Primarily found in watersheds and along streams,
these short lived, fast growing trees are abundant seed
producers. Male and female flowers bloom in separate
catkins on different trees in spring before the leaves
appear. The cotton-haired seeds, produced in small capsules,
are wind dispersed. Because of the mess caused by the
mass of "cotton" produced in early summer,
this tree is prohibited in some cities
A tall tree up to 30 meters with a broad, open crown
and a short trunk 1 meter or more in diameter, Fremont
cottonwood is distinguishable by its broad, triangular
leaves with their very coarse, rounded teeth and long,
flattened stalks. The bark is thick, rough and splitting,
light gray or brownish or whitish and smooth on young
trunks and the branches are stout and spreading.
Yucca is a plant familiar
to most Americans who have traveled or lived in the
U.S. Southwest or Mexico, where it grows abundantly.
A member of the lily family, the plant is also known
by the names soap root, Spanish bayonet, Spanish dagger
Bristlecone Pine: Bristlecones
don't grow very tall, 60 ft. (18.3m) at the most, but
usually much less. Girth of the largest one, the Patriarch
is 36' 8" (11.2m), and this tree is relatively
young at 1,500 years. The average age is about 1,000
years with only a few over 4,000 years. The oldest trees
grow on outcrops of dolomite an alkaline calcareous
substrate of low nutrient but of higher moisture content
than the surrounding sandstone.
Fir: The two varieties of Douglas-fir occur in quite
different ecosystems. The Interior variety grows in
a variety of habitats including open forests with pinegrass
and mosses beneath. On the coast, the forests are much
more productive. Douglas-fir can grow with western redcedar,
hemlock, and grand fir, with a lush layer of salal,
huckleberries, Oregon-grape, and sword fern beneath.
Many animals eat Douglas-fir seeds, including squirrels,
chipmunks, mice, shrews, winter wrens, and crossbills.
Bears often scrape off the bark on young trees and eat
the sap layer beneath.
The Pinon Pine is native to the desert southwest's
higher elevations, from 4,000 to 7,000 feet. You will
find this tree growing above rocky arroyos in the mountain
foothills. This pine is very hardy though, and can tolerate
extreme cold and heat, as well as the strong winds.
It grows up to 6" a year, and reaches a mature
size of 30' tall and 20' feet wide.
Also know as the Blackjack or Western Yellow Pine,
this evergreen was first reported by members of the
Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804. Twenty-two years
later it was named by the famous Scottish Botanist,
David Douglas, for its heavy or "ponderous"
wood. The Ponderosa was mistaken for two different trees
due to the differences between the younger and older
of its kind. For the first 80-100 years, the bark of
the Ponderosa is smooth and a dark brown-black, leading
to the name Blackjack Pine. Later, the bark of the older
tree is an orange-brown color with deep ridges.