ACS Collectors’ Conifer of the Year 2006 to Present
Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Gitte’: This eye catching, dwarf, mound forming, golden colored Hinoki cypress was found by Peet Schrauwen of Boomkwekerig Schrauwen-Moering Nursery, Sprundel, The Netherlands as a sport on ‘Tsatsumi Gold’. It stands out from other Hinoki selections by having a dense tangle of twisted, filamentous branches that emanate in varied directions. It is also known for occasionally producing fascinated growth on the tip of its coarsely textured branches. Growth can be from 1 to 6 inches per year, depending on the site’s conduciveness to plant vigor. A sunny well drained site will result in the best coloration and performance. As typical with most yellow selections, a shadier site will cause the plant to become much greener. In ten years, it can be expected to have a remarkable specimen that is 1 to 5 feet high by 2 to 6 feet in diameter. Our offering is propagated on its own roots from a cutting. It is considered suitable for USDA zones 5 through 8.
Pinus banksiana ‘Jack’s Bean Stalk’: This is a choice, unusual Jack pine that has a clever name. It was found by Mike and Cheryl Davison who enjoy hiking and botanizing in the upper Great Lakes and in the Cascade mountains. It stands out from other Jack pine selections because it has such an incredible narrow, upright form with an irregular branching habit. Because of such branching, no two plants will conform to each other. Rather, they will assume their own unique, constantly evolving sculpture like form. Adding to their natural, artsy beauty are interesting, stiff, short, slightly curved, medium green needles that are held in bundles of two. Needles are shed after two to three years so its relatively less dense canopy allows the bones of the sculpture to readily be revealed. The combined effects of these characteristics make for quite a standout in the garden without it needing much horizontal space. In ten years, a specimen could be 4 to 10 ft. tall and 2 to 3 ft. wide. Jack pine is suitable for USDA zones 2 through 6. Our offering is grafted onto Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine) rootstock which is adaptable to a variety of well drained soils. This bean stalk needs a sunny site.
Pinus contorta var. latifolia ‘Chief Joseph’: This selection of lodgepole pine is often the envy of a conifer connoisseur and many people have found it a challenge to achieve a long term, handsome specimen. A well-drained, sunny site protected from buffeting winds in the winter, along with geographic areas that are not burdened with long durations of high heat and humidity are primary criteria for having success with this winter wonder. In summer it appears as an unassuming green, but decent looking pine. As seasonal, colder temperatures arrive, it starts to transition to a bright yellow. As cold weather becomes consistent, this conifer assumes an astonishingly rich and saturated golden glow that totally takes over the landscape as a focal point. It was found in the Wallowa mountains in Oregon by Doug Will during a hunting trip. It was named after a leader of the Wallowa tribe of the Nez Perce. It grows 4 to 8 inches a year. In ten years, this pyramidal, winter dazzler could be 5 to 6 tall and half as wide. Our offering is grafted onto Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine) rootstock which is adaptive to a multitude of well drained soils. ‘Chief Joseph’ is suitable for USDA zones 5 through 8.
Abies concolor 'Archer's Dwarf': This versatile, dependable, low-maintenance selection of white fir is back on the order form. Its compact, pyramidal form is striking, with branchlets that hang slightly downward and inward on tiered, horizontal branches. The powdery blue, blunt, flat, sickle-shaped needles are prominently held in curved upright positions for a most captivating texture. Yearly growth is typically three to four inches. A specimen is generally three feet high and two and a half feet wide in ten years. J. W. Archer of Farnham, United Kingdom, originated this cultivar, which was introduced to the nursery trade in 1982. Our offering is grafted onto Abies bornmuelleriana (Turkish fir) rootstock, which is more adaptive to varying soil conditions and more heat tolerant than other choices. It does best in a sunny site but also performs well in light shade. It is suitable for USDA zones 3 through 7, although some gardeners reportedly have succeeded in zone 9.
