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Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Posted by full_bloom z5 IL (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 15, 07 at 10:00

Hi! This may be a strange question. I suppose people don't often choose their conifers and/or evergreens by their scent, but... I was recently in Northern California and was *in heaven* over the perfumed air, particularly in Yosemite. I would really like to plant a stand of conifers/evergreens to the back of my property...just as a sanctuary for me where I can inhale all that great scent.

So am looking for suggestions for the most fragrant conifers/evergreens and was hoping you could give me a list of your favorites?

I did a search on the web and came up with Xmas Trees listed by fragrance; Balsam Fir, Douglas Fir, & Scotch Pine...but don't know if that translates to the landscape.

I am in Zone 5, have good soil, and the trees would be placed in a protected south exposure and I would also like to add a few in a north exposure too. I have heard that soft needled pines don't do well with a northern exposure...is that true?

Also, I recently purchased a Pinus densiflora 'Oculus-draconis' which I just love and had a place planned for it facing north east, but after hearing that soft needled pines don't do well with a northern exposure, I'm wondering where would be the best place to site this plant?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Ei


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Best scent of all is Cupressus macnabiana from California, but that isn't hardy in zone 5.

Others good for scent, that are hardy in zone 5:
Scots Pine (note the link you found has the name wrong; Pinus sylvestris)
Grand Fir (Abies grandis)
White Fir (Abies concolor)
Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea)
Fraser Fir (Abies fraseri)
Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)

Resin


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Thuja... 'Elegantissima' and the 'Green Giant' both smell nice! I also really like the scent of my 'Carolina Sapphire' and 'Blue Ice' cypresses!

For some reason, I noticed that my Douglas Firs do not have a scent -- unless they are dying! I had a totally brown one that I kept in the backyard because it smelled so wonderful! hahah But now that it's nearly fall, it's time to dig it out and replace it I guess.


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

I only have the one conifer(I know,sad isn't it?),and its Cuppressus macrocarpa 'Goldcrest' or 'Wilma Goldcrest' ,which is bright yellow green and the foliage is lemon scented-I just gave it a squeeze and the scent is there!
Also there's a conifer or two in my park that has strange almost pineapple scent,Michael,would that be a Thuja?


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

"Also there's a conifer or two in my park that has strange almost pineapple scent, would that be a Thuja?"

Sounds (well, smells!) like Thuja plicata.

Resin


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

I've wondered if Abies grandis would grow here for a long time. I was enamored with them in Oregon. (probably need an interior strain I'll presume but never checked into them).

Thanks Resin,

Dax


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Thanks everyone for the quick responses...wasn't expecting a response that quickly, so glad I peeked in tonight and checked.

Resin...funny you mention Thuja occidentalis...I have some 'Techny's' in my garden and I have always admired their scent, which I can't define except to say the smell is very pleasing and cleanly fragrant. Kind of reminds me a little bit of the scent of my Galium odoratum (which is often described as smelling like sweet grass). I don't know what sweet grass smells like for sure, but I sure do love the smell of my Techny. How cool that T. plicata smells like pineapple. :-) And thank you Resin for the great list too and for the heads up on the Scots Pine.

Greenlarry...Thanks for the Cupressus description too...sounds like a neat plant, though I don't think I've seen anything like that here, I'll be keeping my eye open...

Thanks too Hibiscusfreak for the names of other Thujas to look at...I love that 'Blue Ice' name! P.S. Hibiscusfreak...your name caught my eye and I've got a feeling you can tell me the name of an Hibiscus I picked up this year that kind of looks like a miniature Japanese Maple...with gorgeous red foliage? It had no tag. I plan to overwinter it in the house...hope it makes it.

I am fairly green (no pun intended) to conifers/evergreens folks, so thanks for being so helpful and tolerant of my questions. :-)

Hope you don't mind a few more questions. First...can you tell me the definition of a "conifer" and the definition of an "evergreen"? Also what is the difference between the two? I'm guessing that conifers are "evergreens" that develop cones and that "conifer" is just a more specific name for a type of evergreen tree? Or, is it more complicated than I'm thinking? Would love to know, so I can be enlightened and use the correct terms.

