This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas tree week: Douglas fir

When I first saw the cones of this tree near Halleck Center at Saint Joseph's College, I did not know what kind of tree it was. I searched the books and eventually decided it must be a Douglas fir because no other conifer has a cone like it. It is not native to this area, but comes from the western United States where it is an important tree for the lumber industry.
The Douglas firs by Halleck are fairly small. I found a much bigger example on the corner of Susan and Cullen.
A rather strange example is near the intersection of Home Ave and Washington St., near Milroy Park. It has three heads so is hard to miss, and it looks not at all like the tree above. Perhaps the biggest example in Rensselaer is a block south, but it is far from the sidewalk. I would not have recognized it except that the December tree-wrecking weather brought down some branches and they were on the curb.
I cannot identify this tree except by its cone--for me the needles look like the spruce that grow here. And yes, the Douglas fir is widely used as a Christmas tree.

Have a happy New Year.

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