Some deciduous conifer leaf comparisons


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Redmond, WA
I'm a big fan of deciduous conifers and have a few cultivars now. I thought it would be fun to compare and contrast:

Column 1 Misc.: Golden larch (pseudolarix amabilis), Montezuma cypress, pond cypress
Column 2 BC: Little Leaf, Crazy Horse, Peve Minaret, Peve Yellow, Species
Column 3 DR: Daweswood Tawny Fleece, "Bonsai", Schirrmann's Nordlicht, Amber Glow
Column 4 DR: Gold Rush, Kool's Gold, Silhouette, Little Creamy, Species
Column 5 Larch: Paper Lanterns, Lucek, Blue Dwarf, Species (Subalpine), Horstmann's Recurved, Species (Western), Species (Japanese), Deborah Waxman

I'm not going for leaf reduction on any of these, so the relative sizes sort-of reflect their natural state. That said, this is by no means a scientific comparison. For example, Kool's Gold had a rough transit this spring and is still recovering -- probably closer in size and color to Gold Rush when healthy.

As for favorites so far:
  • DR: Gold rush has standout color and retains the aggressive growth of the species. Love the color on Daweswood Tawny Fleece but it grows half as fast. The "Bonsai" DR cultivar seems to have the smallest natural leaves, but grows at maybe a quarter the speed of the species.
  • Larches: Some of the cultivars have much smaller needles and would be great bonsai, but I can collect Western and Subalpine larches here, so they win by default :). Pseudolarix is has large needles and rapid growth, probably not worth pursing. Blue dwarf has the smallest needles of the cultivars I have, but it grows incredibly slow.
  • BC: Little leaf is really cool. It actually grows very fast, just with a very sparse set of needles. Crazy horse also grows fast, with lots of branching and compact growth. Peve Minaret has dense growth and is very columnar. All 3 are good bonsai choices, imho. I'm also liking Montezuma cypress, though mainly for its bark as it ages.

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