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2018 NER Meeting in Washington DC

Hilton Hotel and Executive Meeting Center - Rockville, MD


Gotelli Conifer Collection
National Arboretum, Washington DC


Come to Washington in October! The heat and humidity of summer will be gone and so will the throngs of tourists. Washington will be downright pleasant. Sit back and relax on the tour bus as it navigates around D.C.

It gets better and better! Check out the latest auction additions: Gee Farms Exclusive Brooms for Auction

UPDATE! We’re finalizing the auction list and we’ve got some fabulous plants. You can view the Prelimary Auction List for DC Meeting, which we will update as we get closer to the meeting. There is going to be a very special plant, which is the smallest conifer that most of us will have ever seen: Thuja plicata ‘Haley Bop’, donated by Iseli Nursery. Read about it in the ConiferBase. Almost impossible to find in the trade, and small enough to fit in anyone’s suitcase!

Register Online Now

Registration form to download and print

Meeting Schedule

We’ll visit the US National Arboretum, a USDA research institution, and its 446 acres of gardens, research plots, and wooded areas. There are conifers throughout the Arboretum, but the centerpiece is the Gotelli Conifer Collection, an assembly of hundreds of dwarf and slower growing conifers in every shape, size, and color. You’ll have the opportunity to see some older specimens here, which we don’t always see in private gardens.

Be sure to check out the photo gallery at the bottom of this page!

Washington is a city where north meets south, and the Gotelli Collection is no exception. Located on seven acres, the collection features specimens from around the world, and conifers native to USDA Zone 2 (brrrrr…) to Zone 8 (ahhh…) grow side-by-side. In addition, dozens of crape myrtles and Japanese maples, which complement the collection, will be beginning their fall display.

While at the Arboretum, you can tour of the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum. Among the 150 miniature trees there are many fabulous conifers. The oldest bonsai in the collection, a Japanese white pine, has been in training for almost 400 years. A Japanese red pine was in the Japanese Imperial household for 200 years and was part of the initial gift of 53 bonsai masterpieces to the American people for our bicentennial. Be sure to see the bald cypress and the California redwood expertly crafted in miniature. The maples, as well as many other deciduous trees, will be showing their fall colors.

For a special treat, we will also visit two gardens in northern Virginia. Joe Hallal is a certified conifer nut and has conifers artfully arranged throughout his lovley property. Joe claims to love Japanese white pines, but it is obvious that he loves all conifers. (It’s a condition perhaps you can relate to.) Joe’s love of conifers is so infectious, he got his neighbor, Larry Peters, hooked. Larry is rushing to catch up to Joe, incorporating his own unique design style into his garden, including a beautiful water feature in the backyard. Both Joe and Larry are excited to show you around.

It’s always exciting to visit a conifer nursery, and Susanna Farms will not disappoint. Susanna Farms is the largest conifer and maple nursery in the Mid-Atlantic area. They specialize in dwarf and unusual evergreens and hard-to-find Japanese maples. The rolling hills of Montgomery County, Maryland, are a beautiful backdrop for the thousands of conifers offered for sale. Be sure to leave enough time to walk through the large specimen collection where you will find many one-of-a-kind plants.

Our guest speaker on Friday night will be Dennis Groh, past president of the ACS. His talk, “Fall Color Lottery,” discusses combining evergreen conifers with the fall color of deciduous trees to create spectacular visuals. Those living in New England likely take fall color for granted, but this remarkable phenomenon does not occur naturally everywhere; colors can vary both in intensity and quality depending on your geographical location. Dennis will explain the many factors affecting fall color occurrence and intensity, and dispel many myths and misconceptions. He will give recommendations for conifer companion plants with reliable fall color and maintenance techniques necessary to improve your odds of “hitting the fall color lottery.” He will also provide insight into the color seen on new conifer cones. The presentation features outstanding images to illustrate both the concepts and amazing fall color plants.

We are staying at the Hilton Hotel & Executive Meeting Center in Rockville, Maryland. Rooms are $109 plus tax. Come early, stay late. Based on availability, these same great rates are offered 2 days before and 2 days after our meeting. The Hilton is located across the street from the Twinbrook Metro Commuter Station, so getting down to the National Mall is easy, where you can visit the Smithsonian museums and national monuments.

You can add on to your visit either before or after the formal meeting: PRE AND POST MEETING GARDEN TOURS

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The Hilton special rate is also available by calling Hilton at (301) 468-1100. Mention the ACS and you will receive the $109 rate/night.

Come to Washington in October! We have a great meeting planned for you. If you have any questions, please email Chris Carley, meeting coordinator.

  1. marthajchurch commented

    It will help with travel logistics to have something of a schedule, at least for the beginning and ending of the event. Thanks.

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  2. marthajchurch commented

    I cannot get the Yahoo email for Chris Carley. I hope someone checks these comments occasionally. Am I correct that the meeting will begin Friday afternoon (4:00?) and actually end Saturday night? I want to book a hotel room and air but need some specifics before I do that. Someone please reply or contact me at

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  3. marthajchurch commented

    Thanks – we booked additional days outside the usual meeting schedule, so we should be good.

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  4. Sara Malone commented

    Looking forward to seeing you there! Hey ACS: both Martha and I live outside the NER but we’re going to this meeting. Have you ever gone to a meeting in a region other than yours? What are you waiting for?

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  5. ruthbohannon commented

    Is there a time line for activities and transportation schedule for the National Meeting in DC?

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  6. conifereditor commented

    hi Ruth … up above is a green link to meeting schedule. Click on it and you will find a schedule of events.

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  7. scottandlauravanwyk commented

    I tried to make reservations at the hotel but it wouldn’t give me the reduced rate on 10/14 or beyond. I thought the reduced rate was available a couple of days beyond the dates of the conference?? Could it already be booked up for those dates?

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