Where did all the good ol boys and girls go?

whaas_5a(5A SE WI)March 7, 2014

I've certainly seen a dip in user participation in many forums but holy cripes a once thriving conifer forum from a year ago is practically deserted.

Whats up? GW did you do this?

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zephyrgal(8 NW Oregon)

Hey, I'm still here,checking the forum daily. Since we have our property up for grabs in Wheeler, I'm no longer planting conifers or anything else there. I may transplant a few trees in our new yard yet I'm limited with space, so, I'm leaning towards a more woodland garden and hopefully a new deck will afford me space for containers. I have noticed a drop off in particpation but likened it to winter weather. Then again, some may have moved on elsewhere to other forums of which I'm not a member. I do miss our old favorite members and hope some will chime in as well.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 10:30PM
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Forums everywhere are slowly fading; so are blogs. Seems twitter and facebook are taking over peoples' time.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 4:52AM
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It used to be a celebration of conifers with pictures, now it's just a question clinic. But this was the choice of a noisy few.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 5:46AM
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It's been a terrible winter... to depressing to think about conifers at the moment. Even to post on the forums, you have to be somewhat in the spirit. I planted dozens of conifers October 2013. From November: We got a foot of snow, it melted. We got another foot of snow, it rained. The day after it rained we got a deep freeze with temps pushing -10 to -20. Then we got another foot of snow... well you get the point lol. Keep in mind I also have clay soil. I'll let your imagination run wild with what all happened. Normally winters aren't that bad here... so I said what the heck and I did some fall planting. NEVER EVER AGAIN... will I do another fall planting. It's the absolute worst time to plant and I'll argue with anyone who says other wise lol. All it takes is a lot of snow, a good rain, followed by a deep freeze and you have half your plants out of the ground. Then your helpless because the soil is frozen. I'd give almost anything to have all my plants in the ground & fast forward 10 years when they're all large and well established. It's hard on a new collector. If I had 300 well established conifers, did a fall planting and then had a winter like this I would care less. Trying to get all of these things established while competing against mother nature is almost impossible.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 6:24AM
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Timely observation Whaas. You would think with being cooped up during this brutal winter there would be more participation not less.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 6:45AM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

It has been one brutal winter. I think being a little down makes you not engage as you would normally. There have also been a few negative posters that seemed intent on stirring up trouble instead of really participating. I think the group is strong enough to withstand that. I sure hope so anyway.

Without this group, I'd still be floundering around in the bindweed with only Juniperus scopulorum to show for it. This group has helped me make my yard a much more interesting place.

Rick, I feel your pain. When I started planting in 09 we had good precip, followed by years of severe drought. Then the flood hit in September last year. We're still saturated, not a good thing with clay soils. Spring will tell me what's survived but I look to have taken some hits. New planting opportunities!

My bet is, fast forward 4 - 6 weeks and the forum will be hopping again.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 9:18AM
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I sympathize with your loss. I lost 6-8 maybe more Cedrus libani established plants because the weather extremes this year.-12 F -0 F. here for the long haul week after week.

I am now seeing for the past few years many people jumping into the game here. They design large areas and plant many conifers as their bank account will allow them. I started out slow with one small area out front. I am now in my 15th year. In those 15 years I found out what worked and what didn't. When to plant and water and when to close the garden down and protect and string wrap those cultivars that will splay open under heavy snow & ice loads.

In other words I didn't try to accomplish what some are doing in the fast lane what it has taken others years to accomplish. Maybe a lesson to learn here especially if you are new at the game.

Regarding the weather we are all defenseless as to what's coming our way and we should be prepared to accept the losses as they occur.

In my last post "Maye we can get something going here" there were 35 responses. I did it because I sensed the downturn in participation here. I could post more fun things but everybody here knows every inch of my garden and I don't want more over kill. On the othe side of the coin I know several that post photos here for your enjoyment and receive very few if any comments.

Those of you that lurk but add nothing here participation is needed. Yes it evolved a little work but the rewarding comments off set that.

As to falling participation some of us are not to kind and others that show up here are trolls causing trouble. One time I was called everything in the book by some guy that lived in Colorado. He only posted two times and never came back. Never knew who he was.

