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Plant Group

Conifers

Conifers are woody trees and shrubs.

They produce cones rather than flowers. Examples of conifers include pines, spruces, and firs.

Most of these trees and shrubs have evergreen needles, although some have deciduous needles (for example larches, bald cypress, dawn redwoods). Conifers have male cones that produce pollen that is wind dispersed, and woody cones where seeds are borne.

Phenology Status

Plants are unique, and one phenophase on one plant might look a little different than the same phase on another plant. The first ripe fruit (cone) for a Douglas fir looks different than it does for a western redcedar.

Flowers

No Pollen

No pollen is falling.

First Pollen

Plant starts releasing the powdery yellow pollen from cones on three or more branches (from male cones which are usually small and rounded). When open, the male cones will release yellow pollen dust when touched.

Early Pollen

Some pollen is falling (less than 5%).

Middle Pollen

Half or more branches have pollen. When open, the male cones will release yellow pollen dust when touched.

Fruits or Seeds

No Ripe Fruit

No ripe cones or seeds visible.

First Ripe Fruit (Cones)

First seed cones becoming fully ripe or seeds dropping naturally from the plant on three or more branches. Record when the seed cones turn brown and the scales expand (seeds should start dispersing shortly thereafter).

Early Fruiting (Cones)

Only a few branches have fully ripe cones or seeds dropping naturally from the tree (less than 5%).

Middle Fruiting (Cones)

Half or more branches have fully ripe cones or most of the seeds are dropping naturally from the tree.

Late Fruiting (Cones)

Most cones are open and seeds have been dispersed from the plant (over 95%).

Leaves

No Needles Emerging

No new needles are emerging.

First Needles

New needles emerge from tips of buds or are visible from the side of the buds on three or more branches.

Early Needle Emergence

A few new needles have emerged (less than 5%).

Middle Needle Emergence

Many new needles have emerged.

Find a Budburst Conifer Species

Here are some examples of Conifer species

  1. Loblolly pine
  2. Longleaf pine
  3. Northern white cedar

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