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Coastal Douglas-Firs by Great Lakes

3 months ago

Considering the amount of searches I've done on this topic and forums on other sites queried, I must admit, this compulsion is beginning to feel like beating a dead horse. Regardless, here goes.

Has anyone seen, or suspected, a coastal DF (var. menziesii) near the Great Lakes?

I'll quickly address the bract issue. Var. glauca is easy to identify: look for highly reflexed bracts. Var. menziesii is trickier. From images I have seen on Inaturlist and other sites, it's evident that not all glauca have obviously reflexed bracts; some are straight and even--though rarely--appressed. This seems more common with var. glauca located between B.C.'s Cascades and Rocky Mountains (this owing to the fact that it intergrades with var. menziesii, which occupies the west/south west portion of this range). The problem, though, is number. Photos show only so many cones, and I've noticed that some local trees will produce cones that in a small sample size seem to have straight bracts, but when collected in a sufficient quantity will reveal a trend toward the reflexed. In summary: a certain level of bract reflexion will confirm var. glauca but no bract positioning will confirm var. menziesii.

However, when dreaming of days in Cathedral Grove, finding the 70-85cm cones shown in the attached photo--cones that match var. menziesii so well--he becomes hopeful. But owing to the cold, especially here in z5b, I remain skeptical.

Another theory of mine is that, because the Coastal Douglas-Fir zone is so small, and the range defined by B.C. forestry as the Interior Douglas-Fir Warm Wet Zone contains var. menziesii, along with other zones (Western Hemlock, etc.), whether companies in ONT have purchased coastal fir believing it to be interior or intermediate; this part of the range would also be more cold-tolerant than the direct maritime?

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