Again I see some of us are to quick to correct newbies about their incorrect usage of trade name for cultivars. We should let that slide as to not embarrass them. Some never come back. Correction in those ares can come later.

What else? I don't know you tell us.


This post was edited by Davesconifers on Sat, Mar 8, 14 at 17:08

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 9:22AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

There we go, I knew many of you where in the balance!

I know many regular posters still post and participate so it is appreciated.


Some like life in the fast lane...just know you can change lanes at any time. Just post the damn photos, its not over kill!lol You and many others showed me a whole new world of gardening when I stopped in looking for screening plants. You never know when a new curious individual will stop in. I'm "learning" to put personality and posting styles aside to share God's work. Hope others will do the same.

All I can say to everyone is thanks for the inspriation and please get this thing rolling again. Spring is upon us....put the loses aside and look at it as a new start.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 10:24AM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

I still read. I am way below the average poster here on scientific conifer knowledge and so sometimes I have NO idea what I'm reading...let alone have anything of value to add to the conversation. It's a bit like reading a screen of programming language. LOL

I really want to ask dull questions like "Is there an ice cube's chance in hell that my WBAC's will make it if the top 90% of them is brown but it's green when I scratch the trunk with my fingernail????".................but I know I'm going to be told it was only a matter of time b/c I was dancing on the edge of my zone already by planting them. ROFL

So...there's my two cents from zone 6....err zone 3 this year. ;)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 2:09PM
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Dave - I understand... planting in the fall was a lesson learned. Over the past 3 years I've planted only in the spring and have had good success. I planted last fall since we usually have ok winters here... but then we got hit with one of the hardest.

I wouldn't say I'm in the fast lane... we both just have different planning techniques and goals. You took it bed by bed adding conifers, companion plants, rocks, etc and it looks great. I'm unable to do that because I'm spacing everything so they can easily get 30' wide before touching. In a bed that's 80x30 I may only have 6-7 conifers and these conifers are only 1' tall.

I'm planting on my final 2 acres this spring. I'm going to keep the beds outlined with roundup, but I'm not filling them with mulch. By the end of this spring, I should have all my beds outlined and all my large growing conifers planted. Over the next 4-5 years I'll just watch them grow and periodically rearrange a few. Then once these small guys get to be 6-7 feet tall, then I'll start working bed by bed just to add a few dwarf conifers then top the bed of with mulch. I'm not adding companion plants or anything of that matter just trees and mulch. That's why I'm not taking it bed by bed... otherwise I would be planting 5 conifers a year and adding 40 yards of mulch to that bed.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 4:26PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

"NEVER EVER AGAIN... will I do another fall planting. It's the absolute worst time to plant and I'll argue with anyone who says other wise lol."

This really depends on the plants involved and the climate. Even though we had the worse winter in 20 years here, I have, for example, a "zn 7" rated rhododendron that came through this winter like a champ. I did mulch it, and it was low enough that it had good snow cover in all the worse freezes, but I'm still glad I planted it last fall and not now.