Also, can I ask again if anyone knows whether it's okay to plant a soft needled pine in a nothern exposure? The main reason I am asking is that I had a Vanderwolf Pine for about 5 years, which started declining last year and up and died this year. Someone suggested it could be because I placed it in a northern exposure? As I mentioned, I have a Pinus densiflora 'Oculus-draconis' that is still in its container because I've been hesitant to plant it. I would like to plant it in almost the same spot where the Vanderwolf was that died. But, of course I won't plant it there if it's true about northern exposures.

Again, thank you everyone...it is very much appreciated.

Eileen


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

the white fir growing in my area have a great pineapple scent as well. I always need a sample to carry around and sniff. One plant in particular is most refreshing...


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

"First...can you tell me the definition of a "conifer" and the definition of an "evergreen"? Also what is the difference between the two? I'm guessing that conifers are "evergreens" that develop cones and that "conifer" is just a more specific name for a type of evergreen tree? Or, is it more complicated than I'm thinking?"

Yep, a bit more complicated! ;-)

Conifers are a group of related plants (scientific name: Pinophyta, syn. Coniferae), which produce their seed in a structure called a cone (or scientific name, strobilus).

An evergreen is any plant that retains green leaves all year round; it is a behavioural character, not a relationship, they are not all related to each other. The converse is deciduous (drops its leaves for part of the year).

While many conifers are evergreen, not all are (e.g. larches and baldcypresses are deciduous); conversely many non-conifers are evergreen (e.g. holly, box, many rhododendrons, etc). Quite a lot of genera include both evergreen and deciduous species, e.g. oaks (Live Oak is evegreen, White Oak is deciduous).

"Also, can I ask again if anyone knows whether it's okay to plant a soft needled pine in a northern exposure?"

Some will do fine, yes. In zone 5, better to try the more winter-hardy species, like Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus), Swiss Pine (Pinus cembra), Macedonian Pine (Pinus peuce), Korean Pine (Pinus koraiensis). Vanderwolf Pine is a little less hardy (origin: New Mexico/Arizona), which is why it would probably do better with southern exposure in zone 5.

"I've wondered if Abies grandis would grow here for a long time. I was enamored with them in Oregon. (probably need an interior strain I'll presume but never checked into them)"

Yep, it would need an interior source, such as northern Idaho; coastal WA/OR origins wouldn't work.

Resin


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Thank you Resin! A very succinct definition. How true about "not all conifers are evergreen". I hadn't even thought about larches and baldcypress. I've admired larches for many years...I love their ferny looking needles and the golden shade they take on in fall. A larch is definitely in my future plans, but first I think I need to concentrate on evergreens for my landscape to give it more substance and winter interest. BTW, I hope I've understood your definition correctly...so "conifers" are *all* plants that produce cones? How about a little more education, if you don't mind? :-) I love learning new things...got to keep the old brain cells lubricated! So, what is the definition of a semi-evergreen vs. a broadleaf evergreen? Or, are they the same? I *do* know the definition of deciduous! :-)

Okay, *one* more question Resin, or anyone else who knows... How hardy is the Pinus densiflora 'Oculus-draconis' that I purchased. When I saw it in the nursery I fell in love! It's such a striking conifer. (Is "conifer" right? Does this tree produce cones?). Anyway, I purchased the tree without learning anything about it first, which is *not* my nature. Normally if I am not familiar with a plant, I try to do some research before buying. But this pine stole my heart and I was afraid if I didn't take it home with me *right then*, it would be gone by the time I got back there. Anyway, any information would be appreciated. If possible, I would like to know its origin (as you mentioned, Resin, about my Vanderwolf). I would also like to know its zone hardiness, culture, etc. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again!

Eileen


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Semi-Evergreen

Firstly,a broadleaf is basically any tree with leaves rather than needles,leaves are broader than needles. Now as for semi evergreen,this is to do with hardiness i think,and its natural environment. For example,a butterfly bush comes from a warm climate that rarely if ever sees frost,and no true winter,so it has no need to shed its leaves when in its home. But if you take it away from there and plant it in England where we definitely do have winters the leaves may all drop. In a mild winter they may not-its not quite evergreen and not quite deciduous. Privet is the same. And I suppose there are conifers that behave the same way.


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

"so "conifers" are *all* plants that produce cones?"

Yep, if one applies the term 'cone' (strobilus) strictly (bit of a circular case, though - a cone is defined as the seed-producing structure of conifers, and conifers are defined as plants that have cones ;-). If applied less strictly, well, some broadleaves have fruiting structures that look very like cones (e.g. alders), though they have different internal structure, and some true conifer cones don't look at all like 'traditional' cones (e.g. yew and juniper 'berries' - though in structural development they are cones). So quite complicated . . .

