General discussion

dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)August 3, 2012

My conifer garden tours give me the side benefit to interact with a diversified group of gardeners. They have many questions. Some I can answer others I cannot. I am sure the same applies to those who interact on this forum.

This has never been tried before but let's give it a try.

This thread is an open opportunity to discuss any issues encompassing conifer subject matter.

Your wants, dislikes, how to do it, when not to do it, where to buy, give a ways, planting tips, disease/insect control, and generally questions you were hesitant to ask for one reason or another.

Let's make this a broad based question and answer thread.

Open to any subject matter. Ask away.

I'll start by giving away two Ginkgo biloba species 1st year seedlings. This is a big tree. One to customer. I'll pot them after the leaves fall and send them your way. USPS.

Dave

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jinxz5(Z 5a)

Dave, It's usually fun to be on a tour and I too enjoy talking plants with visitors. We have hundreds of different conifers and woodies. However, the comment we can always count on is....I didn't know there was more than one kind of.........Gingko. It always makes us smile. Jay

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 11:30AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

being an 'extra' on the regional meeting..

this summer was the first time i had 'many' peeps thru the garden.. who actually 'knew' about conifers.. [and i am talking volume.. not just small groups of 2 or 3 .. as with joy in winter]

usually the garden tours are hosta specific.. and sometimes peeps spun around to see a conifer..

but it was a big thrill ... to have 20 odd peeps.. in 2 days ... who knew stuff i didnt know.. and enjoyed stuff i shared with them ...

who knew ginkgo seeded in z5 .... is this normal dave?? .. or perhaps a warm winter thing ??? and which ginkgo are they off of???

in the olden days on GW.. they used to call this an 'Idyll' ... sorta what i thought of as a gang of friends sitting in the garden.. just shootin the bull ... [wonder how that will translate to another language.. lol ...]

ken

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 11:42AM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

Ken,

This Ginkgo, a 11-10-2010 photo, started dropping seeds 2 years ago. Not a big deal and there is no bad smell from the seeds as most say there is. Do the seeds germinate in Kansas City. I guess they do. I actually have 3 new seedlings instead of two. Is my micro-climate a contributing factor? I don't know. When I planted this tree I knew nothing about species or cultivars. $15.00 and 6 ft. tall. Planted in 1988.

Dave

Today 8-3- 2012. I up limbed it to get more sun to my conifers A fairly narrow growing Ginkgo. which works to my benefit.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 1:39PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I'll tell you one thing that grass is looking pretty damn good for the heat and drought you have.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 3:01PM
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firefightergardener(7/8)

I'll add some plants to the 'giveaway', especially if people don't mind some shipping costs. If there's enough interest, I can look at which specimens in September/October.

-Will

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 3:13PM
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maple_grove_gw

I will also have plants in the fall for the 'giveaway', although mine come with a catch - I'd like to trade for scion wood next winter. :0)

Alex

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 3:37PM
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arceesmith

Here is a general question - sort of... I cannot think of any strongly weeping or pendulous forms of Picea orientalis. Seems like there must be one or two out there. What have I missed?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 3:47PM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

"I'll tell you one thing that grass is looking pretty damn good for the heat and drought you have".

Whass...so is my water bill. I have no choice but to sustain my garden.

rc,

I had Picea orientalis 'Pendula'. It expired in last years heat. I never considered it very pendulous. Beautiful conifer but never lived up to my expectations.

Maybe Edwin will chime in and give some direction.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 4:16PM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Randall and Dave,
I do have a 'Pendula' which is showing pendulous branches.
Because I tranplanted it 2 years it was a bit stessed and made some cones because I think it had in mind that it possibly could die...
I collected the cones and sown the seeds and till my surprise some seedlings arose, even some yellow one's, possibly pollinated by a 'Skylands' which is standing nearby.
Now I do hope that a straight weeper, or may be a golden straight weeper will appaer...will be continued...in 5 years :0)

On the other hand I just saw a pic of a the biggest weeping one I ever saw at the Picea orientalis photo gallary 2012 a few seconds ago...

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 4:52PM
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zephyrgal(8 NW Oregon)

I don't have conifers to share but do have plenty of perennials to be rid. I've been longing for a Ginkgo. Gardening with trees and shrubs is my latest passion. I've taken with the notion if I have to mess with a plant more than I care to I don't want to bother with it. Out the window it goes! I've been ruthlessly ridding of my perennials to make room for the shrubs. I welcome visitors anytime if you're in the neighborhood.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 5:31PM
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lowville5

Hello,

I can't believe I am going to post, but here goes ...

I've been reading your conifer posts daily for the past several months. I envy your knowledge and camaraderie. I have started reading several books on conifers as well. I dream of going on a road trip and touring any of your gardens one day. My daughter studies in Philadelphia and I drive there often.

We have 2 acres in zone 5 one hour west of Toronto, Ontario. In the fall I would like to start a few conifer gardens. If you were starting out, what are the ten conifers you would buy for a zone 5 garden in full sun with clay soil? We have dozens of spruce, pine trees we planted at the road 25yrs ago, so there will be a nice solid 'backdrop' visually.