As for this forum...as I'm pretty sure I recently posted somewhere else recently on the interwebs, advanced gardening is most definitely NOT a growth industry. The heyday we saw in the 90s, with maturing baby boomers taking up gardening as a nostalgic pasttime, will never come back. We are living in the short attention span future. Blogs take too long to read: twitter has now taken over that web "ecosystem". Likewise even perennial plants will be too slow for most people: you have to wait a couple months for them to bloom, sometimes even a year? Fuggedaboutit. And collectible trees & shrubs? In 50 years will be as arcane as bespoke bookbinding. Which has been around since the Middle Ages, and probably will be around in another thousand, just practiced by a vanishingly small part of the populace. Sure if you need a green blob to "landscape" your "foundation", you'll always be able to pick one up at Walmart. Even since a relatively recent epoch, like 10 years, I'd say 50% of the "rare plant nurseries that matter(ed)" are gone.
As I've said for ages about gardenweb and similar communities, its easy to forget we are in something of a self-selected bubble here. It's easy to think that interest in gardening is burgeoning when you're surrounded by like minded people. Illustrative is an amusing couple I've known for all of my adult life. Salty old New England dowager, owner of several million dollars of commercial real estate in the northeast, and her third husband...pesky, haughty, Ivy-educated WASP with a lackluster career in academia who was all to happy to find a sugar momma so he could live a retired life as a member of the landed gentry. Back in the early 2000s, with much fanfare to their acquaintances, they "retired" to a farm in the Virginia Hunt country. They spent a lot of money to outfit a house with an elevator so they could live there for the rest of their days, and planned elaborate undertakings in the garden, including a greenhouse. I visited them and gave them some rare plants, and recommended they visit Rarefind, Plant Delights, et al. A couple years ago they up and left for an upscale condo complex in a inner suburb. They were just tired of the whole thing. And, so, that's the overall story. The dabblers are done dabbling. We will always be around, but of course, if *we* were the only people buying from specialist nurseries, they'd be in trouble, because there aren't many of us.
I sincerely hope the existing landscape of rare plant nurseries remains stable, and that the housing market picks up enough in the next 5 years to sustain them. But I would wholeheartedly advise any young person not to go into it as a career, and I'm glad I didn't. If you want to do something like "native plant bioremediation" and "commercial landscaping" you might find a niche; but running an interesting nursery or doing interesting landscaping work is simply not going to be an option. It was all kind of a bubble in some ways. A lot of collectible plants got sold to people who didn't even know what they were buying. Or landscapers could do well in upscale markets simply because they knew the right people. If you bought a liner produced by Iseli or whoever in the 90s or 2000s, in all likelihood you were "subsidized" by stupid rich people who were buttered up by some charming, well-connected landscaper in the Main Line suburbs of Philly, or Mercer Island, or whatever. In the wealthy suburbs of DC, I know one such landscaper because I worked for him briefly in the 90s. I haven't spoken to him recently but I highly doubt he can still get away with doing the elaborate plans he once did: those in turn supported the rare plant wholesale nursery market. I know another guy who got into landscaping during the RE boom of the early 2000s. LIkewise, he believe those days are never coming back (even in the ever-recession-free upscale suburbs of DC: your tax dollars at work supporting beltway bandits) and has moved into another career.

This post was edited by davidrt28 on Sat, Mar 8, 14 at 18:55

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 5:01PM
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wannabegardnr(7 Maryland)

Well, I'm new and I'm here. Really like it when people post pictures of their own plants and gardens. And very grateful when questions get answered.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 1:33AM
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I still browse by once in a while but now it's more like once or twice a week than once or twice a day. Between the tiny photos and advertising blitz, I'm on a bit of a strike from Gardenweb.

I do appreciate the stories, help and advise I can always get here and I'll be around more in May/June to post some photos but this isn't the first thing I click now when I think 'conifers.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 12:41PM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

David, I enjoyed reading your post.
Yes, it looks like the halcyon days of yesterday are gone. I'm glad I was able to retire when I did.
By the way, I did four landscapes on Mercer Island. :-)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 12:52PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I just assumed it was the Winter....
outdoor gardening activity of all types on all Fora slows considerably during the Winter. The Hot Pepper Forum was fairly dead for a month or two, but now that seed-starting has commenced there is a spike in activity. Same with Citrus....once the trees go outside again and the re-potting begins, the Forum wakes up.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 2:33PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Cryptomeria japonica 'Tansu,' Calocedrus decurrens, Cedrus libani, Acer buergerianum, some moss, a pot of Sempervivum, and Olea europea 'Skylark dwarf'.....

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 4:24PM
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monkeytreeboy15(Zone 7b/8a)

As Resin stated, Facebook has been much more active for conifer lovers as of late. Many previous forum members are active posters there, possibly because Facebook keeps the ads under control.
It also seems like a much more agreeable atmosphere for all participants. This more desirable media has lessened the desire for me to browse GardenWeb as frequently as I once did. However, the fact that I am able to post my photos on the business page and Facebook page for the nursery at which I work also reduces my need for posting here.

I, like Will, come by once every week or two just to see if anything is happening, but, more often than not, it's pretty dead..

If any conifer-lovers want to be indoctrinated to Facebook conifer groups, I'll be happy to get you in the flow.

And spring is on the way, guys! It was 60+ degrees here in Oregon today, and the daffodils are all blooming!
Best of luck.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 1:13AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

I would be curious to see GW's stats on hits per year or rankings compared to other web sites then look at post counts.

