Is this a Picea engelmannii?

garcanadMarch 12, 2014

Can you please help me identify this very old conifer in my daughter's garden:
Is it a Picea engelmannii?

Thanks

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pineresin

Could well be, but the pics aren't good enough quality to be 100% certain.

Resin

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 3:36PM
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garcanad

Thanks Resin.
Do you mean the pic for the cone or the tree itself? Everything is buried in thick snow right now. I will try to get better pic when the weather improves.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 3:57PM
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clement_2006

Look picea pungens for me
Clement

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 3:10AM
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sluice

If you can get a close look at the stem (jeweler's loupe or magnifying glass might help), it will help distinguish between pungens and engelmannii.

Pungens (smooth)

Engelmannii (hairs)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 11:01AM
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pineresin

The cones in the second pic are old pollen cones - no useful identification features in them, unfortunately.

Resin

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 7:07PM
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garcanad

Clement,
I did not suspect it is a Picea pungens because all my Picea pungens seems to have much longer cones like these:

However, as Resin pointed out, those cones in the earlier pic are not the proper ones.

sluice,
I will try to get a closeup picture of the needles when there is a chance.

Resin,
I will try to get a pic of the real cones when there is a chance.

Thanks to all.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 8:51PM
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pinetree30(Sierra Westside)

The only honest answer, given the lack of data, is who the hell knows? And to jump from speculating it is engelmannii to speculating it is pungens is like the blind leading the blind--literally. IF we can assume this is Canada in the pics, and IF we can assume the tree is wild (both big IFs) then it could be engelmannii or glauca, less likely rubens or mariana, but certainly not pungens.
When better pics can be made, show cone close-ups with a ruler, surface of latest shoot (for hairs), and needles that show length and sharpness of tips. Then you can separate any of the native Canadian species.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 10:33PM
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pineresin

"and IF we can assume the tree is wild (both big IFs)"

It's in a garden, so it is safe to assume it is NOT wild ;-)

Resin

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 6:49AM
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pinetree30(Sierra Westside)

I have 150-ft. ponderosas in my garden that are about 150 yrs old. Are they wild, Resin?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 10:27PM
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garcanad

The garden is in southern Ontario, Canada; far away from the native habitat of Picea engelmanii in Canada (west of the Rockies in BC). The garden is in the centre of a very well established core of an old city. So the considerations of 'native' or 'wild' will be very long shots. I would think Resin's assumption is quite safe.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 5:49PM
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pinetree30(Sierra Westside)

Ah, you are beginning to fill in some missing pieces. Glauca should have been the first bald speculation.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 9:56PM
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garcanad

It appears it will not be possible to have a pic of the cone next to a rule until the three feet of snow melts away. However, I have a couple more pic that may suggest it is more likely a pungens.
The cones are much longer than previously thought, and the base of the needle is quite smooth. The needles are very stiff and sharp.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 10:06PM
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pinetree30(Sierra Westside)

You pretty well just described pungens. Now chew a needle and if you can't stand it, it is pungens.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 10:35PM
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davesconifers

That's a Picea pungens conifer.

While Picea engelmannii has somewhat sharp needles they won't bite you like harden off pungens needles.

Dave

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 9:31AM
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garcanad

Thanks Dave and pinetree.
When I first saw this tree with somewhat dropping branch tips compared to all my Picea pungens which have more up pointing branches (and the initial pic of small cones), I was hoping that it might be something different:

I guess this is just the age.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 7:58PM
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pineresin

Yep, definitely Picea pungens.

Resin

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 10:03AM
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garcanad

Resin, Thanks for the confirmation

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 8:23AM
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