Cedrus Atlantica 'Sapphire Nymph': This gorgeous, prostrate, dwarf selection of blue Atlas cedar is also back on the order form. Its origin is accredited to Pat McCracken of McCracken Nursery in Wake County close to Zebulon North Carolina. It first appeared as a witch’s broom and was introduced in the late 1990s. Growth is typically one to three inches per year. The plant will likely be 10 inches high and 30 inches wide in ten years. Its irregular flattened form responds well to pruning, if desired, to refine its shape or contain it for a particular space. Be aware that it is considered somewhat of a more delicate plant as its internodes lack the normal elastic strength of the species. Consequently, it is wise not to site it close to high-impact activities where it can risk injury. In general, this should not be a concern for tranquil garden settings, especially considering what the plant can offer in landscape value. Full sun promotes optimum vigor, and well-drained, acidic to slightly alkaline soil is essential. Once established, it is tolerant of drought. ‘Sapphire Nymph’ is considered reliably suitable for USDA zones 6 through 8. Some success has been reported in zone 9. At its most northerly limit, it is advisable to offer some winter protection to prevent potential discoloration of the needles should severe weather arise. The densely packed, small, stiff needles are arranged spirally outward around the stems, with the ones at the tip pointing forward and noticeably smaller. Overall, the plant has an appealing, prickly texture but is not that sharp to the touch. This non-aggressive, low-growing conifer stands out with its silvery, bright, soft blue color and a slightly coarse but pleasing look. Our offering is grafted onto Cedrus deodara (deodar cedar) rootstock.
Temporarily Suspended for 2022. Due to the impact of extreme weather conditions experienced by our West Coast grower last year, there is insufficient inventory to supply the CCOY program for 2022. We are optimistic that suitable inventory will be available for this popular member program in 2023.
Cedrus libani 'Hedgehog' - The very name hedgehog implies a dwarf, compact, and horizontal selection. This cultivar of Lebanon cedar has a spiny texture, too. The densely packed, rich, bluish-green, long needles are on layered, gently-mounding, horizontally spreading branches. ‘Hedgehog’ originated at the Cedar Lodge Nursery in New Plymouth, NZ, as a seedling selection in 2009. In 10 years, this striking beauty can be two feet tall and three feet wide. It typically grows only three to four inches a year and performs best in a sunny, well-drained site. Once established, it is very drought tolerant. Our offering is grafted onto Cedrus deodara rootstock, which is adaptable to many soils. ‘Hedgehog’ is rated for USDA Zones 6 through 8.
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Bess' - This diminutive, upright Hinoki cypress is outstanding for its form, texture, and slow growth. The green, whorled, and congested foliage is appealing and is attractively arranged in varying planes. It typically grows one to two inches per year, but can grow more under amended conditions. In 1983, Joe Reis of Malvern, Long Island, NY, selected it as a seedling and named it for his wife. In 10 years, ‘Bess’ most likely will be around 12 to 18 inches tall and half as wide. Our offering is on its own rootstock from a propagated cutting. It is well suited for a sunny site, but performs satisfactorily in light shade. It is rated for USDA Zones 5 through 8.
Pinus banksiana 'Schoodic' - This gnarled, sprawling, ground-covering Jack pine has ties to the scenic Schoodic Peninsula of Maine. Al Fordham, head propagator at the Arnold Arboretum, Boston, MA, at the time, collected seed from a disjunctive population near the community of Gouldsboro, ME. The result of his efforts was a worthy cultivar that he named in 1979. The medium-green, slightly curved needles are held on twisted branches that have a textural appeal. As an added interest, it is a prolific cone producer. Furthermore, this pine is fascinating, as it scrambles over walls and terrains. It responds to staking or training and takes on wondrous forms. ‘Schoodic’ is exceedingly hardy and tough; and is best suited for USDA Zones 2 through 6. Our offering is grafted onto Pinus sylvestris rootstock, which makes it adaptable to a variety of soils. ‘Schoodic’ performs best in a sunny site with good drainage.
Pinus mugo 'Jakobsen' - This mugo pine’s appearance is distinct from others. First, its dark-green, short, stiff needles are tightly arranged in clustered tufts. Additionally, some openness in its structure reveals glimpses of the silver-gray, inner branches. Together, these interesting attributes give ‘Jakobsen’ the look of a much older plant that has endured the many trials of nature. While this selection imparts vigor and durability to a preferred, sunny site, it only grows two to four inches per year. Over 10 years, it will take on an irregular, mounding form that may be three to four feet tall and up to five or six feet wide. The late 1980’s origin of this cultivar is credited to Arne Vagn Jakobsen of Denmark. Our offering is grafted onto Pinus sylvestris rootstock, which is adaptive to a multitude of well-drained soils. This unique mugo is rated for USDA Zones 3 through 7.