Several things are probably at play:

- Even on my Note it is a pain to type on a tablet / phone. So while I can check Gardenweb every time I am sitting down "thinkin" or while my wife is watching House Hunters I am less prone to reply especially in depth than when I am on a real PC.

-Gardenweb is apparently designed by the Myspace folks. That is to say they like flashy falling snow which clutters the page, minimizes the content and slows their site on old equipment. Computers are lasting longer these days and while the money may be in the folks who own the latest, I seem to own it ALL! (BTW, I just pitched a functioning Windows 95 machine because the rest of the world got too cluttered to function on it).

-Facebook is popular, clean, and folks are somewhat legitimate on there. It takes awhile and some consistency with proxies to build a real looking fake profile. But still don't believe the likes you see on the commercial side there or on Youtube. Go Black Hat World.

-Twitter, ugh. I suppose it is good for posting selfies (Thank you girls!) and links. But I am too long winded or must have a longer than a sentence attention span.

-The economy still isn't back in the fake wealth production game for the average American so that pinches the average suburban collector.

Imagine how long that would have taken to type on an Ipad and how many typos or miscorrected words I would have created.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 9:54AM
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I personally think GW took a hit when they downsized photo content to add more advertizing space.

Haven't liked it since that move was implemented.

Ads are nonexistent using Monzilla with add block.

I have just begun moving to Facebook but will probably always linger here.


Here is a link that might be useful: Facebook

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 1:44PM
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I'm sure it'll pick back up come spring... when everyone is sharing there garden photos, new arrivals, etc. A majority of the posts on here last year were photo related posts and lets face it... there isn't much photo worthy in the winter especially for us new guys. That's why you have such a drop in user participation during the cold months. Our little guys are covered under snow and our new arrivals don't come in till spring.

But on a side note... it would be awesome if they updated this generic forum software to something like every other site uses which is Vbulletin.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 3:02PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I know the winter had something to do with it but other forums aren't as dead.

I think Dave hit it with ad space taking over picture space and enforcing galleries in another section. This forum was one of the most picture rich forums. I think that is the main reason IMO.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 5:46PM
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I used to try and post questions from time to time and got very few responses that were helpful. I know there are people on this forum that could have shared valuable advice, but they did not respond. That is why I mostly read and don't write. Today will be an exception.

In response to davidrt28.....

People that grow rare plants, or just grow what they like regardless if it is rare do it because they love it. Some will try their hand at starting a business. I'm sure many are poorly capitalized, and don't make it long term. If the only reason your in the nursery business is cash, your right, it might not be the best route. You seem to be saying wealthy folks and new house construction are the only route for rare plant nurseries. Middle income people that are tiring of pruning or paying to prune hollies and weed bushes engulfing the sides of their house are a good market for slow growing dwarf conifers and related plant material. Peoples lot sizes continue to get smaller, and again dwarf conifers, dwarf maples, perennials, etc. allow for color, texture, flowers, fragrance, and women especially appreciate those special touches to their residence. No general contractor around here is going to spend money on anything but the most basic plant material for new construction. The time to market to these neighborhoods is about 10 years after the privet, hollies and laurels have taken over. There is business for those that are willing to seek it. Many people will not be willing to take time to consider an alternative, but some will, and with a bit of education, these customers can appreciate what rare plant nurseries have to offer.

I think you may be painting with a broad brush, but that's just my perspective of my little corner of the world.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 1:43AM
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beng(z6 western MD)

Winter's part of it -- hard to get enthusiastic when the landscape is frozen, browned & above freezing temps are a rarity -- tho the cold here finally relaxed somewhat -- 65F here briefly yesterday! Until the next round of cold & wind.

David, agree, we plant enthusiasts are a rare breed. Large areas of suburbs/communities that were well-treed & pleasant when I was young are mostly barren now -- trees get removed, but nobody ever replaces them.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 8:28AM
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I think the decline started when they stopped allowing the photo galleries that FF Will used to initiate. They were awesome. After that it was the shrunken print and photo area allowed for forum contributers, followed by nuisance advertising and pop ups. Also a couple personality conflicts have been thrown in the mix. (and that happens on forums). And now a hard winter.
Many years ago the maple forum was real popular and enjoyable. Now...not so much.
I hope that doesnt happen here.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 11:41AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Does this space look wider and refreshed or is it just me?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 12:25PM
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wannabegardnr(7 Maryland)

They modernized the look and feel, but the content area still looks the same size as before.
2/3rd for main content. 1/3rd for ads and links back to GW. That ratio is pretty standard these days.
I'm seeing this new look right now. Had the old look this morning for me.
I would like it better if the clip/email/report line was below the comment. Looks like too much white space to me.

