Are western redcedars dying?

On the western redcedars in my area, some foliage has turned completely red-brown and appears to be dead. Are these trees dying? Or is this normal?

How do you clean sap from your hands / clothes?

When you play in the woods, I hope you get sap all over your hands. How do you get it off? Here’s the trick.

Why are Douglas-fir cones falling when they're still green?

Something is causing green Douglas-fir cones to fall from the trees before they are ripe. And, the cones are getting piled up into mounds. Who’s doing this?

What are those tiny brown cones that are covering my driveway?

I’ve been sweeping zillions of tiny, brown, cone-like structures off of my driveway. They are male pollen cones from Douglas-firs, Pseudotsuga menziesii.

Cones on Douglas-firs this year!

Douglas-fir cones are re-appearing again after a year of no cones.

Bigleaf maples: zillions of flower clusters

What are those droopy green clusters hanging from bigleaf maples in every park and forest west of the Cascades?

The wonder of big trees

Old-growth forests, at least in large swaths, are nearly gone from the Pacific NW. To even try to restore old-growth forests will take hundreds of years of careful stewardship. But small tracts of old-growth and individual big trees occur sporadically throughout the Pacific NW, especially in parks. Have you seen a big tree? Do you know where to look? Prepare to be awed!

Douglas-fir seeds: a trick question

Let's take apart a Douglas-fir cone with a pair of kitchen shears. What's inside?

For old cones, you'd expect that most or all of the seeds are gone, which is what we find.

What do Douglas-fir seeds look like? How many are there?

And finally, read this for a trick question ...

Gin made from central Oregon's western junipers

Did you know that small distilleries are springing up in central Oregon to produce gin from the "berries" of locally abundant western junipers?

In the fall, why are alder leaves on the forest floor still green?

In the fall, leaves on alder trees remain stubbornly green, even after they fall to the forest floor. This is because alder trees do not remove the green chlorophyll from the leaves before sending them to "recycling." Why not?

Why is Alaska yellow-cedar called "yellow?"

Which characteristic of Alaska yellow-cedars do you think gave rise to the name "yellow?" There are several possibilities ...

Maple seeds: nature's helicopters

This is the season that winged seeds of maple trees helicopter down to the ground. What advantage do the whirling seeds provide to maple trees?

Why does this subalpine fir have no branches on one side?

Why does this subalpine fir have no branches on one side? Is it because of rockslides and avalanches? Or wind? Or plant hormones? It appears to me that biologists have not yet come up with a conclusive answer.

Subalpine fir: the "coolest" tree in the Pacific NW

What is a tree that lives only in the coldest and harshest ecosystems at timberline in the northern Cascades?

The tree trade ... Norway maple, grand fir

Norway maple has been widely planted in North America as a landscape tree and along city streets. In return, grand fir from the Pacific Northwest has been introduced in Norway.

Western hemlocks are drought-sensitive. Consider watering them ...

Do you have western hemlocks in your yard? In the late-summer heat, consider watering them!

Sitka spruce in Norway; Norway spruce in the Pacific NW

Have you seen Norway spruce growing as a landscape tree in the Pacific NW? It turns out Norwegians extensively planted Sitka spruce in Norway starting about 100 years ago.

Western redcedars: the trick is butterflies ...

Do you ever wonder how to distinguish a western redcedar from the many other trees (native and cultivated) that we call cedars, cypresses, or junipers? The trick is butterflies.

Abundant Douglas maples?

Have you ever seen Douglas maples in abundance? ... I haven't either, until a recent week-long trip to Cypress Island near Anacortes, Washington.

Missing in action: green cones on Douglas-firs

Where are all the Douglas-fir green cones this year? Is this a sign of trouble?