Pinus sylvestris 'Green Penquin' - Here’s a remarkable selection of Scots pine. This slow-growing, compact conifer has dense, rich-green, shaggy foliage that is adorned with short, tufted growth at the ends of branchlets. The overall appearance might be a little ruffled and awkward, but it is quite an attention-grabber. Add a beak and some side flippers, and you would create a whimsical creature that would invite a lot of discussion from visitors. This unusual find was discovered in the late 1990s by Jim Lewis, who is now with J Farms in Amityville, OR. In 10 years, ‘Green Penguin’ could be four feet tall and about 18 to 24 inches wide. Yearly growth is three to five inches. It is best suited for a sunny, well-drained site. Our offering is grafted onto Pinus sylvestris rootstock, which is adaptive to a diversity of soils. ‘Green Penguin’ is noted for its hardiness and for holding its color through adverse winter conditions. Its USDA rating is Zones 3 through 7, with reports that it has also been successful in cooler parts of Zone 8.
Taxus baccata 'Silver Spire' - We have never offered the genus, Taxus, before now. ‘Silver Spire’ sets a new milestone. This incredible selection of a narrow, fastigiate, English yew has a striking form, along with an unusual color performance. Its three- to six-inches of tight growth per year is very upright, producing little, lateral expansion. New growth pushes out a cheerful yellow. As it matures, the color retreats to the margins of tiny, spirally arranged leaves that fade to a paler yellow and then on to a creamy-white. Later, when seasonal, cooler weather arrives, the variegation becomes a surprising silver that shines through the winter. In 10 years, it could be five feet tall by two feet wide. The late 1980’s introduction of such a prominent specimen comes from Treseders Nursery in the hamlet of Lockengate, Cornwall, UK. Our offering is propagated from a rooted cutting, so its on its own rootstock. It is rated for USDA Zones 5 through 7 and performs well in a sunny to a partially shaded, well-drained site.
Abies concolor 'Archer's Dwarf' — a compact, upright selection of white fir with very interesting texture. The powdery blue, sickle-shaped needles are flat, blunt and slightly curving. The branchlets hang slightly downward and inward on tiered, horizontal branches, making for a striking look, given the plant’s densely pyramidal form.
Abies lasiocarpa 'Green Globe' — a semi-dwarf, multi-stemmed, dense selection of subalpine fir with a refined look because of its short, soft, lustrous, forward-pointing needles. In the spring, new growth pushes out a bright green, and, as it matures, ‘Green Globe’ often takes on bluish tones.
Ginkgo biloba 'Clica' — a dwarf selection of maidenhair tree that is distinct because of its small, ruffled, light-green leaves, adorning a heavily branched, multi-stemmed, slow-growing mound. The resulting effect is a very tidy, refined specimen with eye-commanding texture.
Picea abies 'Acro-yellow' — this selection of Norway spruce produces a multitude of emerging raspberry-red cones, mostly at the terminal ends of branches. The cones pop out against a background of bright yellow. As the dangling cones mature, they fade to a light brown, while the maturing foliage takes on a more frosted, subdued yellow.
Pinus koraiensis 'Morris Blue' — an intermediate, narrow, pyramidal selection of Korean pine comes from the Morris Arboretum at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. It stands out for its mix of silvery-blue and bluish-green, thick, curved, stiff needles that capture the light. Large, plump, young, bluish-green cones also add to its appeal.
Pinus contorta var. latifolia 'Taylor's Sunburst' — an incredible, dazzling, upright, narrow, selection of lodgepole pine that is a true showstopper that makes heads turn with its brilliant, lemon-yellow push of spring growth that sharply contrasts with past growth that has already matured to green. During the same time of spring growth, little, bright-red pollen cones appear for additional contrast.
Pinus mugo 'Paul's Dwarf' — a very unusual, fine-textured, dwarf selection of mugo pine that stands out with its exceptionally short, medium-green needles that grow perpendicularly around the stem, resulting in a skeleton-like look.