"Pinus densiflora 'Oculus-draconis' ... Is "conifer" right? Does this tree produce cones?"

Yep, it does, or at least has the genetic ability to do so (some dwarf and variegated forms rarely if ever actually produce any - doesn't stop them being conifers, though!). It should be OK in zone 5, though might burn in a severe winter; comes from Japan.

"And I suppose there are conifers that behave the same way"

The only one like this is Taxodium mucronatum - usually evergreen, but will shed its leaves in a cold winter. Other conifers are strictly evergreen or strictly deciduous. Though larch seedlings often stay green for just their first winter as seedlings, then deciduous thereafter.

"Firstly,a broadleaf is basically any tree with leaves rather than needles,leaves are broader than needles"

As usual, there are exceptions . . . e.g. rosemary and some heathers have slender, needle-like leaves, but are 'technically' broadleaves (they have flowers, not cones ;-)

Resin


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc./ah

Maybe a truer definition of a broadleaf is one that has leaves with veins,I'm not sure if conifer needles have venation. Funny thing is tho I would never have classed heathers or rosemary as broadleaves,as I associate that term with trees rather than shrubs. Also another plant to consider is Ginkgo. This is,or was technicaly classed as a conifer,yet it has neither cones nor needles!


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

You're welcome, Eileen. Send me a pic of that hibiscus and I will see if I can ID it for you (or you might want to do that over in the hibiscus forum). But I am seriously considering changing my name, since I now know more about the conifers than I do the hibiscus! LOL! :)

The 'Blue Ice' is a cypress (Arizonica), not a thuja.. not sure if I was clear on that. Anyway, I can't really describe the scent, but it's like a lemony mint. And supposedly it has bug-repellent qualities! -- or so I've read... I guess I will find out next summer since I just planted them recently.


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

What about Calocedrus decurrens? Calfornia incense cedar? It a nice spicy resinous smell


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

as to resins first list:

Others good for scent, that are hardy in zone 5:
Scots Pine (note the link you found has the name wrong; Pinus sylvestris)
Grand Fir (Abies grandis)
White Fir (Abies concolor)
Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea)
Fraser Fir (Abies fraseri)
Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)

i have all but grandis growing in my windswept, pure sand garden, zone 5 garden ... only the balsaea, in a low spot subject to late, heavy frost/freeze do exceptionally well .. and it is catching up ....

as to any OD .... especially densiflora .... they do burn ... extremely easily ... this summer i was wondering if it is all winters fault ... or if the damage starts in the heat of summer.. and shows up in the freeze drying winds of winter .... i don't have much wind protection here ...

as with a multitude of white tissued plants.. the white or yellow burns to a crisp in winter .... but the plants fully recover with the new flush .... i even have a couple ... burkes red and mrs cesarini, especially the later .... lose all their needles ... rather shocking ... but they always flush out fully in spring ... though they are a bit naked.. lol ....

it is suggested ... that transplant is also a factor ... the more established trees will not do this.. i am awaiting that year ..... mine have been in the ground about 3 or 4 years .... and complicating it all is that i have them on a slight slope facing due south ... i suspect that lacking snow cover... the winter sun heats the frozen soil .. and leads to additional water loss to the soil .... that whole freeze/thaw thing cant really be helpful to a variegated plant .... this year i will be adding extra mulch to offset that ...

though snow cover is a dual edged sword .. as reflected winter sun on white snow ... on white or yellow needdle tissue .. might be worse than no snow.. go figure on that .... sometimes you cant win for losing .... whatever that means ....

get them in the ground .... water deeply and as late as possible.. but don't freeze them into an ice cube .... and good luck

ken


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Hi Greenlarry! Thanks for the definition of broadleaf evergreen and semi-evergreen. Gee, I guess I wasn't really thinking about the word "broadleaf"...if I had I would have realized that "broadleaf" simply means *that* and can refer to any plant with broad leaves!...LOL! :-) I guess I never have heard the term "broadleaf" referring to a plant, except when referring to broadleaf *evergreens*, like rhodies, hollies, and azaleas. Interesting about the semi-evergreen term too and how broad the term can be. I was aware in terms of perennials (cause that's mostly what I focused on to begin with) that there are perennials in warmer climates that act like annuals here in Illinois; i.e. many of the salvias that I love. Butterfly Bush, btw, acts like a "semi-evergreen" in my climate too. As does Myrica pennsylvanica. Well, it does hold onto most of its leaves, but drops them in early spring and produces fresh new leaves at that point.

