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My Favorite (Unexpectedly) Shady Characters

In the world of plant-speak, the accepted definition of “Full Sun” is six or more hours of direct sun per day. Common knowledge for pines, spruces, firs, junipers, Japanese cedars, cypresses, false cypresses, dawn redwoods, and bald cypresses, unless they are variegated (and sometimes then, too) is that they need full sun to thrive. Following that kind of logic, shady gardens would...Read More  By Sandy Horn


Ghost-Busters: On the trail of the albino redwood

It’s a pale ghost-like tree in the coastal redwood forests. It’s a mutant and very rare. It’s a white-needled tree that would make any gathering of coniferites gasp with excitement. It is also a mystery, although one that is slowly becoming unraveled ...Read More  By Jerry Belanger



If You Could Only Pick One…

That’s the question we posed to our seventeen Reference Gardens, earlier this year. If you could only pick one (or two) conifers as your tried and true, never fail, never let you down, always makes you smile – which one (or two) would you choose?...Read More  By Barbie Colvin







A Gallery of Conifer Winter Color

One of my favorite aspects of conifers is that so many of them turn interesting colors in winter, even in my Zone 9B garden in Sonoma County. Then there are those that don’t turn, exactly, but whose colors seem to deepen in the weaker winter light. Here are some of my favorites. Feel free to add yours ...Read More By Sara Malone



grafting, grafting conifers



So, you’ve been bitten by the conifer bug and have your own collection of these wonderful plants and you’ve entered the Cone Zone by joining the American Conifer Society. You may also be following conifer forums, groups and blogs on the ACS website ,Houzz, Facebook, and who knows how…Read More  By Ted Hildebrant








Announcing Nursery Discount Program for ACS Members

The ACS Board of Directors is pleased to announce a new benefit for ACS members and our nursery partners in our mission: 10% discounts for members at select retail nurseries and the ability to purchase directly from some wholesale nurseries that ordinarily restrict their sales to the trade…Read More  By Sara Malone



Planting as Nature Intended

Planting a tree or shrub in your landscape can be very exciting, but it can also be the start of a painful loss of what was once an interesting, possibly expensive, plant. On the surface planting seems to be a simple task – dig a hole to fit and put in the tree green side up…Read More By Jared Weaver



Exciting New Conifers of Northern Vietnam

I have had the pleasure of botanizing in many areas of southeast Asia over the past 20 years, but few places have provided such botanical surprises as northern Vietnam. Most people would probably guess that the climate throughout Vietnam is tropical and for the most part, that is correct. However, the steep karst mountains…Read More  By Scott McMahan



conifers, bonsai, pinus ponderosa






Bonsai Basics…or How the Ponderosa got into the Pot

I had never considered acquiring a bonsai specimen until I attended the ACS Regional meeting in Oregon last August. Our stops included Ryan Neil’s Bonsai Mirai and the nursery of Randy Knight, who supplies Ryan with many of his mountain-dug specimens…Read More By Sara Malone