Pinus thunbergii 'Shirome janome' — an outstanding beacon of color that serves as a bold focal point in the landscape. This vigorous Japanese black pine is spectacular with its 4.5-inch long, dark-green needles with golden-yellow bands.
Abies cephalonica 'Meyer's Dwarf' — dwarf selection of Greek fir has glossy, dark green foliage with great vigor, and drought tolerance. Mature at 3 feet (1 m) tall and 4.5 feet (1.5 m) wide. Grows best in USDA Zone 5 to 8.
Cedrus libani 'Katere' — a spreading dwarf selection of Cedar of Lebanon with nice long, gray-green needles. Great selection for rockeries and small gardens. Mature at 8 to 12 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide, Grows best in USDA Zones 6 to 9.
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Filip's Golden Tears' — a very narrow, upright, strictly weeping selection of Lawson cypress is gold-variegated foliage. Makes a natural golden exclamation point in the garden. Mature at 12 to 15 feet (4 - 5 m) tall and only a couple of feet (60 cm) wide. Grows best in USDA Zones 5 to 8.
Picea abies 'Lemonade' — an robust, fast-growing tree form of Norway spruce with golden foliage on pendant branches. One of Bob Finchams well-known Golden Seedling selections. Mature at 12 to 15 feet (4 - 5 m) tall and 2-thirds as wide. Grows best in USDA Zones 3 to 8.
Picea orientalis 'Ferny Creek Prostrate — a perfectly flat, spreading selection of Caucasian spruce with short, glossy, dark-green needles. Mature at 12 inches (30 cm) tall and 36 inches (90 cm) wide. Grows best in USDA Zones 4 to 8.
Picea pungens 'Blue Pearl' — a cute, miniature, cushion shaped Colorado spruce with sky-blue prickly needles. Mature at 6 inches (15 cm) tall and 12 inches (30 cm) wide. Witch's broom selection made by Iseli Nursery. Grows best in USDA Zones 3 to 8.
Pinus parviflora 'Catherine Elizabeth' — a irregular, dwarf selection of Japanese white pine with irregular, clumpy branching holding short, blue-green, slightly twisted needles. Mature at 2 feet (60 cm) tall and wide. Grows best in USDA Zones 5 to 8.
Cedrus atlantica ‘Sapphire Nymph’ — this dwarf, prostrate cultivar has densely packed, small, stiff needles, arranged spirally outward around the stems with the ones at the tip pointing forward and being noticeably smaller. At ten years an unstaked plant is about 10 inches (25 cm) tall and 30 inches (75 cm) wide, but it can be staked and allowed to cascade from a chosen height. Overall, the plant has an appealing prickly texture that is not that sharp to the touch. This non-aggressive, low growing conifer stands out with sparkling, bright silvery-blue color and a distinctive look. Suitable for USDA Zones 6 to 9.
Platycladus orientalis ‘Franky Boy’ — an unusual, fine textured Chinese arborvitae that captivates the eye with its bright yellow, airy, filamentous, upright texture. The yellow is more pronounced in full sun and is also enhanced by the lime green foliage deeper in the plant. When colder weather approaches, the yellow begins transforming to hues of orange-butterscotch and bronze tones. Small, bluish-green cones provide additional interest. This multi-stemmed plant responds well to shearing and a good clipping is recommended to maintain a proliferation of fresh, golden threads. Growth rate is relatively slow, generally 4 to 6 inches (10 - 15 cm) per year. In 10 years, it can be expected to be 3 to 4 feet (1 - 1.3 m) tall and 2 to 3 feet (60 - 90 cm) wide, depending on site conditions and attention from clippers. ‘Franky Boy’ is suitable for USDA Zones 5 to 9 and tolerates heat very well.
Thuja occidentalis ‘IslPrim’ Primo™ — the refined, scale-like foliage twists and turns to provide much textural interest and beauty, resembling that of a Hinoki cypress, rather than an arborvitae. In summer, it is a refreshing, vivid green, which becomes muted in winter. Growth is 2 to 4 inches (5 – 10 cm) a year, USDA Zones 3 to 8.
