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In the Footsteps of a Legend

Denver Botanic Gardens - Denver, Colorado

American Conifer Society Western Region and pleased and proud to offer its members a unique opportunity to tour and explore a part of our region that is somewhat off our beaten path, yet nonetheless, a part of the country that is home to some of the Earth’s toughest and most-beautiful conifers and most stunning geography. Who’s ready for a Rocky Mountain High, Denver style?

March 12th update. Registration is now open, to include online registration See below.

松風園 Shofu-en Japanese Garden


The Dwarf Conifer Collection


The venue is one of the most recent additions to the Western Region’s reference garden collection, namely the Denver Botanic Gardens, 23 acres of esoteric plantings and collections. Features include the Japanese garden, home to a collection of Niwaki-styled Ponderosa pines, and the dwarf conifer garden featuring many unnamed selections made by legendary plantsman, Jerry Morris, to whom we dedicate our weekend’s activities.

Our goal is to offer a low-key, relaxing, yet fulfilling vacation weekend. Friday will feature garden tours, followed by cocktails, dinner, and a keynote presentation, culminating with one of our ever-popular rare plant auctions. Saturday promises to be an epic road trip high into the mountains (up to 10,000 feet and more) to interpret conifers growing in their natural habitat. A bonus day Sunday will bring a little retail therapy and more adventure.

Points of contact

Host hotel (click on the hotel name for more information)

Warwick Hotel, Downtown Denver
1776 Grant Street
Denver, CO 80203

We’ve reserved a block of rooms and the reservation code is American Conifer Society. Our group rate is $159 per night for the nights of Friday, August 10th and Saturday, August 11th. The hotel will honor that rate for up to 3 days before and after for those either arriving early, staying later or both. This block will expire as of July 10th, 2018, so reserve early to claim your room.

As a hotel guest, you are entitled to discounted rates from Denver International Airport to the hotel, using Denver SuperShuttle. Click this link to reserve transportation from the airport to the hotel, if you don’t want to rent a vehicle.


Register Online Now

Cost to take part in the fun is $165 if registered by June 30th, 2018. From July 1-31st, the price will be $180. Since we have to get final numbers to our food and transportation vendors, we cannot accept registrations after July 31st. This event is open to all ACS members world-wide.

Not an ACS member yet? You can join the ACS by clicking this link. It only takes a few moments.

To download, print and mail a registration form, please click this link.


Rather than book a large tour bus, we’ll be renting a number of 15-passenger vans to transport our group to the various venues. This allows for agility and flexibility, as well as the ability to efficiently navigate mountain roads on our Saturday road trip. This will also help to keep registration costs at a minimum.


Thursday, August 9th

6pm — those arriving early are encouraged to join the group for a no-host meet and greet/ice breaker/strategy session over food and drink. Meet old friends and make new ones. Most likely, we’ll meet at Randolph’s Restaurant & Bar at the hotel.

Friday, August 10th

  • AM — arrival in Denver, or free time to explore if you’re already there. Breakfast and lunch is on your own.
  • 12:30pm — guests staying at the hotel load into vans and depart for Denver Botanic Gardens (2 miles away).
  • 1pm — meet at the gardens for docent tours and demonstrations.
  • 4:30pm — converge on Mitchell Hall for happy hour (no-host bar) and appetizers. Silent auction opens.
  • 5:30pm — buffet dinner is served.
  • 6:30pm — silent auction concludes
  • 7pm — keynote presentation: The Jerry Morris Legacy
  • 8:30pm — live auction
  • 9:30pm — conclusion of evening program. Load vans and return to The Warwick.
Mt. Goliath bristlecones


Saturday, August 11th

  • breakfast is on your own
  • 9am — load buses and depart for the mountains. This morning’s road trip is to the top of the world at Mt. Goliath natural area, along the road to Mt. Evans, where we’ll hike among the Rocky Mountain bristlecone pines (Pinus aristata), as well as many other Colorado endemics.
  • midday — no-host lunch at an informal eatery along the way.
  • pm — we’ll search out another great wilderness spot to look for subalpine species such as Subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) and Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii).
  • 5pm — back at the hotel and the end of the formal program.
  • Dinner on your own, but we’ll help facilitate groups

Sunday, August 12th (bonus day)

For those of us who care to stay on, we’ve arranged for a visit to LaPorte Avenue Nursery in Ft. Collins, Colorado (circa 1 hour’s drive from Denver). Kirk Fieseler, the proprietor, specializes in Alpine plants and Rocky Mountain conifers, to include many of Jerry Morris’ introductions. This will make for a few delightful hours of retail therapy.

After our shopping spree, we will seek out a lunch spot at one of the many breweries in Ft. Collins before returning to Denver.

Special Opportunity

Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase a limited release of our 2018 ACS Western Region Conifer of the Year. This year’s special plant is a true denizen of the high desert, namely Pinus monophylla ‘Blue Jazz’ with a special commemorative plant tag.

Pinus monophylla ‘Blue Jazz’ in a private nursery display garden in Ft. Collins, Colorado.

Photo by Kirk Fieseler, LaPorte Avenue Nursery, inc.


  1. conifereditor commented

    welcome to second of Western region’s three featured events for 2018. We hope you find it interesting and are as excited to take part as we are in offering it.

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  2. conifereditor commented

    Hi Martha. Our small, yet mighty fleet of vans will be on hand for Sunday’s fun. No need to rent vehicles for this one (unless you want to).

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  3. marthajchurch commented

    FYI – Hotel issues. I was not able to reserve online. American Conifer Society did not “take” as a group name. Called the hotel; talked with a nice agent, but the $159 rack rate was not readily available to her for nights beyond the 11th and 12th.. However, I read her the information on the ACS website, she talked to someone behind the scene, and we were able to get that rate for all 5 nights.

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  4. conifereditor commented

    thanks for raising the flag, Martha. I contacted the point of contact at the hotel (cc’d you with the message), asking her to fix the problem. Happy to hear that you got a helpful human to get you set up.

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  5. conifereditor commented

    One week to go before the early-bird registration cutoff. Get in before the price goes up!

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