Unfortunately Resin, neither Rosemary nor Heather act like perennials or "evergreens" here in my climate...though I wish they did! :-) But, interesting to learn that techinically rosemary and heather are both "broadleaf evergreens". You brought back a funny memory from my childhood. I had relatives in South Carolina and the first time I saw a Live Oak, I thought they were called "Dead Oaks" because they looked dead to me with their leaves looking dessicated....maybe I was visiting in winter? LOL! :-) Well, I still think they are very cool trees and I love the moss that grows on them.

You guys are a lot of fun and so educational! :-)

So can I put one more question before you guys? Greenlarry mentioned "Now as for semi evergreen,this is to do with hardiness i think,and its natural environment. For example,a butterfly bush comes from a warm climate that rarely if ever sees frost,and no true winter,so it has no need to shed its leaves when in its home. But if you take it away from there and plant it in England where we definitely do have winters the leaves may all drop."

In what way does it help plants which are normally evergreen to be semi-evergreen and lose their leaves in winter in harsher climates? Does it have to do with not having to work at transpiration or food? Does it have to do with dormancy? I find it fascinating how ingenious plants can be! :-)

Interesting about the Ginko. I love the leaves of this tree and have a young tree in the back of my yard. I didn't realize it was called a "conifer". I'm wondering why...but won't ask you guys yet *another* question...LOL!

P.S. That cedar sounds heavenly Toyo!

P.S. Hi Hibiscusfreak! Sorry I pointed out your name. :-) Well, I like the name, but maybe you can change it to Coniferfreak? :-) I've included a pic of the Hibiscus here...hope nobody minds. I was going to post it separately, but then thought it probably wasn't a suitable post in the "Conifer" forum.


Thanks again everyone....you've been most helpful and informative. Eileen


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc. me again

Hi Ken! Thank you for the cultural suggestions re my Pinus densiflora 'Oculus-draconis'. Good to know someone in my zone has this pine. I will be sure to water my Pinus densiflora 'Oculus-draconis' regularly as the weather allows. Was wondering, do you think a burlap wind barrier might help in winter? I've used 'Wilt pruf' on my rhodies when first planting them. I'll have to go look and see if I still have some. For some reason though I *think* I remember it saying something about *not* using it on "needled plants". Do you know if it is harmful to needled plants or if it would help keep my OD from dessicating? Are there any safe products you would recommend?

Thanks again! Eileen


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens,/

Hi Eileen,now when a normally evergreen plant goes into winter mode and sheds its leaves it is doing it to survive,either that or the tissues in the leaves get frosted and would fall anyway,possibly opening the tree up to infection. The tree then shuts down,because if it continued to grow and to put out new leaves to replace those lost they will just get frosted and die and the tree will be wasting its resources,and may die because of it. Safer to hibernate. Now of course there are many broadleaf trees that don't seem to shed,Holly for one,but they obviously have some other mechanism to keep em going through the winter-now that is what I find amazing,plants with anti freeze!


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Wow, at first glance I thought that was an Acer. Are you sure it's a hibiscus? Doesn't look like any I've ever seen before. What color flowers? Well here is a link for you. You might be able to find it.

By the way, since you mention Wilt Pruf... I have never used it. But I was just told at our local nursery that if I wanted to buy the deodara cedar I have my eye on, I should use Wilt pruf on it. We are in a pretty windy area, but I am not sure whether that was good advice... or if the deodara cedar actually would need it? Anyone know?

Here is a link that might be useful: International Hibiscus Society


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Calocedrus decurrens is nice, but not generally hardy to zone 5. Plants from the far northeast of its range in central Oregon should be, but finding a nursery that stocks them won't be easy. Most of the plants on sale will be from more accessible, but less hardy, origins.

