Help identify this tree.

I work in a plantation, containing many imported species. There’s a particular spruce (we’re pretty sure it’s a spruce by the way the needles are attached to the tree) that we’re unsure as to what specific species it is. We were told, by a source we considered reliable (a forrester) that it was a Serbian spruce (I think). However, upon looking in a few books, the Serbian spruce looks nothing like what we have (nor do any other spruces that are in the books).

I’ll describe the tree (I have no access to any photos at the moment):

  • It’s about thirty foot tall (and still probably growing).
  • It’s green in colour (to rule out blue trees).
  • The branches angle downwards (does this imply snowy terrain?)
  • The cones on the tree are massive. We picked one off today that was still green and closed up. We measure it at around thirteen centimetres in length. It’s about two or three centimetres in radius, too. The individual “scales” of the closed cones come to a point with a nick cut out of them. The cone is also slightly curved (although this may be a trait of the individual cone).
  • The needles are attached by “pegs” to the wood, are roughly square in their cross section but taper to quite a sharp point at the end. They’re uniform in colour (green), although slightly lighter underneath.

That’s all I can remember. The particular species could come from anywhere in the world given the nature of the plantation. We’ve searched a few books and had no luck, so please help!


The Larch! :wink:

I don’t think so. Isn’t larch deciduous? I’m pretty sure the tree in question is evergreen (forgot to mention). Besides, could you be more specific as to what larch you think it is? We have lots of larch in the plantations and they look nothing like the tree in question.

This is a picture of a larch according to Wikipedia. The tree in question has branches that point to the ground, unlike this one, which has them curving slightly towards the sky.

Dominic Mulligan, I am going to make a guess: Cedar of Lebanon because it is smallish with a weeping habit. (And is a sentimental favorite of plant collectors due to some Biblical references) Here is a pic of the cones.

If not, here are some tree id tips that will help narrow it down:

Pine produce needles in bundles of 2, 3, or 5 needles.

Spruce needles have four angles when viewed in cross section and leaf a persistent raised scar where needles were attached.

Cones of cedars begin in an upright position on the upper side of branches and the foliage is produced in bunches near branch terminals.

What is the shape of the cone? Long and narrow, rounded, or conical?

Beaucarnea, thanks for the guess. Unfortunately, it’s not a Cedar of Lebanon (although we do have a few).

From your identification tips, I’d say it’s definitely a type of spruce (the needles are attached by a “peg”). The needles are also square in cross section.

The cone is long and narrow. It’s thirteen centimetres long, and about four centimetres across at its widest. It also has a slight curve to it.

Looking at the picture of the CoL you provided, the downwards droop is much more severe on this tree than in the picture. The foliage also hangs from underneath the branch, as do the cones.

Thanks anyway.

The cones of the larch are tiny.

This is probably the longest-running Python whoosh I’ve ever seen…

Is it Sitka Spruce, perhaps?

What colour is the bark?

(I got the Larch! reference.)

Perhaps, the Brewer Spruce?

GingerOfTheNorth, thanks for the links. I think we had already discounted those two species from the books that we had in the office.

I’m in work tomorrow where I’ll be able to have another look at the tree (and take some photos if I remember to take my camera).


Actually, the unopened cone of the Sitka spruce looks very similar to the cone of the tree. Here’s an image courtesy of Wikipedia. Unfortunately, the profile of the tree does not match the tree in question, with the downward pointing branches and the drooping foliage.