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commanderducky

Evergreen Experts, Please Help Me Identify This Tree!

commanderducky
9 years ago

I have fallen in love with a tree I saw last year, but I can't seem to determine, with certainty, which cultivar it is. I've been going on the idea that it is a "4Ever Goldy" arborvitae, but other cultivars such as Zebrina, George Peabody, and Sunkist seem to look very similar in Google picture searches.


I tried growing seedlings from seeds I took from the tree, but that isn't working out very well, so I would love to track down this tree type and purchase it.


Here are the two pictures of the tree that I have:



(Sorry about the dog, this is the best full-tree picture I have, though.)




Thoughts?


Comments (27)

  • commanderducky
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    I came across some more pictures I took of this same tree, these were in the warmer months (summertime), though:




  • cemberlin
    9 years ago

    Maybe a Golden Hinoki Cypress?

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  • clement_2006
    9 years ago

    Possible Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Crippsii'

  • alley_cat_gw_7b
    9 years ago

    At a first glance im thinking Cham. obtusa 'Confucius'. Also a little similar to 'Verdoni'.

  • Toronado3800 Zone 6 St Louis
    9 years ago

    Don't bother with seeds. they may not grow true to form. what you want is a clone kf the same cultivar. Search forest farm nursery ( or any or dozens others. I bet for $50 or less they can ship a small one of it or something similar to you.

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
    9 years ago

    try conifer kingdom .. and buy any of the hundred or so.. that look nearly the same ... call them.. and talk with either sam or brent.. and ask them to look at these pix ...

    forest farm is not a conifer specialty firm ...

    as so many look alike.. dont fixate on any particular name ...

    look to a cultivars given annual growth.. to get one that will grow to the height you are hoping.. in your life time ... where ever you are ...

    if you know how long its been there.. it might help with a name ... since some of the names mentioned.. are rather new.. if the plant has been there 20 years or so ...

    ken


  • plantkiller_il_5
    9 years ago

    it most certainly is not plicata 'zebrine

    ken , your last comment,,,,the best

    ron

  • ladylotus
    9 years ago

    I do not know the name of the plant but if you want a clone of the exact tree take cuttings. It looks like it is a very easy plant that will root from cuttings. Best time to root cuttings is during the winter around November, December or January.

    Good luck.


  • commanderducky
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ken, your point is well taken. I had considered mentioning that it has been planted there awhile, but I don't know how long. My best guess is that it is about 15 years old. It was planted by a landscaper, not the homeowner, years before the current resident of that house, so it's hard to find out much information beyond the currently visible/tangible information. I will take a look at conifer kingdom's website, but I am hoping to scour local nurseries when they get their full stock in to get a good price without large shipping costs. (Right now they just have mostly houseplants.)

    This conifer is growing in zone 6a, but just about all of the conifers we're talking about grow in zone 6a, so the zone doesn't help narrow things down much, unfortunately.

    Cemberlin, Clement, and Alley Cat, I think you guys are onto something. I'm glad you all seem to hone in on it being a cypress or false cypress (as opposed to an arborvitae) because I looked up Golden Hinoki Cypress and that seems to have the same growth pattern as the tree in question.

    So much for my arborvitae theory. I wondered why I couldn't find any arb's that looked like my mystery tree, there was always something a little 'off' about their appearance. Now I know.

    As I understand it, Hinoki cypress are very slow-growing and fairly expensive for larger trees as a result. :-/

    Per Ken's recommendation, I just checked out Conifer Kingdom for Chamaecyparis obtusa and most of them look like the 'mystery tree' - I'm so excited! ....and yet, I'm realizing there is no way that I can afford 2 of these trees from them. Not to mention that I would be heartbroken if they didn't thrive in my soil type and died after I had spent so much money on them.

