As you put up the Christmas decorations, have you ever wondered what a Fir tree is? Any child can draw one, but what makes it a Fir? Lots of trees are called…
Metasequoia genus (Water fir). As a conifer it is distinguished from other trees and shrubs by producing seeds which are exposed on the scales of woody fruits called cones and needle-like leaves. They have 2-ranked linear leaves that turn gold to red brown in autumn. They are good specimen trees growing to a great height. Grow in humus rich, moist but well drained soil in full sun. They can be propagated by seed in autumn or hardwood cuttings in winter.
Deciduous, Conifers or Trees
C& W China
It prefers full sun, deep fertile soil, good summer rainfall and shelter from strong winds. It is tolerant of waterlogged soils and is very frost hardy. If the conifer produces more than one leader, to maintain the general conical habit remove all but one leader. To restrict the height of the plant, the leader can be cut back.
Propagate from seed in autumn or spring. Take cuttings from side shoots in autumn (although forms selected for leaf colour do not come true using this method). One can also take evergreen current growth cuttings in autumn to spring and deciduous softwood cuttings in summer.
Honey fungus may be a problem; young plants are more susceptible.
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