This post was edited by wannabeGardnr on Wed, Mar 12, 14 at 12:57

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 12:53PM
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If this site is to be believed, it appears that GardenWeb has been experiencing it's consistent ebs and flows of traffic, peaking in the late spring and falling until mid-december, then traffic slowly picks through jan, feb, and surges from march - til june...

One interesting thing is how much traffic now comes from mobile. As someone above mentioned, it's ok to browse the site on mobile, but sucks to respond at length. Maybe we have all become mobile lurkers and no one posts content rich posts anymore...

One thing I would say about the industry, is that in the past I think a lot of nursery's could get away with being "above" selling to retail buyers. I always thought it was arrogant that some nurseries sell exclusively wholesale. They used to be able to get away with this because the economy was booming and the McMansion owners wanted "Unique" trees, but had no knowledge of what they were and didn't care, as long as it was different from their neighbors. Those days are over, even the nice houses are just throwing in green blobs nowadays. In my opinion, this is a good thing for the collector, as it forces these wholesale nurseries to take a holistic approach if they want to be successful.

I think Conifer Kingdom represents this shift in thinking. Sell Wholesale, sell online, create a great, user friendly website, make it easy for anyone to easily grab their credit card and buy some trees, offer multiple sizes, fair shipping, easy payment (no checks)..In my opinion, this is the future business model that nurseries need to adjust to if they want to be successful.

Here is a link that might be useful: GardenWeb Traffic

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 1:31PM
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Yeah for me, the ads are no doubt the biggest problem. I'm fine with some advertising, a banner here and there, even a popup or two, but when 1/3 of the ENTIRE column is ads(or blank space once the adds have run their course), I'm not OK with that. It shrunk previously nice quality pictures into barely visible photos that I had to click on to see on the full screen.

I realize these sites are free and to both make money and pay for the bandwidth/hosting, they use advertising but of course there is a breaking point where the ads are so obnoxious people will slowly cease to visit your site. For me, that's about where I am at. I didn't mind too much being harassed about the photo galleries because there was a ton of positive feedback from other forum users. I never made sense to me to exclude the galleries to another section, after all, the photos were what was drawing people from google searches, but the ads in their current, in-your-face format, I cannot abide.

I'll post once or twice in Spring/Summer but my days of frequenting the site and helping to bring viewers to the gardenweb forums are over. Unless they are listening and have a half an ounce of common sense??


    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 3:33PM
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gardens1(5b ON)

Will, I for one will miss you. When I was searching something, I always clicked on the gardenweb ones because usually several would chime in with their experiences and oftentimes, pictures. Your pictures were always very interesting, showing beautiful gardens and gave me many ideas for my own. I have not been a member long, and do not post often, but enjoy seeing what others are up to, often gaining new perspectives on cultivars and adding to my wish list.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 12:05AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I'd agree...I can't tell you how often I'd get a hit on the parades/galleries when searching on Google.

It was a quick read with a pic and potentially more info on the correct name and the story behind the plant.

ACS is nice but with the parades/galleries you catch a glance at other similar plants, at least at the species level.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 9:48AM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

I think most points have been covered, but if I could ramble on a moment:

1. Around here, it seems like that among new construction, you have two extremes - either wooded lots (which have lots of trees, but you can't really "garden" per se, except for shade loving stuff, and have no choice in the matter as to the trees you have), or old farm fields that nobody plants trees on for the most part...except maybe the standard-fare home depot selections and the same crap every single contractor on the East Coast plants.

2. People have become, on the whole, ridiculously arborphobic. "That tree could fall on my house in 28 years if we have an ice storm and a 83 mph wind blows from the ESE and the moon is aligned properly, so I won't plant any trees". I don't know what it is. Older suburban neighborhoods, build before the 90s, generally have a lot of tree cover (even if mostly only the very common trees and some in poor health or poorly placed). It seems that around the early 1990s, people just quit planting trees for some reason. Neighborhoods started after that point seem to have far fewer trees and less tree cover (even adjusted for age of the trees that have been planted). Part of it is lot size - between demand for space, and laziness (nobody wants to mow a lawn anymore) lots are so small you can't even fit a Japanese maple in the front yard.

