A Tree Identification Booklet
for South Carolina Forests
Scale Leaf - Conifers
Characteristics: This is an evergreen tree with flat, scale-like needles. The bark is light reddish brown, often in peeling, papery strips.
Location: Look for these evergreen trees in old fields and along fence rows. They grow from dry uplands to wet soils of riverbanks and sandy soils near beaches.
Use: The aromatic wood is used for cedar chests, cabinetwork, and carvings. The wood is slow to decay so it is often used for fence posts. Cedar oil is used in medicine and perfumes. Cedars are sometimes selected as Christmas trees.
FUN TREE FACT: At one time, redcedar was the primary wood used to produce pencils. The juicy berries are consumed by many kinds of wildlife, including the cedar waxwing, named for this tree.
(Hybrid-Alaska Cedar and Monterey Cypress)
Characteristics: This is a beautiful extremely fast-growing evergreen tree. It has medium blue-green sprays of foliage that form long ascending branches. The wood is moderately soft but strong.
Location: Leyland cypress adapts to most soils but performs best on well-drained sites. It is good for windbreaks and noise abatement.
Use: Leyland cypress is often used in landscaping as screening; it is a popular Christmas tree species.
FUN TREE FACT: This tree is a sterile hybrid; it can only be reproduced from stem cuttings which are rooted and then outplanted. The seedlings have a good rate of survival.
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