Thank you for any help you would be willing to provide me.
Jennifer

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 1:29PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Hi Jennifer, welcome to the forum and welcome to the realm of the "real" gardeners, the guys that live on the edge of mountains, the guys and gals that climb 100 feet to collect that one cone or that one witches' broom...the athletes of the 'Conifers Forum'! ;D

You know I think you deserve a 1 hour 45 minute road trip to Whistling Gardens to visit our friend Darren Heimbecker. Not only does he have rare conifers for sale, he has recently, himself, built an arboretum that I would like to tour! Darren is really a gentleman, too.

I think you should start there. I think you'll find enough information & ideas right there and all the conifers you'd ever need, as well, at his nursery.

Dax

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 7:34AM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

zephyrgal, I'm with you! My once perennial-heavy garden wore me out and was too drab in winter. Now I'm almost perennial-free! I donated many to plant sales or gave them to friends or just composted them. I've never looked back and you won't, either, especially in our mild zones where we can be outdoors in winter.
Get yourself a Ginkgo - there are some great dwarf varieties. The fall foliage is a sight to behold, and many have interesting structures that are attractive in winter. We're headed to Oregon next month to check out some gardens and nurseries - I always love to visit the PNW.
Sara

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:56AM
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alley_cat_gw

Just to add to Saras post above, Ive purchased a few dwarf ginkgos from Whitman Farms. Nice selection, nice trees, nice folks to deal with. Ship west coast to east coast...no problems.
ALs 00.02

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 11:21AM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

Alley Cat which do you have? My favorites are 'Todd's Dwarf' and 'Mariken' because I like the bushy forms and they lend themselves to a bit of pruning for shape, but I'd be interested to know which you have experience with and like.
Sara

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:09PM
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zephyrgal(8 NW Oregon)

Sara, please visit my garden in the PNW. If your driving highway 101 north you'll be right in my neighborhood. I'll even give you a few perennials! Ha!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:28PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

We'll be starting in Washington (Bellingham) and then driving down to the Portland area (Oregon Garden and nurseries) and then to Roseburg to visit a private garden and then up to Portland and back to Seatac to fly out. Where are you on that route? This is a pretty packed trip, but we are already planning a return so might be better to wait for that. And dang...no way to take perennials on the airplane!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 1:00PM
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zephyrgal(8 NW Oregon)

Sara, I'm located on the coast, south of Astoria and north of Tillamook, due west of Portland about 100 miles, doesn't look like I'm on your route.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 1:12PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

No, and we are already pushing it by going to Roseburg. But the next trip will be more 'coastal' so I'll clip your post and refer back when we plan that one. If you are an ACS member, the Western Regional conference is down here this year (Oct 19 and 20) and my garden is part of the program. We'll connect at some point, north or south!
Sara

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 1:52PM
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lowville5

Thank you, Dax. I didn't know about Whistling Gardens, but now that I have spent some time on their website, I can't wait to go! Once I tour the arboretum, I'll see if I can speak with Darren to create a wish list of conifers to order from his garden centre. Thank you.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 2:01PM
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glaciers_end(8WA)

Hey Sara, if you're looking for a fun conifer garden to poke around, Glacier's End is a mere 3 miles north of I5 near Olympia. You'll be passing by twice.

PM me if you're interested. I love to tour coneheads around.

~Dave

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 2:03PM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Yep, 'Glacier's End' is worth your time to visit it.
Henk and I also did this last winter and we had a great time there. We saw a wonderful garden with a very nice assortment of conifers!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 3:12PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

Dave I will look at our itin. One of those times we're going past is in the wee hours. We really want to visit Hoh so I know we'll be back up there. I'll send you a note.
Sara

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 3:22PM
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beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)

I love the conifer forum because everyone is friendly and so many of you are knowledgeable and passionate about conifers. Plus there are so many great pictures to drool over. As I posted a few weeks back I am getting rid of many of my perennials because I got bitten by a copperhead lurking ( do snakes lurk?) under a daylily plant. So anyone in northern VA that wants plants please let me know. Conifers are more manageable and I can mulch them so I will not have the weeding problem I did with perennials. I want to know which conifers do well in fairly hot conditions planted up against a stone patio.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 4:01PM
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drdna(4b)

OK, I have a question: We all know that most cultivars are grafted from the "mother plant", what we would call "clones". We also know that each species of tree have their own maximum longevity.If you take, for instance, Abies concolor "Candicans" wich has been there since the late '20s...What's going to happen in 200 years when the mother plant and all the scions taken from it will have reached their maximum life expectancy? Will they all die at the same time or go on forever? Is that a stupid question?

Dan

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 6:14PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

No, but a funny one!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 6:58PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

drdna.

"Juvenile growth" two words for your answer. (as opposed to old-hardwood). Juvenile is new, it takes on the traits of a new beginning.

Dax

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 12:41AM
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alley_cat_gw

Hey Sara, Im growing...'Chase Manhatten','Munchkin','Chris's Dwarf','Troll','Witches Broom','Girards Spreader','Gnome','Chi Chi'. Like them all!Foto is 'Witches Broom'
DSC00662.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 7:45PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

Alley Cat great photo - and great choice of a planter box. I am writing an article on dwarf ginkgos so I may come back to you for some comments. Not enough people (at least out here) use these plants.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 10:08AM
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Cher(6 SW OH)

alleycat that is one fabulous tree.
Cher

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 11:32AM
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