Perhaps the key reason why I wanted to engage more with nature in my garden, and then to write about it in this blog, was that I thought it would be a great way to learn. But I must admit that as of today my knowledge is not vast. I’m constantly blown away and humbled by the real nature knowledge of friends and colleagues and I’ve also come to realise the truism that the more you learn about nature, the more you realise that you don’t understand.
My garden is not so big, maybe 100m2, and it contains a not overwhelming number of plants. I would image that it is not unreasonable, and not necessarily the sign of a great naturalist, to know all of the plants in my own garden. Oh Dear.
More specifically my garden contains only one really large tree. A conifer, pictured below.
It is quite an important feature in the garden, the beech marten for instance is often using it. Whenever I have referred to it in any of my logs or posts I have called it a Cedar tree. I thought it was.
But recently I found a few seed cones under the tree, I admit to not noticing them before, and they looked like this.
I don’t anymore think that this is a Cedar Tree.
After looking closely at this seed pods, and via my non exhaustive research, I think that it is actually a type of cypress tree. Close to a cedar in leaf appearance but not the same thing.
What type of cypress tree, I don’t know, or rather I don’t feel sure enough to say. I see that there are many many different and very close varieties of cypress tree, Monterey cypress, Mexican cypress, Arizona cypress, Patagonia cypress, and on and on. All are similar and all are slightly different.
As the names suggest none are really, truly native to this area of Northern France. Like many ornamental trees I guess they have been brought in by gardeners over many years to become quite normal and recognisable features in our landscape.
Now I currently believe that it is a Cypress tree. But dear readers if you tell me I’m mistaken, please don’t hesitate to share, I’m always and completely unsure of myself in these matters and of course ready to learn.
On another topic the weather here is turning nicely wintery, and we are promised a cold, wet weekend with maybe a light dusting of snow. As these are really good conditions to watching the birds on the feeders I’ll try and keep the live stream up during daylight hours over the weekend. As a reminder, and if you are interested, the link to the live webcam can be found here.
Wishing you all good weekends.
3 thoughts on “Wrong Again”
Definitely a cypress, James, but they are a difficult group to identify. Lawson or Monterey might be likely, but even Leyland cypress is possible. One of the problems is that there are lots of ‘cultivars’, which affect the growth shape (quite open in your specimen).
Crush the foliage and smell it – an important feature! Lawson is resinous to parsley smelling; Monterey smells of lemon.
It would be nice if it was Monterey, because that species has a very interesting history – good to write up in your blog.
Thanks Roger. I’ve justtried this. I think it has a lemon smell. But I’m going to get a second opinion to be sure.
The lemon smell does suggest Monterey! As I said, this is an interesting species. Its recent natural distribution is tiny (relict), just a few spots on the Monterey Peninsula – the Monterey Pine is in the same situation. It is thought they got trapped there due to climate changes associated with the Ice Ages, and are not in their optimal habitat. So the cypress often grows bigger and more healthily now planted in other places (I think they do especially well in New Zealand).
So expect a big tree in 100 years time!
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