Name That Tree

If you don’t know the story of my home, here it is in a nutshell…

After raising two sons, my husband, Tim, and I decided to abandon the suburbs for a new life-style. All was well until we realized I thought we were heading downtown, while he was planning a move to the country. Luckily, we found a happy compromise—a house on a quiet street across the Reedy River from a golf course, just minutes from Main Street, but with expansive, park-like views from our back windows.

The house viewed from the golf course.

The house viewed from the golf course.

These windows offer a treehouse overlook at the adjacent woodland, as well as the river and the nearby fairways, presenting an amazing kaleidoscope of the seasons. Yesterday morning, however, something new caught my eye. While the bald cypress trees directly across the river are well known to me, I spied other deciduous conifers just a short distance upriver. So, after eating too much Thanksgiving turkey, we hiked over to the golf course to explore.

As you can see in the photo below, there are two species of trees. The russet needles on the five trees on the far side of the river are lighter in color than the needles on the single conifer adjacent to the footbridge.

Two types of deciduous conifers.

Two types of deciduous conifers.

Here is a close-up comparison. The lighter needles are flat and opposite, meaning they pair-up on the petiole (leafstalk) like a capital Y. The darker needles are more random, smaller, in a pattern that nearly alternates.

Similar, but slightly different needles.

Similar, but slightly different needles.

There are other differences too. The trunks of the five trees are more fluted and their bark is rough and varied in color, while the bark on the single tree is smoother and more even toned. The biggest difference, as you can see below, is in the size and shape of their cones.

The larger cone of the single tree.

The larger cone of the single tree.

Smaller cones from the five trees.

Smaller cones from the five trees.

Can you name these trees?

If not, you can find the answer below the photo of my hiking companions, Tim and our (almost) miniature dachshunds, Bella and Rudy.

Happy hikers--Tim, Bella, and Rudy.

Happy hikers–Tim, Bella, and Rudy.

The five deciduous conifers with the lighter, flat needles are dawn redwoods (Metasequoia glyptostroboides).

The single tree is a bald cypress (Taxodium distichum).

15 thoughts on “Name That Tree

  1. Sharon Lanier

    Enjoyed this posting & educational lesson! Thought one would be the Bald Cypress, but that was mostly a guess. Love the photo of Tim, Bella & Rudy!

  2. pbmgarden

    Great post Marian. I was going to guess Dawn Redwood but would have had to look it up to confirm–glad you provided the answer! I’ve seen this on our nearby campus and think it would make a nice addition to our suburban neighborhood’s common area.

  3. Jo Franklin

    Would you let me know more about your trip to upstate NY?  Thanks, Jo Franklin


  4. ginnytalbert

    How nice to see the view of your home from the golf course. What a lovely spot you landed in, Marian! And nice, too, to see Tim and your cute pups! Interesting discovery you’ve shared with us on the mystery tree. Belated Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Marian St.Clair

      Ginny–the house is a surprise from the back and looks much bigger than it really is. Built in the 1950s, it was orginally a one-story ranch with a family room in the basement. About 10 years ago the roof was raised to add two bedrooms upstairs. It was the neighborhood and the setting that “sold” us.

  5. Anne Martin

    Marian………so interesting to learn more about your view, since I am looking at these trees when i walk Rudy & Bella sometime!


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