For our team the most memorable documentation of Thuja plicata occurred in the Pacific Northwest in a magnificent old-growth forest in the Olympic Peninsula. In the northwest, this tree can reach enormous sizes (exemplified by Quinalt Lake Cedar, height 53 m and trunk about 6 m in diameter, b.h.; data published by Robert Van Pelt, 2001).
On a recent trip to Turkey our team was driving through the Toros mountains in the Akseki region. As the road was ascending the vegetation changed according to elevation and exposure, from mediterranean maquis to high-mountain mixed deciduous/evergreen shrub-forests and scrubs (pseudomaquis).
If one goes on the web to search for information on the plant under the name Abies gamblei, very little descriptive account will be found. And, interestingly enough, there will be some small-scale photos actually showing Abies pseudochensiensis!
A common and most easily met fir species of Europe, not counted Abies sibirica that occurs widely in the vast lands of eastern-northeastern Europe (bordered by the Ural mountains)...
This species is among the most remarkable conifers and one of the true giants of the island of Taiwan, occurring at elevations between 1000 and 2900 m. Our team's documenting the conifers and their habitats in Formosa was coordinated by the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute (T.F.R.I.) and made possible with support from both the I.D.R.I., Inc. and Earthwatch, Center for Field Research.
To document Fitzroya, the "redwood of the south" and the 'National Tree' of Chile, was another exciting task for our expedition in 1996. It was a real treat to work in the magnificent Araucaria forests – huge stands, many old trees, and incredibly beautiful scenery on the foothills of Volcán Llaima.
Lepidothamnus fonkii is the southernmost conifer in the world, reaching 55°S in the Magallanes region of Chile and Argentina's Patagonia and occurring in habitats from sea level to about 600 m.
In an article on our findings in Mexico we published this remarkable plant as Pseudotsuga menziesii var. oaxacana Debreczy & Rácz (Phytologia, 1995) but to accommodate this plant in the current understanding of the Douglas fir taxonomy, finally discussed it in Conifers Around the World within the long accepted variety name "var. glauca".
Mexico, with its 93+ species and varieties of conifers, is a very special place for any conifer explorer and was a must place for our Dendrological Atlas project. Given the goal – documenting possibly all conifer taxa in Mexico within a realistic time frame – seemed and was indeed a huge task.