    I'm going to do a little research on which ones are fast growing, narrow/uneven growth (like the one above), and which ones bronze (I actually like the bronzing--it adds character to the golden hues). If any of you already have suggestions/knowledge on which cultivars would be the best for me, please feel free to pipe in! Here's what I'm looking for in list form (for ease of viewing):

    * Medium or dark green with golden edges

    * prefer variety that bronzes

    * relatively narrow, columnar/pyramidal shape (I prefer the uneven, 'scrappy' if you will, look of the mystery tree)

    * can tolerate or thrive in clay soils that might be a little wetter than average...although I might be able to amend the soil somewhat so that it's a little sandier or loamier

    * can tolerate high winds and full sun

    * fast-growing

    (* as inexpensive as possible)

    Thank you everyone for your help so far, you've saved me from purchasing the wrong type of tree (and the years of ensuing disappointment).

  • commanderducky
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Oh! By the way, my zone is 5b/6a.

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
    9 years ago

    link


    review link above ... regarding how to plant in clay ...


    do not amend..


    they do show some burn.. the first winter or two.. after planting ...


    as far as i am concerned.. none of them are fast growing ...


    ken

    commanderducky thanked ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
    9 years ago

    BTW .... the only way to perfectly duplicate this tree ... would be to root some cuttings ... though this might not be the proper time of year to do so ...

    it would NOT be a fast project ... but if you are the experimenting type... someone here could probably guide you along ...

    start a new post.. with a searchable title.. if you want info in this regard ...

    ken


  • D.KOPE60
    9 years ago

    I agree with the opinions above that your plant is definitely a chamy obtusa; I have grown this plant as well as Thuja plicata zebrina - the chamy failed as it was too finicky for the space - but the zebrina is thriving to this day. It is also fast growing, deer resistant, ok with drier or moister soil - and - unusual for variegation, it does not easily burn in sun. For full effect, however, at least three quarters sun would be advisable.

    Zebrina is now easier to find in commerce, as the gold/green variation; but I believe that there is now also a silver/green Thuja plicata

  • commanderducky
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    D.Kope, Thank you for the suggestion. I've been getting my heart set on cypress trees since the initial responses to this thread, but I'm going to look at the Thuja P. Zebrina variety you mentioned and see if that might be a suitable replacement for the two corners of my backyard that I wanted to put these trees in. I just might have a change of heart...

  • commanderducky
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    D.Kope, I just looked at some pictures online of the Zebrina and I especially love the Zebrina extra gold...but I think the tree will get too large. I'm reconsidering my desire for a "fast-growing" tree because I need something that won't grow too big and overtake or shade out my little organic veggie garden that I will be putting fairly near it.


    ...


    Since you guys are experts, I'm going to throw my 'drawings' out here and get some input. A few things to consider, first!...


    1) When I created this drawing, I was going based on the idea that my 'mystery tree' was a Forever Goldy arborvitae and much of my research was telling me it would grow to about 3-6 feet wide. Clearly, with the cypress and arborvitae trees I'm looking at now, my specimen tree will be larger than that. I did allow for 8 feet in the drawing based on my memory of what the 'mystery tree' width was, but even 8 feet might not have been enough.


    2) The lower diagram shows the mature trees, but shows the veggies how I want to place them for at least the the next few years, so there is a lot of overlap because as the tree grows, I will progressively move the veggies/etc. outward. If I get a tree that's going to grow really big really fast then I wont have many years to successfully cultivate a garden in that spot of my yard before it gets taken over.







    The major components of my garden will be the cypress/arborvitae (the largest tree shown in the diagram) nestled between 2 dwarf-variety red twig dogwood (the next largest squiggly circles right by the tree), flanked by a corner hedge of boxwood or arborvitae.


    Our yard is nicely graded with a gradual slope, but the very edge of our property gets a little wet because it creates a slight 'valley' or crevice with another little hill (with a greater slope) that joins it there. Since our soil is clay-like, the 'seam' (represented by the orange dotted line at the top) can get soggy after heavy rains. I know red twig dogwoods do well in wet soil and I've seen that boxwood and some types of arborvitae can tolerate it, but I'm not sure about cypress, even though I love the idea of a cypress tree there.


    Thoughts?

  • commanderducky
    Original Author
    9 years ago


    This is how I suspect it will look for the first couple of years, though, especially if I get a cypress tree--an older specimen just isn't in the budget.

