TAIWANIA

Taiwania cryptomerioides

Cupressaceae

This tree is growing in the Berkeley Hills, and I guessed it was Taiwania cryptomerioides, which I confirmed with PlantNet Plant Identification.

Taiwania is a large, slow growing tree widely scattered in mid- to high-elevation forests only in southeast Asia 

(China, Myanmar, Taiwan, Vietnam).

"In height the Taiwania overtops all other associated trees ... The tallest individual ever found measures about 65 meters high. Giant trees with diameters up to 3 meters are rather common in the mixed coniferous and hardwood forests" (Liu and Su 1983).

Taiwania occurs in "coniferous, broad-leaved, or mixed evergreen valley forests on acid, red, or brown soils in warm or warm temperate regions with high summer and autumn rainfall but drier winters, usually scattered and associated with 

Chamaecyparis formosensisC. obtusa var. formosanaCunninghamia lanceolataPinus wallichiana, or Tsuga dumosa, but sometimes forming pure stands"

 

Taiwania is long lived, possibly to 2,000 years, but is considered rare and possibly threatened.

Seed cones of previous year and new season's growth

Pollen cones

"The wood is easily worked, and is used in building, making furniture and coffins ('Chinese coffin tree'), bridge and boat construction, and paper manufacture" (Fu et al. 1999).

All photos, except as credited to others, are copyright Emerald Canary.