3. Contractors and even garden centers are intellectually lazy, so won't even suggest a less common cultivar of an Acer rubrum (something other than October Glory) let alone a dwarf Taxodium or a Cunninghamia, even if both would grow just as well as the maple here.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 7:28AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

This site is impossible to use without blocking pop-ups etc. by browsing with Firefox or using another method. Anyone not taking that approach will not be able to have a pleasant experience here.

On top of all the posters the site attracts, who no matter how much they think they know what they are talking about, really don't. And the ones who are here primarily to have their egos stroked, get in a snit as soon as another point of view appears.

I'd think the same problem would carry over to Facebook etc., but I haven't been to any of these other places on the web much.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 4:13PM
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wannabegardnr(7 Maryland)

C'mon it's not as bad as that. This is a public forum and so there are all kinds of people here. I think that's the nice part. There are plant geeks, and there are homeowners planting their first tree. People help, people get help, people share what makes them happy, and seeing that makes others happy, people get to discuss their interests with similar minded people. I think it's great.
Blogs are great for posting your point of view. Facebook is great for sharing thoughts and photos. I think forums are still best for posting questions and being able to search for answers. It works best when all kinds are here.
So I hope you, the experienced and experts, don't leave the rest of us to form your own exclusive club. You don't know how many people you are influencing without even trying when they can see your photos and read your informed discussions.
Someone just mentioned this recently, and I agree that it is one thing to read a description on a nursery website or even on the Conifer Society database (which is very incomplete) and quite another to hear descriptions and experiences from actual people growing that plant in different areas, and seeing how those plants look in real gardens. Bonus, you can ask a question to that person near your area who is growing the plant you want.
Also, as a new comer, you may be shy to ask some question. Anonymity of the forum helps with that. Anonymity can also invite rude comments, but really, someone doing that kind of thing obviously has problems of their own, and why do I have to be all hot and bothered about that as an adult. I can simply choose to ignore. I think the benefits outweigh the inconveniences. But if the Garden Web people are listening, it would be nice to tone down the ads a bit, and maybe a 3/4 and 1/4 ratio for main content vs ads.
You all have a good weekend. We have another snow storm coming. I hope I didn't kill my newly (fall) planted perennials by looking for and uncovering any new growth and looking around under the mulch for signs of emerging bulbs. 60+ degree weather had me really excited. Ofcourse we dipped back to the teens just the next day.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 4:48PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

At one point this forum was appearing to be more of a draw than the ACS forum. I don't know what the current balance is. Maybe some forums on some sites never go anywhere because forums have become partly supplanted by other formats like Facebook, as mentioned. Some web sites have more link icons to outside platforms like Facebook and Pinterest than I can keep up with.

You'd think people would have better things to do - there seems to be boundless interest in all manner of internet driven communication. What's funny is how usual it is now for people and organizations who you might think in the past would actually not want to hear it to solicit opinions from anyone who cares to give them. What are these entities getting out of all the often extraneous or even offensive chattering about them and their topics - or unrelated topics that somebody thinks are related? Often the statements put up are as loopy as if someone ranted that a featured bread recipe was connected to a communist plot.

Meanwhile the apparently recently retired computer help I used for some years said web sites were still going be the dominant element for many years. I've looked at a Facebook gardening group a friend participates in and thought there was hardly anything to the level of activity - about the equivalent of one ~active GardenWeb thread, it seemed at the time.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 11:02PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

I'm loathe to join facebook when their point is to sell every bit of information about me to the highest bidding advertiser. I've heard tales of good garden forums there (not specifically conifer related) but - and I'm sure some people here will agree with me LOL - I think I spend too much time on gardenweb as it is.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 10:09AM
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I agree with the above. Plus the fact that too much personal information gets divulged or can be mined by joining facebook. I'd rather limit my online participation to forums like GW and other, less inclusive, less wide open sites.

I've been a member here for a long time....going on a couple of decades......and I have seen the same ebb and flow of visitor traffic through the seasons as we are now witnessing. January, February, March are always as slow as molasses but it will pick up when the gardening season comes into to full force in the next 6-8 weeks.

