Nature Notes

Vol. XVI September - December - 1938 Nos. 3 & 4

Field Key to Trees Native to Mt. Rainier National Park


1.Trees evergreen... 2.
1.Trees not evergreen... 18.
2.Foliage needle-like or scale-like
... 3.
2.Foliage not as above. Leaves oval in outline, thick and leathery; 3-6 inches long. Flowers in clusters, white and urn-shaped; berries bright red. Bark reddish and exfoliating. An extremely rare tree in the park and one not likely to be encountered.
... MADRONA (Arbutus menziesii).
3.Foliage needle-like... 4.
3.Foliage scale-like... 17.
4.Needles borne singly on the branches
... 5.
4.Needles borne in clusters of from two to five
5.Not cone bearing; fruit a small, hard, greenish seed partly enclosed by a conspicuous fleshy red gelatinous disk. Needles 1/4-3/4 inch long, shiny green on upper side, pale green on the lower side and tipped with a slender point. Tree generally small with reddish-purple bark. Fairly common up to 4000 ft... WESTERN YEW (Taxus brevifolia).
5.Cone bearing trees; needles not as above; seeds dry and winged... 6.
6.Twigs and branchlets rough due to presence of persistent leaf bases
... 7.
6.Twigs and branchlets not rough; no persistent leaf bases present
... 10.
7.Twigs very rough with erect pedestal-like woody leaf bases; needles sessile on these woody bases, sharp pointed and prickly to the touch... 8.
7.Leaf bases not erect; needles petioled and not prickly... 9.
8.Needles flattened; cones 1-1/4 - 2-1/2 inches long. A very rare tree in the park, only a few specimens having been found on the west side at low elevations
... SITKA SPRUCE (Picea sitchensis).
8.Needles 4-sided in cross section and very prickly. Common in White River-Yakima Park area above 4000 ft.
... ENGLEMAN SPRUCE (Picea engelmanni).
9.Needles flat, blunt, 1/4-1/2 inch long. Cones 1/2-3/4 inch long. A very common tree up to 4500 ft. in elevation... WESTERN HEMLOCK (Tsuga heterophylla).
9.Needles thick, acute, about 374 inch long. Cones about 2 - 2-1/2 inches long. A common tree of the sub-alpine and timberline zones... MOUNTAIN HEMLOCK (Tsuga mertensiana).
10.Cones erect and borne on upper branches of the tree. Needles sessilo, broadened at base; leaf scars oval and conspicuous
... 11.
10.Cones pendent, not limited to the upper branches of the tree, 2-4 inches long with 3-pointed bracts protruding from between cone scales. Needles narrowed at base; leaf scars not round. A common tree in the heavily wooded zone; up to 8 ft. in diameter and 200 ft. tall with deeply furrowed, cinnamon-brown bark
... DOUGLAS FIR (Pseudotsuga taxifolia).
11.Cone large with numerous bracts protruding from between the cone scales, the ends of bracts bending downward to give the cone a "shingled" appearance. Foliage generally with silver blue cast; needles, pointed end, upon the upper branches, curved upward... NOBLE FIR (Abies nobilis).
11.Cones without bracts protruding from between the scales... 12.
12.Crown of tree pyramidal in outline with an erect, spire-like central leader. Common in sub-alpine and timberline zones
... ALPINE FIR (Abies lasiocarpa).
12.Species not with a pyramidal outline or spire-ike central leader; top rounded
... 13.
13.Leaves conspicuously two ranked with no needles overlaying the twig; cones greenish. Found only at lower elevations - from 2000 to 2500 ft. in elevation... GRAND FIR (Abies grandis).
13.Leaves two ranked but also with a row of needles overlaying the stem; cones purple. A common tree from lower park boundaries to about 5000 ft., occasionally higher... AMABALIS FIR (Abies amabalis).
14.Needles five in each cluster
... 15.
14.Needles less than five in a cluster
... 16.
15.Characteristic of the sub-alpine and timberline zones. Cones oval with thick scales; needles 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 inches long and thick... WHITE-BARKED PINE (Pinus albicaulis).
15.Not found above 5000 ft. Cones oblong, 6-12 inches long; needles 1-1/2 - 2-1/2 inches long and rather slender... WESTERN WHITE PINE (Pinus monticola).
16.Needles only two per cluster, 1-1/2 - 3 inches long; cones small, each scale with a stout prickle