  • D.KOPE60
    9 years ago

    Impressive amount of thought and work going into this ... I will enjoy looking into what you are proposing; until I can, I wanted to throw another option to you just because of the general look of it (there are so many out there, that is part of the joy). I have a "Sherwood Frost" arborvitae that is very slow growing, and tops out at about ten feet. It is a wider pyramidal shape, but is definitely NOT deer-proof. Perhaps part of what you like about the aesthetics of the chamy obtusa is the architectural way that their fronds splay and twist a bit. It is definitely suited as a specimen focal point. I actually believe mine failed because I had them in very sandy soil. They became thinned out with interior browning instead of the full look that I was going for (as a hedge). However, few chamaecyparis will take soil that is too moist. I did have one in the blueish family that actually liked a wet soil (will have to look back to see what sub-species it was). If you continue to look hard enough, you will find what you want!

    http://woodyplants.nres.uiuc.edu/plant/thuocsf

  • D.KOPE60
    9 years ago

    CommanderDucky; It was chamaecyparis thyoides - however, it has a more 'thready' appearance and not the whorls that you would be looking for in the c. obtusa

    commanderducky thanked D.KOPE60
  • wisconsitom
    9 years ago

    Yes^ and that species is a full-on wetland plant.

    +oM

  • D.KOPE60
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Strictly speaking, c. thyoides will suit in a range from wet to average conditions. However, many times, site conditions operate on a sort of matrix approach. My thyoides did well in my drier, sandier condition because it was somewhat sheltered and in an understory partial shade. So perhaps, CommanderDucky, regarding your preferred obtusa, if you are on an upgrade slope far enough from wet condition to prevent actual 'wet feet', in a more clay based soil to retain enough (but not too much) moisture, you could be good to go. As anyone who has ventured down these paths will attest, careful research goes a long way, but in the end, it is up to the plant.

  • wisconsitom
    9 years ago

    Quite right. D. In fact, as many here know, Im sure, some of the plant species typically found in wet to very wet environments are there not because they "like" those conditions, but because unlike lots of other species, they can tolerate those conditions. Such things as Thuja occidentalis and Larix laricina do well on more well-drained sites, but if left to their own devices would be outcompeted by faster-growing angiosperms primarily, so are "left to" sites unsuitable for those other plants.

    +oM

  • commanderducky
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    D.Kope, I just did a search for the c. thyoides that you mentioned and stumbled upon a striking picture of a cultivar called 'Top Point'--wow!




    Although I'm still hoping for an evergreen with a gold/bronze winter blush, this version of the c. thyoides might be an awesome replacement for an area closer to my house where I had once hoped a purple cone spruce or Korean Fir (blue cone) might go until I realized how big those grow.

    Trouble is, the up-close view of this might be more spectacular than the from-a-distance view. Hm...

    Anyway, though, I do agree, this tree type isn't quite what I'm looking for in the corner of my backyard; a little 'thready', as you put it.

  • commanderducky
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    I just found a few sites that helped me confirm my mystery tree is a chaemy. Here's one: http://www.perso.ch/arboretum/cones/CHcones.htm

    The top picture of cones looks just like the ones that I pulled seeds from this past summer (in the vain attempt to try and grow some of my own from seed--only one sprouted and it shriveled up and died a week later).

  • cearbhaill (zone 6b Eastern Kentucky)
    9 years ago

    I would suggest three red twigs instead of two- odd numbers are always preferable in landscape design. It eliminates the "matchy matchy" syndrome. JMO.

  • Embothrium
    9 years ago

    Two would be a pair but three would make a triangle which can look stiff - groupings of odd numbers can be too geometric, attractive flowing drifts can be made using even numbers.


  • commanderducky
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Cearbhaill: Ordinarily, I would agree; however, since the dogwoods are supposed to go on either side of the cypress, it might look a little unbalanced having 2 on one side of it and 1 on the other side. It's possible that I might be putting a larger variety of dogwood on either side of the cypress and then several dogwoods of a smaller variety to form a small line outward, in which case it would not be apparent exactly how many dogwoods were there, but I haven't come to that decision yet.