And I have to say that the comments about excessive ads and pop-ups surprises me. I don't experience hardly any at all and just use Explorer with the standard firewalls. Didn't realize this was much of a problem anymore regardless of the Internet server one used......

I have to be honest when I say I read more than post. Most of the topics don't hold a great deal of interest for me and I tend only to respond to questions that get neglected or overlooked or when erroneous info is provided. Since conifers are not my area of concentrated expertise, I let others respond first - there is an amazing knowledge base here :-) But I still remain pretty active in some other forums.

I also live in an area where the Internet is not widely available so I am not online at home. And since my work life is pretty seasonal and therefore computer access the same, I tend not to post much in winter anyway.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 5:41PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

I guess I'm at the place where I've planted my entire landscape and all the years (I joined GW in 2002) of intense participation of selecting what I planted and the knowledge I gleaned and will still need from time to time are much more infrequent. I enjoy more staring out the window or going to my greenhouse to look at everything than being at my computer now. Which may change as life goes in cycles.

I can't express it any differently I guess.

Additionally, birds fascinate me and spending time with my dog & my immediate family & now I'm interested in nut trees.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 6:40PM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

Dax, I don't think there's a gardener on this forum who can say that they have planted their entire landscape. Heck, I've been planting mine since 1978 and I'm still going strong planting things. I won't be done until I can't swing a shovel.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 10:19PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Mike, true dat.

As magical as your landscape is, I think I will come to a different intersection and stick to far-spaced trees/shrubs, and then my shovel days will have ended. I have a different theme here and it's all about less work.

I have a renovation to do yet. Almost dead center on my property I'm going to remove (very few because... I planted very few) conifers and a few deciduous trees and that's going to become an alley way of pecans. Those to be large-pecan-trees will separate my property I think in a magical way...

And I have yet dead plantings to replace... and last year I walked my property adding stakes to empty spots that I had not considered useable space... for dwarf or miniature conifers.

Yep, I'm a 365 gardener.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 7:35AM
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silver78(Z7 MD)

Nice to see pineresin is still around after all these years.... now if only we could find greyneedle.

Been a couple of years since I posted. I lost my battle with the fungus and cut down my last dead sequoia in 2013. A sad day. But on the bright side my green giants are huge - approaching 40 feet in height :-).

More recently I have focused on hybrid oaks and chestnuts. Always something to plant.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:29PM
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I'm new to asking questions in this forum but have been popping in to Garden Web forums for years. Have been a gardener for several years but have made the journey from perennials to shrubs and this year have developed a keen interest in conifers. Maybe it's wisdom with age, eh? Actually I find the older I get the less I want so many flowers. I want texture, form, and color. Lucky me, I live in the Portland OR area and have access to some of those specialty nurseries and the Hardy Plant Society.

We don't have a McMansion, quite the reverse in fact. We live in a 1950 ranch house on 1/2 acre, back half of which is partially sloped. We do most of the landscaping ourselves and only hire out the tough jobs to the pros.
Right now we want to learn more about the smaller conifers, appropriate to landscaping close in to the house, seeing as we inherited a huge old cedar, 3 feet from the house, which our tree guy says definitely has to come out soon if we don't want to brace it.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 10:24PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

Hey Alygal want to join us the first weekend in August in Forest Grove OR for the Annual Western Region meeting of the ACS? We'll have some private tours of specialty nurseries that are not open to the public as well as private gardens and the ever popular auction of rare and hard to find conifers? You have to join the ACS but it's only $38. Your area has some of our longest-term, knowledgeable and active members.

Hope to see you there!


Here is a link that might be useful: ACS membership application

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 10:42AM
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Thank you Sara, I will download that application.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 11:11AM
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i still read occasionally :)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 1:32PM
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Timely observation Whaas. You would think with being cooped up during this brutal winter there would be more participation not less.

Not me- I have other interests that take my attention in the winter. I can't get into my yard if I can't work in it.
Then when spring hits I am too busy to play online. It's only when I feel as if I have a handle on spring chores that I take time to play on forums. Later in the season when it gets brutally hot I tend to live in the forums.

So my participation here is all about timing.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 6:55AM
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