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.
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.
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 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 (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
|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 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 (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.
||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
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