Bayfordbury wildlife recording

Conifers identification (single needles arrangement)

Examples of conifers with single needles arrangement

When you start looking at conifers it is important to look at how needles are arranged. If needles are single (not in groups) the next question is how they are attached.

There are five distinct types of needle attachment:

Douglas Fir cone

Take extra care with Douglas Firs – superficially, shoots resemble Norway Spruce, but the absence of pegs and conical buds give it away. Finding a cone with 3-toothed bracts is helpful.

A short article on identification of conifers with spirally arranged needles was published in British Naturalists’ Association’s journal Country-Side following a BNA Herts Branch meeting in January 2020. More information about the article here.