Most conifers are evergreen. When fall comes and we venture out looking for beautiful fall colors, we are looking for maples and other flowering trees, not conifers. However, not all conifers are evergreen. Some are deciduous. That is, the needles lose their green color each fall in a burst of golden color and then fall to the ground.
Alpine larch - Larix lyallii. Native to the North Cascades and Rocky Mts.
Chinese larch - Larix potaninii. Native to
Dahurian larch - Larix gmelinii. Native to E. Russia,
Eastern larch - Larix laricina. Native to NE US,
Western larch - Larix occidentalis. Native to the
Other Deciduous Conifers
Bald cypress - Taxodium distichum. This native of southeast
USA is an important timber tree, and a popular ornamental in the Pacific Northwest. The needles look similar to the dawn redwood, but don't grow in opposing pairs like those on the dawn redwood.
Golden larch - Pseudolarix amabilis. This is the only species in the genus Pseudolarix. As the scientific name implies, it is not a true larch (Larix), being more closely related to firs and cedars (Abies and Cedrus). Like these trees, the cones of golden larch sit upright and disintegrate when they disperse their seeds. It is native to eastern
Chinese swamp cypress - Glyptostrobus pensilis. This is the only living species in the genus Glyptostrobus. It’s native to southeastern
China and northern . When the dawn redwood was first discovered, it was placed in this genus, but then classified as Metasequoia. The species name of the dawn redwood, glyptostroboides, recognizes the earlier classification.
Maidenhair tree - Ginkgo biloba. Although not a conifer, the maidenhair tree is a deciduous tree closely related to the conifers. It's very ancient, dating back to nearly 300 million years ago. I call it an uncle of the conifers. Its fall colors are strikingly bright.
To tour the deciduous conifers at Hoyt Arboretum in Portland, click here for a map.______________
Chinese swamp cypress
Ken DennistonNovember 2017