Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Tuesday's Trees- China-fir, Cumminghamia lanceolate
Early in my tree knowledge I saw these two trees along the road on the property of a funeral home and not knowing what kind of tree it was, my first thought was Deodora Cedar….remember this is when I was still learning. A kind fellow Master Gardener and a Tree Steward told me it was a China Fir. Thanks Jackie! I had never heard of this tree prior to that. What a remarkable specimen we have! I did not try to measure the height, but safe to say these are quite large.
My very kind husband was agreeable to stop and let me take lots of pictures yesterday. I had one photo from last fall, but had not walked up to the trees to really see them. We painted all weekend so I didn't have a chance to go earlier.
The Cunninghamia lanceolate is a native to China, first brought into cultivation in 1701, used as an ornamental in the US in the early 1800's. In its native environment there are specimen up to 150 feet tall though in the States most references say they grow to about 75 feet tall with a 20- 30 foot spread. Zones 6- 9 range, part shade to full sun, pyramidal shape with open branching make this tree one to consider in a number of places. It can sucker a bit but it has a straight true leader. It is drought tolerant and can handle a wide range of soil types.
This is winter growth of flower buds.
References- Floridata, good write up with a bit of its history—warning of fire prone areas –highly flammable tree with its leaf litter habit!
Forestry Service and University of Florida- once again, a great reference sheet with lots of information
Virginia Tech- good photos in a quick reference sheet.
Wikipedia- a site I don't often use, but lots of good information
And of course- MOBOT- a great site to use for many plants!
Next week's tree-- Ilex opaca, American Holly
words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.