Resin


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Thanks Greenlarry. You are right...that is most impressive....guess I never really thought about it from a Holly's point of view! :-)

Hi Hibiscusfreak...Well, you got me a little nervous...I was worried for a moment that maybe I had totally goofed and the plant wasn't a hibiscus at all...LOL! Anyway, I did a search on the web and I think what I have is Hibiscus acetosella 'Haight Ashbury'. At least the pic and description I found seem like the right one. From the description at the website it seems the flowers on this one are not much to talk about. But that's fine, I bought it for the foliage anyway. I'm hoping to keep mine small and growing it indoors in winter as a houseplant, moving it out again during the garden season, but will take cuttings just in case! BTW, thanks for the neat Hibiscus website link.

Eileen

Here is a link that might be useful: Hibiscus acetosella 'Haight Ashbury'


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Hi Eileen, Glad you found it... very interesting! It is a beauty. Good luck with overwintering it inside!

Now I will go change my name..... (heeheehee)

Ummm, anyone know how I can do that without creating a brand new account???


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Changing your name

Hibiscusfreak,go into member services at the bottom and edit your details there. I changed mine a while ago no problem(used to be cameraman) but that was before iVillage took over


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Abies grandis is considered fragrant? Hmm, never thought of it as such. I love the Balsam, Caanan and Fraser fragrances.

One tree that is extremely fragrant is coastal Douglas fir. The Rocky mountain variety somewhat unfragrant and dissimilar.


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Greenlarry, Thanks for the help. I don't think it lets you change your name though, only nickname.. because it still shows my User Name as hibiscusfreak. How frustrating! Oh well...... maybe I will make a new account.


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Hi everyone, ok I DID IT! It's now "official"!

Hmm, guess this means I need to go out today and buy some more new conifers to celebrate the new name! :)


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

"Abies grandis is considered fragrant? Hmm, never thought of it as such"

The interesting thing about it, it gets more fragrant as it dries out. So it might be better as a Christmas tree, towards the end of Christmas.

"One tree that is extremely fragrant is coastal Douglas fir. The Rocky mountain variety somewhat unfragrant and dissimilar"

Very good point. I've long thought that RMDF would probably be better treated as a distinct species Pseudotsuga glauca, but unfortunately, the world (or at least, the forestry literature) doesn't seem to be ready for it. There is as much, if not more, distinction between the two than there is between e.g. Sitka Spruce and Engelmann Spruce.

"Hi everyone, ok I DID IT! It's now "official"! "

Congrats, Coniferfreak!

Resin


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.(

Nice one coniferfreak,now what you gonna do with all those Hibiscus plants...?;)


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

I grew a bunch of hibiscus like that a couple years ago (In my job). They were called Purple Princess or something, but appeared to have the same genetics as the one in your pic. They got really large with woody stems and huge root systems. Good for a filler plant.

+oM


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Thanks Resin! Wellllll greenlarry, the hibiscuses are a long story, but most of them are down along the backyard fence... keeping the conifers company! I have a couple in perennial beds that are actually tropical... not hardy, so I end up replacing them every year. It's so sad, I know. But I just love how they look and attract the hummingbirds to our patio. The hardy ones usually do end up like small trees. Oh well.... In any case, I have waaaaay more conifers (and conifer interest) than hibiscus now! :)
Laura


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.Laura

So Laura,are you new to conifers,like me? I've always loved trees since i was a kid but conifers were always those misshapen green blobs squashed into people's gardens,but them I realised,hey these are trees too,and have quite an interesting life cycle. And I'm drawn to more primitive plants too! I love ferns and Cycads!


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc. Hi Coniferfreak!

:-) Just had to offer Coniferfreak my congratulations! Laura...did you know that hummingbirds *love* Salvias? That's one of the main reasons I grow them. I *love* salvias too! On Saturday I had two hummingbirds (I assume are on their way to warmer parts) stop by and visit all my salvia guaraniticas. When you watch those little guys they are just amazing! They seem to be so busy and expend so much energy you just can't imagine that there are enough flowers in the world to keep them going! :-)

Eileen


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Hey Larry, yes.. pretty much. My interest began a few years ago... but now I believe I am "hooked"! haha

Thanks, Eileen! Yes we have those too in our hummingbird/butterfly garden, which is just off our patio, where we can see them visit regularly (the kids just love it!). And of course I just had to mix some conifers in with that garden... ;) I will have to post a pic -- maybe in the spring, as most of the perennials in the garden are done now. But the hummingbirds actually had a couple nests this year up in the huge white pines at the back of our property. It was interesting to watch them going back and forth between the feeder and the trees... obviously bringing food to their little ones. It's amazing that this year we have about 10x as many trees (conifers of course!) in our yard, and the wildlife has also probably increased tenfold!


