Conifer Slope Tour

Conifer Slope Tour

Ithaca, New York 14850, United States

Created By: Cornell Botanic Gardens

Tour Information

Conifer Slope has a range of trees that came from all over the world and come in various shapes and sizes. Take this tour to explore the fascinating diversity of our conifer collection!

This tour begins at two stops along Plantations Road.

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Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

Dawn Redwoods

Known as a “living fossil” of our time, the Dawn Redwoods, or Metasequoia glyptostroboides, were rediscovered in the 1940s in their native region of the Hubei province in China after previously being considered extinct. Many efforts in ... Read more
True Cedars: The Cedar of Lebanon

“Cedar” is a general term used to describe many types of evergreen conifers, such as Eastern red cedar and Atlantic whitecedar; however, the “true cedar” is of the Cedrus genus  (Pinaceae family), native to the Himalayas, Lebanon, ... Read more
White Pine and the Settlers of the New World

White pines, or Pinus strobus, is native to the Northeastern United States and was once abundant. Because of the availability of these magnificent trees, they were often used by the settlers for building ship masts and homes, among many oth... Read more
Berries or Cones?

What many people refer to as “Juniper berries” are not fruits at all, but the fleshy cones of a gymnosperm! Juniperus rigida is an evergreen conifer, related to red cedar, and is native to Northern China, Korea, and Japan. Our J. rigida... Read more
Red Giants of the East

Though their foliage and fleshy cones are nearly identical, Juniperus virginiana and Juniperus chinensis take different forms and originate in very different parts of the world. J. virginiana, or Eastern Red cedar, originates along the East... Read more
Dwarf Conifers: "Bailey's Upright"

At this overlook, you are suddenly surrounded by a collection of unusually small spruces, firs, junipers, pines, chamaecyparis, and arborvitae. These dwarf conifers can arise in numerous ways, from a diseased tree, to some kind of genetic m... Read more
Friendly and Not-so-friendly Firs

Here are two firs, Abies chinensis, and Abies holophylla, both originating in areas of China. You can find “friendly firs,” referring to the softness of their needless compared to spruce needles, which are often much less “friendly.... Read more
Using Your Senses

From a distance, Jeffrey’s Pine, or Pinus jeffreyi, and the Ponderosa Pine, or Pinus ponderosa, are nearly identical and both originate in Western North America; however, if you were to smell the needles of both, it would be clear how dif... Read more
The Mother of "Bailey's Upright"

When compared with others, this particular Scots Pine, or Pinus sylvestrus, clearly has some differing growth patterns. If you take a closer look at the cluster, or “witch’s broom,” toward the back of the tree, you might notice that t... Read more
Pitch Pine Migration

Native to the sandy soils of central New Jersey, the Pitch Pine, or Pinus rigida, help fill a microclimate known as the Pine Barrens region. The Pitch Pine is unique in its tufts of needles located along the trunk of the tree, as well as sm... Read more
Deer Damage and Firs

At the edge of the road, we have a small collection of Concolor firs, or Abies concolor, that are commonly used as Christmas trees because of their ability to regrow from cut trunks. Though these plants were planted at the same time, there ... Read more


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