... LODGE-POLE PINE (Pinus contorta).
16.Needles two or three per cluster, 6-10 inches long; cones oval in outline, brown, 3-4 inches long and often in clusters; cone scales thick and armed with a prickle at end. A very rare tree in the park, only one or two individuals having been found
... WESTERN YELLOW PINE (Pinus ponderosa).
17.Cones round, 1/2 inch in diameter or less. Branches with a characteristic drooping or wilted appear ance. Bark grey. Found above 2700 ft. and common in intermediate zone, between 4000 and 5000 ft.... ALASKA CEDAR (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis).
17.Cones oblong and about 1/2-3/4 inch long. Branches have a graceful spreading fern-like appearance. Bark reddish-brown and shreddy. Common in the deep woods up to 4000 ft.... WESTERN RED CEDAR (Thuja plicata).
18.Leaves opposite
... 19.
18.Leaves alternate
... 20.
19.Leaves deeply 3-5 lobed; flowers greenish yellow and borne in drooping racemes; fruit a double samara... BROADLEAVED MAPLE (Acer macrophyllum).
19.Leaves not lobed, instead margins entire; leaves oval in outline and broadest above middle. Num erous small flowers clustered in a compact head which is surrounded by several (4-8) showy white petal-like bracts... WESTERN TREE DOGWOOD (Cornus nuttallii).
20.Leaves lobed
... 21.
20.Leaves not lobed
... 22.
21.Leaves coarsely lobed; flowers very small and inconspicuous; staminate and pistillate flowers on different parts of the same tree, greenish or yellow; fruit an acorn. Very rare in the park - not likely to be encountered... GARRY OAK (Quercus garryana).
21.Leaves generally only serrate but occasionally 3-notched or lobed; stamens and pistil borne in a one flower; flowers conspicuous, white, about 1 inch in diameter; fruit oblong, 3/4 inch long, greenish and apple-like... WILD CRAB APPLE (Pyrus diversifolia).
22.Flowers in aments; fruit dry
... 23.
22.Flowers not in aments; flowers white, conspicuous, 1/2-1 inch across and fruit fleshy
... 29.
23.Fruit cone-like and woody; leaves dark green above and rusty-woolly beneath, ovate to elliptic in outline, the margins coarsely toothed. Common in moist soils; bark thin and light grey... OREGON OR RED ALDER (Alnus oregona).
23.Fruit not cone-like... 24.
24.Leaves broadly ovate, acute and finely toothed with long petioles; buds with several scales, very resionous
... BLACK COTTONWOOD (Populus trichocarpa).
24.Leaves usually narrow, short petioled; buds with but a single scale and not resinous
... 25.
25.Underside of leaves densely matted with silky hairs; leaves spatulate in outline and 2-4 inches long. Catkins appearing before the leaves, A tall shrub or tree, along streams up to 4000 feet... SITKA WILLOW (Salix sitchensis).
25.Underside of leaves not densely matted with silky hairs... 26.
26.Slighty hairy on underside or with midvein minutely hairy
... 27.
26.Not hairy but "powdery" on underside
... 28.
27.Silver-white below with mid-vein minutely hairy; leaves leathery with yellow stem and mid-vein; catkins appearing with leaves. Found between 2000-5000 ft. as a shrub or small tree... WHITE WILLOW (Salix lasiolipis).
27."Powdery appearing" or somtimes slightly hairy on underside of leaves but never densely matted; catkins appearing before the leaves. Found bet ween 2000-5000 ft. as a shrub or small tree... BLACK WILLOW (Salix scouleriana).
28.Margins finely toothed, leaves lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate in outline and 2-4 inches long. Not common. Found between 4000 and 6000 ft.
... MACKENZIE WILLOW (Salix mackenziana).
28.Bark longitudinally furrowed at base of trunk; leaves lanceolate and taper-pointed. Found between 2000 and 4000 ft.
... GLAND WILLOW (Salix lasiandra).
29.Flowers white and in cymes; fruit oblong, green to greenish-purple and apple-like; bark without lenticels... WILD CRABAPPLE (Pyrus diversifolia).
29.Flowers white and in corymbs; fruit bright red, cherry like and with hard stone in center; bark marked with conspicuous lenticels... WILD CHERRY (Prunus emarginata var. mollis).


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