you'll find out.

Nature ID (Katie) said...

Thanks, dreamfalcon! Did you get my e-mail? I want to learn about trees, but it still makes me hesitate almost 20 years later. I hope you get the posting thing figured out for the Tree Year (Project). Some of the challenges you face reminds me of why I chose blogspot over wordpress for Nature ID and why I wouldn't do something as ambitious as your project in my "free" time. Good luck to you!

GretchenJoanna said...

I didn't know there was such a thing as a cultivated garden variety of Doug-fir...hmmm...
I've been trying to learn at least a few trees, but now that I have time to study them a bit, my ol' brain forgets so easily.
But my daughter is patient and teaches me things over and over :-) . She has lots of trees where she lives now, and where I journeyed last week, stopping many times on the way trying to identify a toyon and get a decent picture of it midday. Your blog name comes to mind when I'm doing things like that.