Smallpine.gif (202 bytes) Needle-like & Scale-like leaves

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These trees are conifers, meaning cone-bearing.  They are of an older lineage than other trees and do not make flowers.  Most of the trees mentioned here are also evergreen, but not all.  A few of the following trees have scale-like leaves, but most have needles.

Cupressaceae (Cypress Family) - There are many ambiguous common names among conifers and this family is no exception.  The family is named after the genus Cupressus, which is true Cypress, not Baldcypress.  It also contains the genus, Juniperus, which is often referred to as Cedar or Redcedar, but there are also true Cedars, which belong to the Pine family, mentioned later.  It's easiest to learn the scientific names here.  They do not overlap.   Characteristics of this family include scale-like leaves and roundish cones, often looking like berries.  They can be very large and appear all over the Earth.

Juniperus virginiana (Redcedar) - Also called Juniper, there may be more than one species on campus.  There are many cultivated varieties so it is difficult to determine.  Redcedars grow everywhere - especially in disturbed areas such as roadsides and abandoned pastures.  The light blue berry-like cones are a very easy feature to identify the Junipers around the Ozarks.  The wood is that which produces the familiar cedar smell and is often made into chips and other things.   There are rows of Redcedars on campus - in between the library and Temple Hall.   There are other large singe specimens scattered about.  Two beautiful Junipers mark either side of the South entrance to McDonald arena.  The Juniper pictured is on the Southwest side of the arena. Juniperus virginiana

Pinaceae (Pine Family) - Pines are among the most recognized trees in North America.  Unfortunately, Missouri only has one native, but many others are planted.  Leaves in the family are all needle-like and are spirally attached to the branch.  They sometimes have a sheath around the bases.  Cones are larger than other conifers.  The family includes Abies (Fir), Cedrus (Cedar) and others, including those listed below.

Picea aibes (Norway Spruce) - A few Norway Spruces appear on the edges of parking lots on campus.  There is a whole grove of them all along the North side of the tennis courts.  As youngsters, they look alot like Blue Spruce, but are much more green.   They have a very grand appearance as full-grown trees, with their bows hanging gracefully.  The tops often die out in older specimens.  The leaves are quadrangular in cross-section and are arranged spirally along the stem, like all of the Pinaceae.   As many conifers, it can attain great heights. Picea aibes
Picea pungens Picea pungens (Blue Spruce) - The word Colorado often appears in front of the common name Blue Spruce.  They are native to that region and often show the effects of not being adapted to our much more humid air.  Many Blue Spruces planted around the Midwest die before reaching 10 years in age.  They, of course have blue leaves.  This varies from blue-green to silvery blue-grey.  Their habit is very conical and also varies from wide to very thin.  Some Blue Spruces are almost pillar shaped.  The Spring foliage is a striking yellow-blue and appears later than native trees. 
Pinus echinata Pinus echinata (Shortleaf Pine) - This is Missouri's only native Pine.  The only specimen on campus is very old, probably at least 80 years old.  It grows on the East side of Karls Hall and is pictured to the left.  Shortleaf Pine has yellow-green needles, which can be used to distinguish it from other Pines in the area.  The needles are shorter than Austrian Pine and White Pine, but longer than Scots Pine.  Needles are in groups of 2 or 3.
Pinus nigra (Austrian Pine) - There are several Austrian Pines on the Missouri State campus.  Like the White Pine, they are planted in groups and can be found as such on the Southwest side of Temple Hall and the North side of Hammons Student Center.  There are others scattered about.  The needles are in groups of 2 or 3 and are quite long.  The cones are small.  Pinus nigra
Pinus strobus (Eastern White Pine) - The distribution of White Pine does not make it over to the Ozarks, but it grows very well here (unlike many conifers) and has even escaped in some places.  The needles, unlike other Pines, are in bundles of 5.  Cones are long and somewhat curved.  The branching occurs in whorls around the trunk, giving the species a unique appearance.  It can attain very large height and trunk size when allowed to grow old.  There are many White Pines on campus, especially in the newer areas.  They're often planted on corners and/or in groups of three - owing to their tall pyramidal habit. Pinus strobus
Pinus sylvestrus (Scots Pine) - The Scots Pine is easily distinguished from the other Pines on campus by the shorter, blue-grey needles.  It also has very small, fat cones.  There are several around the campus including two on the Southeast side of the bookstore.  Many Scots Pines die each year.  This is probably due to hard winters.  Our winters are colder than their native region.  They have traditionally been planted as windbreaks on farms and next to highways, but that practice may slow since they seem to be sensitive to the weather.
Tsuga canadensis Tsuga canadensis (Canadian Hemlock) - The Hemlock resembles the Spruces in habit and leaf shape.  Unlike them, the leaves are in two ranks, forming a flat appearance like Bald Cypress.  They are also shorter than Spruce leaves.  The leaves look quite a lot like Taxus (Yew) leaves.  The cones are very small, which is another distinguishing characteristic.  The narrow branches often bow down on very tip.   On the Missouri State campus, there is one very nice Canadian Hemlock, on the Northeast Corner of McDonald arena.

Taxodiaceae (Bald Cypress Family) - Members typically have very large trunks and often deciduous leaves.  Cones are very small and leaves are short and two-ranked.  Some of the largest trees on Earth exist in this family.  Sequoiadendron giganteum (Giant Sequoia) and Sequoia sempervirens (Redwood) are members that reach 100 meters or more in height.  Giant Sequoia attains the largest diameter of any tree and has individuals more than 4000 years old. 

Metasequoia glyptostroboides (Dawn Redwood) - This tree has perhaps the most unique history of any.  It was discovered as a fossil around 60 years ago - 1 year before it was discovered to be living still.  It had been confined to a small region in China.   Upon this discovery, the tree was monitored and cultivated; seeds were sent out all over the world to help preserve the species.  As a result, Missouri State has several of these trees.  They were planted in the early and line the old part of campus.  They look very much like Bald Cypress, but have slightly larger leaves and more red in their trunks.  They form a pyramidal crown with even branching the length of the trunk. Metasequoia glyptostroboides
Bald Cypress Taxodium distichum (Bald Cypress) - Oddly enough, this Southern species is native to Missouri.  It barely makes it over the border into the bootheal, where soil is boggy and overall vegetation is much different.  It's often associated with the bayou country of Louisiana, forming the recognizable knees in the water and wide trunk bases.  On campus, they do not have that type of environment and so do not form knees or wide bases.  They grow alongside the parking lot next to the Honors Building, Southeast of Sunvilla Tower.  Leaves are quite small and flat and cones are also small.  Both Bald Cypress and Dawn Redwood are deciduous - adding to their similarities.

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