Help identify a tree

Can someone help identify a tree that is growing in our front yard? It is an evergreen, about 25' and probably around 25 yrs old. It has blue-green needles (~3/4" long) growing mostly in clusters. The cones grow from the middle of the needle clusters. They are on average 1 1/4" long, skinny, soft and scaly. They resemble brown caterpillars, and there are tons of them. The bark is dark and scaly. We have lived here for 19 years and the tree was probably planted the year before we bought the house. At the time it was 8'-9' and had sparse unevenly spaced horizontal branches (my husband nicknamed it 'Bill-the-Cat tree' for its spastic appearance).
A landscaper we used called it a larch, but it doesn't look like any pictures of larches that I found.
Thanks! Sophia
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Sounds like some species of Cedrus or true cedar. Foliage grows in tufts or clusters and those caterpillar-like things are actually the male flowers. Females cones are held upright, but usually appear only well up into the top portion of the tree and shatter when mature, so not nearly as readily noticeable. Couldn't find a good online photo illustrating the male flowers, but here's a pretty good link on the other qualities of this tree. http://www.richmond.edu/~jhayden/conifers/cedrus.html
btw, you might want to look for another landscaper with more smarts - larches are deciduous and their flowers are little nubbins that appear before the new needles are fully extended and not at all caterpillar-like in appearance. Larches also tend to have pink or reddish colored bark, not the dark charcoal gray of the cedars.
pam - gardengal
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You are right on, Pam! I found the same exact tree at a local nursery and it happens to be 'Blue Atlas Cedar'. A good picture of it is at http://www.monrovia.com/plantinf.nsf/0/D4E64821AF015BF98825684D0070DADD .
Now for our current dilemma. This tree has grown too big for the area. It should never have been planted where it is. Is there a market for mature trees? It's such a beautiful tree, I'd hate to have to chop it down. We are in the suburbs of Philadelphia, BTW.
Sophia
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That tree cannot be relocated without doing significant root damage. Then the foliage will have to be cut back to compensate. Relocation of mature trees that have not been grown for that purpose is a waste of time and effort.
JMHO
John
On 20 Apr 2004 08:03:50 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Sophia) wrote:

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Sophia - call me. I do alot of trransplanting of very large trees. My site has my number. I will be in Philly in a few days. Mike
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Mike LaMana, MS
Heartwood Consulting Services, LLC
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Do the large seed cones (not the small pollen or male cones) point up or down?? What part of the world are you in? Do the needles stay on all year or fall off in winter?
A pic would sure expedite this process.
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Mike LaMana, MS
Heartwood Consulting Services, LLC
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