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Cedar, cypress, yew ... Discover the conifers!

Cedar, cypress, yew ... Discover the conifers!

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Conifers take their name from the grouping of their cone fruit. It is ovoid in cedar, carrot-shaped in fir, spinning top in pine and globose in cedar. All fantasies are allowed! Their leaves are narrow, needle-shaped and persistent. Almost all are conifers, and the resin they secrete is used to make turpentine. Conifers are the most represented species on earth, their mass exceeding that of the tropical forest. They are very resistant to low temperatures thanks to their metabolism which prevents them from freezing. The most beautiful example of coniferous forest is the taiga in Siberia which covers 5 million km².


J-F. Mahé ** California White Cedar (Aureovariegata) ** Here is a rather curious variety of cedar! Its yellow and green variegated foliage leaves the skeptical observer: will this tree become all yellow or will it turn green? It is a fragrant variety whose wood is used to make pencils.


J-F. Mahé ** l'Araucaria ** Because of its spicy scales, it is also nicknamed the "despair of monkeys". It takes its name from the Araucan Indians of Chile, because it was there that the first specimens were found. Looks great, this tree comes directly from the dinosaur era (Jurassic).


J-F. Mahé ** the Atlas Blue Cedar ** As its name suggests, it originates from the Atlas Mountains which extend from Morocco to Algeria at altitudes between 1,400 and 2,200 m. Majestic and imposing tree, it commands respect. Notice the stump on the right of the photo, which suggests that another nearby tree has hindered the growth of this cedar, to the point that we can observe a total absence of branches on the side of the deceased tree. Small anecdote, the cedar wood would have been used for the framework of the Temple of Solomon.


J-F. Mahé ** the Weeping Cedar ** This one is worth a look. Could it be that this shape comes to life before our wide eyes? This magnificent specimen is also an Atlas cedar, in its "pendula" version. The telephone wire that goes behind gives a pretty good idea of ​​its size. The resin of cedars has many virtues, including an antiseptic power. It was thus curiously used to embalm the mummies and to treat leprosy. Its essential oil is used as an insect repellent, in cosmetology, perfumery, aromatherapy ...


J-F. Mahé ** Lawson's Cypress ** This tree is mainly used in hedges, or very often in windbreaks. The cypresses grow quickly, live long and tolerate frost very well. It can become very large, so it will be better suited to large gardens or parks. Good to know, cypresses have an allergenic pollen which, in large quantities, causes allergies in sensitive people.


J-F. Mahé ** Common Yew ** Make no mistake, these charming red berries are very toxic, so are the needles because they contain very powerful alkaloids. Despite this, it has undeniable qualities. Due to its relatively modest size - a few meters - it is very comfortable in our gardens where it will form pretty hedges. It also lends itself very well to the art of topiaries. Its wood is so hard that we found stilts and yew arches dating from prehistoric times. Its longevity is also exceptional: it can live 2000 years, some even claim 3000 years.


J-F. Mahé ** le Mélèze ** This is a tree of a somewhat special kind, because in autumn, it is the only one to put on a magnificent golden ornament and lose its needles. Used as an ornamental tree, it is also very appreciated in carpentry for its characteristic salmon red wood and for its very good odor.


J-F. Mahé ** the Douglas green ** Here is a giant of the forests which can reach 50 meters in Europe and up to 100 meters in America. Much appreciated in the wood industry for its rapid growth, the straightness of its trunk and its excellent mechanical qualities, the Douglas is used mainly for the manufacture of frames.


** Pin Armandii ** This pretty pine, made in the PRC, was much talked about in the 2000s. It was established a direct link between this tree and the alteration of taste in some consumers of pine nuts. Fortunately, since then, the marketing of pine nuts from this tree has been prohibited. It remains to devour it with your eyes, which is not prohibited.


J-F. Mahé ** Scots pine ** Recognizable by its straight trunk and its red ocher color at the top of the trunk and branches - caused by the exfoliation of its bark - Scots pine can live up to 500 years. Its wood was valued in shipbuilding for the manufacture of masts, but it was also widely used to make telephone and electric poles. Today, it is more often found on highway areas and in public gardens in the form of picnic tables and benches.


J-F. Mahé ** le pectiné pectiné ** Also called white fir, it is a tree of medium altitude requiring particular conditions of humidity and pluviometry. When these are favorable, it can reach 60m high and 2m in diameter for a life expectancy of 500 years. Used in pharmacopoeia, it is also used in the manufacture of honey and candies from the Vosges.


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