Subalpine Fir (Abies lasiocarpa) progression

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1,554
Location
New Mexico, zone 6b
USDA Zone
6b
#1
I collected this Subalpine Fir two years ago in New Mexico. It has thrived in its grow box and the time came to do the first styling / structural setting.
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At first, I thought this would be the front, because of the features:
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However, after evaluating it for best combination of base, trunk line and features, I settled on the opposite side:
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The height is 35" from soil to apex.
 
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Location
Albuquerque, NM
USDA Zone
7
#3
Great work @PiñonJ ! Well balanced layout. Do the crossing trunks, live and dead, bother you at all. It doesn’t for me, I’m just curious, as I’m no pro and I also think some others on here may be bothered by it. None the less, great start to a long term project!

What part of NM did you collect?
 
Messages
790
Likes
1,554
Location
New Mexico, zone 6b
USDA Zone
6b
#4
Great work @PiñonJ ! Well balanced layout. Do the crossing trunks, live and dead, bother you at all. It doesn’t for me, I’m just curious, as I’m no pro and I also think some others on here may be bothered by it. None the less, great start to a long term project!

What part of NM did you collect?
I think it adds interest to the tree. Since one is deadwood, I don’t feel it’s an issue. Certainly it’s a naturalistic style. I collected it in the Jemez.
 
Messages
790
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Location
New Mexico, zone 6b
USDA Zone
6b
#6
What caharacteristics define a sub alpine vs a dougie, out of curiosity?
As you may know, Dougies are not true firs. In fact, their scientific name means false hemlock (Pseudotsuga), which suggests one difference: Dougies have slightly shorter, lighter green needles compared to Subalpine Firs. From what I've seen locally, the latter have darker blue-green needles forming a more acute angle with the stem, especially in more mature specimens. The bark on mine is almost white in places, which suggests it may be the cork bark variety, whose bark can end up being spongy. The dead giveaway is the buds. Douglas Fir buds are elongated and very pointy. True fir buds are rounded, knobby.
 
Messages
296
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627
Location
Albuquerque, NM
USDA Zone
7
#7
As you may know, Dougies are not true firs.
I did not know! But thank you for the detailed response! If you ever get the opportunity to collect up north near hopewell lake, there are a ridiculous amount of stunted, matured and weathered Douglas fir and engleman spruce.
 
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2,485
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Location
Eugene, OR
USDA Zone
8
#8
As you may know, Dougies are not true firs. In fact, their scientific name means false hemlock (Pseudotsuga), which suggests one difference: Dougies have slightly shorter, lighter green needles compared to Subalpine Firs. From what I've seen locally, the latter have darker blue-green needles forming a more acute angle with the stem, especially in more mature specimens. The bark on mine is almost white in places, which suggests it may be the cork bark variety, whose bark can end up being spongy. The dead giveaway is the buds. Douglas Fir buds are elongated and very pointy. True fir buds are rounded, knobby.
In truth many/most of our Douglas Fir have very dark green needles. Maybe some lighter on bottom side;).
 
Messages
790
Likes
1,554
Location
New Mexico, zone 6b
USDA Zone
6b
#9
In truth many/most of our Douglas Fir have very dark green needles. Maybe some lighter on bottom side;).
Yes, I didn’t mean they were light green, but the younger ones I’ve seen in the mountains here are not as dark as the Subalpine Firs and not as blue-green.
 
Messages
790
Likes
1,554
Location
New Mexico, zone 6b
USDA Zone
6b
#13
Really great job so far. Good instinct. Carried away with needle removal? Exercise restraint please, Needle mass feeds roots/grows trunk/strength/health;).
Thanks for the input, but it shouldn't be an issue. This in the group Ryan classifies as elongating species, meaning they store a tremendous amount of resources in the vascular system over the winter. This particular tree has had an insane amount of back budding and most of them are opening right now. There will be plenty of needle mass to drive continued development.:)
 

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