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Hummers and christmas trees

You have no idea how jealous I am that you guys have Hummingbirds in your garden! Would be really cool and i'm sure my 3 year old would want to be out there all day watching them! As for the conifer addiction,well the trouble is there are sooo many kinds out there,from cypress to pine and all in between. I mean I know me plants but well,these things have me lost,like starting to learn about plants all over again! I think my personal favourites,for the garden at least,are the firs and spruces. I think that comes from a lifetime of never having a real christmas tree. I reckon i should get one this year,plant it in the garden and let it grow!


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

A conifer forum discussion on fragrance and nobody even mentions the Colorado pinyon, Pinus edulis? Despite its outbursts of ethyl caprylate? Have none of you souls? Hang your heads in shame and the zone be damned.


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

LOL! @ pinetree


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Aww Greenlarry...you need to get yourself a Christmas Tree in the landscape! :-) BTW, I was surprised to read that you don't have hummingbirds in the UK?! I was lucky enough to visit England once and I was a googly eyed drooling tourist...LOL! The GHHADENS omigosh! England is a gardening mecca...a gardener's dream world. How could hummingbirds not love a place like that?! :-) I t seems like *everybody* gardens in England. I was most impressed with how many male gardeners there were. Well, I do have to say that the male gardening population is really growing here in the U.S. now too.

Not Conifer related, but I attached a couple of links to videos on hummingbirds. Thought Laura would love seeing the nest and the babies growing and I thought Greenlarrys young one would enjoy the videos too. One video is of the progress of babies maturing in the nest and the other video is an amazing video of hummingbirds feeding, first on some salvia that a man is holding, then on a feeder he is holding and then finally the hummingbird eating right out of his hand. Great shots and Greenlarrys little guy will get a good visual of hummingbirds. *Almost* as good as seeing them in person. :-) BTW Laura, arent you going to climb up that tree and get the empty hummingbird nest? :-) I would love to have a hummingbird nest. I actually made a mock one base on pics Ive seen of them. P.S. I would love to see your hummingbird garden in the spring...sounds wonderful. I can just imagine how enchanting it must be on your patio....smart to put the hummingbird where you can view the action up close and personal.

Eileen

Darn...I see that GW only allows for one link, so I will post this link in the body. You will have to copy and paste it in the toolbar.

Video of hummingbird feeding from a man's hand:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qvbGWm6gmg

Here is a link that might be useful: Hummingbird Nest Documentary


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

"outbursts of ethyl caprylate"
Sounds like something produced by a drunken goat ;-)

"I was surprised to read that you don't have hummingbirds in the UK?!"
Yep, no hummingbirds anywhere in the Old World, they're confined to the Americas, with about 80-90% of them in South America and only a few in North America.

Resin


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc. Sorry!

Darn I couldn't get the copy and past link to work...so I've added at the bottom of this post.

Eileen

Here is a link that might be useful: Hummingbird feeding out of man's hand


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RE:rattle and hum

Yea humming birds would need somewhere warm to migrate to as they wouldn't like our winters(too cold/wet and no source of nectar) i'm not sure a bird that size could fly for long enough to migrate too(do they migrate withing the states?)


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Hummingbirds do migrate vast distances. The eastern species winters in central and south America. A west coast species breeds up in Alaska and alpine areas each year. The eastern species can fly across the gulf of Mexico and island-hop in the Caribbean to their Central and south American wintering sites- they can fly across stretches of water much more vast than the English channel.

The old world already has a bunch of colorful avian flower pollinators, the sunbirds. I dont think they are found in Europe, but they are just as charming!


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Birds

Thats interesting,I'm surprised that the hummers can fly continuosly for so long,surely they would need a stop over for a top up.(The smaller the animal the more it needs to eat to sustain itself) As for sunbirds,not found here,maybe spain?


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Hummingbirds are not a strictly warm-blooded creature that maintain constant body metabolism and temperature . Where food gets scarce or at cold nights they enter torpr- lowering their internal body temperatures and thus metabolism by up to 95% at night and times of scarce food.

