False Cypresses

The false cypresses (Chamaecyparis spp.) are a group of beautiful, evergreen trees native to portions of North America and Asia. Perhaps unfairly tarnished by the “false” moniker, it is important to understand botanists do not intend the common name as a pejorative; they simply use it to distinguish between two common lineages. False cypresses are…


Sugi Trees

Known in its native Japan as Sugi, Cryptomeria japonica is a beautiful, evergreen conifer that is the sole member of its genus. It also goes by the names Japanese or oriental cedar, although this conifer is not that closely related to the true cedars (Cedrus spp.). Sugi have been cultivated in China for centuries, and…


Kauri Conifers (Agathis spp.)

Kauri trees are a group of about 21 species that form the genus Agathis. Native to the South Pacific region, various representatives of the genus occur in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Philippines and New Guinea. The biodiversity of the genus reaches its peak on the island of Borneo, where up to five species may occur…


Tasmanian Cedars (Athrotaxis spp.)

Tasmanian cedars are attractive conifers, native to the temperate rainforests of west Tasmania. Even though these trees originate on the opposite side of the planet and inhabit very different ecosystems, they resemble a few North American natives. The Family Tree Although Athrotaxis species often bear common names including terms like “pine” or “cedar,” they are…


Monkey-Puzzle Trees (Araucaria araucana)

Monkey-puzzle trees are unusual-looking and long-lived conifers, with lifespans exceeding 1,000 years in some cases. With ancestors dating back to the Jurassic Period, it is easy to imagine long-necked dinosaurs munching happily on the tree’s strange foliage and large seeds. The species draws its common name from an offhand quote uttered by an owner of…


Cypress-Pines (Callitris spp.)

Cypress-pines are small- to medium-sized trees, although a few species reach heights in excess of 100 feet. Although they resemble junipers (Juniperus spp.) in general appearance and by virtue of possessing two different types of leaves, cypress-pines bear both needle-like and scaly leaves throughout their lives. Name and Classification The genus name of cypress-pines comes…

bitch bark

The Bark Barrier

While a few traits characterize the bark of all trees, these protective coverings are remarkably diverse. As with other tree components, such as leaves, branches and roots, every bark is adapted to suit its environment and the life history of the species. Although bark hardly seems as exciting or fascinating as so many other aspects…


How Much Is My Tree Worth?

While it is obvious that trees have considerable ecological, societal, psychological and aesthetic value, it is often difficult to quantify this value. While property owners can estimate the general value of a given tree by using various calculators or formulae, determining a precise figure requires the services of a qualified tree professional. Different Types of…