18 March 2008

Still searching for an identity

It's not a Cedrus deodara (Deodar Cedar) and not a Tsuga heterophylla (Western Hemlock), as far as I can tell. I don't think the big tree in our yard is either of the above-named.

Here's the tree in question, in all its glory.
Yesterday was a nice day, weatherwise.

Its shape doesn't look like either of the two photos I found in my Taylor's Guide to Trees (Houghton Mifflin, 1988), though it more closely resembles the hemlock than the cedar.

Here are two pictures of the needles on our tree, which also look different from the ones I see in the book.

Not flat enough to be hemlock leaves.

The mystery tree has long needles.

Here are pictures of the C. deodara and T. heterophylla needles and cones. I don't recognize them.

I don't see any tree in Taylor's Guide that looks like the one growing in our yard. If anybody reading this can tell me what tree it is, I will be grateful.

Little fuzzy cones that fall from the tree I want to identify

The cones (2 - 3 in. long) look a little like the ones on the Veitch Fir (Abies veitchii) in Taylor's book, but the needles are different.


  1. I'll run this by my friend J-P, who retired not so long ago as Director of a park in Paris with an arboretum. I can also ask the guys at the Royal Horticultural Society.


  2. Susan, I posted a question on a forum and somebody said he/she thinks it is a Lebanon cedar. Cedrus libanica.

  3. A little more searching on the Internet has turned up this picture of Cedrus libani var. stenacoma (or stenocoma).

  4. No way is this a Lebanese cedar. And I know, because I live in Lebanon. Different shape totally.

  5. Hello Sietske, that's what I thought too. But did you see the picture of the Cedrus libani variety? They say it is called a Turkish Cedar and is adapted to colder climates than yours in Lebanon. On a French gardening forum where I posted the pictures, people are discussing whether it a Turkish Cedar or a Himalayan Cedar (which is the Cedrus deodara).

  6. Ken - I'm a day late to congratulate you and Walt for your courage and your good instinct about moving to France. Today, you're trying to find the name of a beautiful tree from people all over the world instead of fighting the polluted traffic to and from work. I'm as anxious as you to clear out the mystery. If you do get the name, I think you should have an official baptismal ceremony.


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?