Though small, the birds do have fat reserves they can store up energy in times of plenty, so can go for some time without food before starving. 25 40% Fat reserves by body weight are enough for the 20-hour trip over the Gulf of Mexico without any food or rest.

Here is a link that might be useful: read more on migration


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

hibiscus is definitely an acetosella. I used to have several. Not very hardy at all. Even less than rosa sinensis. Don't count on flowers in your zone without a greenhouse. Mine flowered closer to Thanksgiving than Halloween.

Definitely ok to treat as an annual. Cuttings root very easily. So easy to replace.


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Have to go to Africa or southern Asia to see sunbirds, there's none in Europe.

In terms of migration ability, the winner is Bar-tailed Godwit, they can do Alaska to New Zealand, non-stop: 11,570km. One fitted with a tiny radio transmitter has just done this journey in 8 days (info).

Resin


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Thanks for sharing that Fledgling...fascinating reading! I don't put up feeders for the hummers here, most seem content enough to feed on all the flowering plants I provide. One particular fellow has come back (at least I believe it is the same one) for about 3 years to the ivy geranium/scavaeola planted hanging baskets I have on the garage. Frankly, I'm ready for a new planting scheme for those baskets. Every winter I dream up a new scheme for them, but when spring finally arrives, I feel so guilty about changing the planting on my little hummer friend that I end up putting the same old planting back in anyway...just can't disappoint the fellow...LOL! Re the topr...I remember reading something about that. Isn't topr what also allows birds to survive in cold, wintery climates such as mine?

Resin...I enjoyed your link too! I have never heard of a Godwit (cute little fellow) and honestly I thought you were making that name up...LOL!

I'm going to have to do a websearch and see if I can't find pics of sunbirds...I've never heard of them either.

Nature is truly amazing! Thanks guys for sharing. I hope Coniferfreak gets to see what's been posted. I'm sure she would enjoy it.

P.S. Thanks Tcharles about the hibiscus. I did plan to make cuttings. Was wondering if you knew which technique would work better; dipped in rootone and the struck into the soil or rooted in water? I've always had amazing success with rooting coleus in water and it's a great way to carry them over since a juice glass of water is much smaller than a pot and allows me to grow many more cuttings in my garden window. Was wondering if I could grow hibisucs cuttings in water?

Eileen


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens/one good Tern...

Resin,have you read a book called The Longest Flight? Its a book about the Arctic Tern,which flies from the north pole,down over africa and onwards to antarctica before turning round and heading back home to breed,a journey of around 12,000 miles!


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

RE: Was wondering if I could grow hibisucs cuttings in water?

Maybe, defintely not the best practice. Some plants that are very easy to root can be rooted in water. But you will have much more success in a well drained sterile media. I've added one part perlite to one part peat based potting soil and had success. An IBA talc will help. Start with 3 or 4 inch long cuttings, rmove most of the leaf surface area by removing some leaves alltogether and cutting large ones in half. cover pots or flats with clear plastic (ziplock bags) to maintain humidity. Unlike many conifers those will root best when vigorously growing so the sooner the better for those. Those will take about three weeks.


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Very interesting thread! Eileen, I think I will just wait to see if the wind blows those hummer nests down into the yard... I don't have much experience climbing up those 70 ft. white pines... heehee!

BTW, here is another link I think you might enjoy!

Here is a link that might be useful: Mommy & babes


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Thanks Eileen!

Thanks for that video clip Eileen, I just showed it to Katie and she enjoyed it(so did I, tho rather jealous;) )


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Know your currently talking about hummingbirds but if you are still looking for suggestions on fragrant evergreens I have one, actually stunned no one mentioned this one. Chamaecyparis lawsonia. Their are numerous cultivars of chamaecyparis AKA false cypress. The best selection I've come across so far is Elwoodi or Elwoods dwarf cultivars. They have the most amazing smell I have ever experienced from a conifer. They are prone to diseases in some areas of the United States so you might need to do some research. I think the biggest problems are on the west coast. I believe
Port Orford Cedar is a parent species of Elwoodi. It is also from Oregon and if I recall correctly Northern Califoria it could be one of the trees full bloom smelled.


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RE: Most Fragrant Conifers, Evergreens, etc.

Hi everyone, I'm looking forward to plant a fragrant conifer in my yard. i read the posts here, very informative but also confusing to choose a particular tree. I hope you can suggest a tree that would be good for Northern California. zone 7. Thanks a lot.


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