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Blue Surprise’ — the return of an old favorite, this time on disease-resistant rootstock. ‘Blue Surprise’ maintains its juvenile, upward pointing, prickly-looking foliage, which is soft to the touch. The fine-textured, steel-blue needles are highlighted with silver and take on a purplish cast for the winter. This selection grows between 2 to 6 inches (5 – 15 cm) per year and is approximately 6 feet (2 m) tall and 2 feet (60 cm) wide after 10 years. USDA Zones 5 to 7.
Picea pungens ‘Ruby Teardrops’ — a handsome globose cultivar of Colorado spruce with a stunning, colorful display of fresh teal-blue foliage and magenta seed cones each spring. USDA Zones 3 to 8.
Thuja occidentalis ‘Jantar’ — a narrow upright ‘Smaragd’ arborvitae seedling from Poland with pleasant golden foliage and rich warm amber tones in the winter. USDA Zones 4 to 8.
Gingko biloba ‘Snow Cloud’ — a newly-introduced variegated dwarf Maidenhair tree with creamy yellow-white leaf tips. This one does not appear to revert to full green like many other variegated selections. USDA Zones 4 to 9.
Pinus cembra ‘Herman’ — a selection of Swiss stone pine, often promoted under the trade name of Prairie Statesman™, attesting to its origin and to its prominent, refined appearance. ‘Herman’ is an extremely hardy, drought resistant specimen, suitable for harsh, natural or urban settings and yet has an elegant, stately manner. It has a narrow form with a strong central leader and lateral branches which curve upward and inward, allowing it to resist snow loads well. USDA Zones 3 to 7.
Pinus parviflora ‘Tanima no yuki’ — “Snow of the Valley” in the Japanese language; this lovely pine of unknown origin produces new growth that elongates in colors of pink, cream and green. The pink fades as the curved needles unfurl and the plant appears to have been flocked or dusted with snow. Intense summer sun can burn the variegated needles so site this plant where it will be protected from afternoon sun. High, overhead shade is the best in hotter climates. USDA Zones 5 to 7.
Metasequoia glyptostroboides ‘Schirrmann’s Nordlicht’ — found as a witch’s broom on M. glyptostroboides ‘White Spot’ by Winfried Schirrmann in Germany. Improperly called ‘North Light’ in the U.S. nursery trade, this selection has bright, cheery foliage and is very much slower growing and more globular than the species, with a 10-year size of about 5 to 6 feet (1.6 – 2m) tall and 3 to 5 feet (1 – 1.6m) wide. Needs regular garden water until established, when it tolerates drier conditions much better. USDA Zones 5 to 8.
Pinus × schwerinii ‘Wiethorst’ — an interspecific hybrid of eastern white pine (Pinus strobus ) and Himalayan white pine (Pinus wallichiana ), first discovered near Berlin, Germany in 1905; it combines the characteristic long, graceful leaf of wallichiana with the superior cold hardiness of strobus. ‘Wiethorst’ is a narrow pyramidal dwarf. USDA Zones 4 to 7.
Abies koreana ‘Kohouts Icebreaker’ — a slow-growing, miniature cultivar originally found in 1998 as a witch’s broom on Horstmann’s Silberlocke’ by Jörg Kouhout of Prietitz, Germany. Like its parent, its curling needles show their silvery undersides, but because it’s a tight, round ball, ‘Kohouts Icebreaker’ provides a more intense silver-white effect in the garden. USDA Zones 5 to 7.
Picea abies ‘Gold Drift’ — this selection of Norway spruce was discovered by Bob Fincham of Coenosium Gardens, Eatonville, Washington as a yellow sport on Picea abies ‘Reflexa’. ‘Gold Drift’s’ new growth is lime green in early spring which becomes a vibrant gold in the late spring and summer sun. The gold persists until winter; the color will become more subdued as the winter season progresses. USDA Zones 3 to 7.
Pinus mugo ‘Carstens’ — a slow-growing, compact, broadly globose form of mountain pine. It develops intense bright yellow color as the cold weather intensifies. USDA Zones 2 to 7.
Cunninghamia konishii ‘Little Leo’ — a miniature selection of Taiwan coffin fir with a flattened, round, pin cushion form and a ground-hugging habit. ‘Little Leo’ performs well in USDA Zones 7 to 9 and under hot, humid conditions.
Sciadopitys verticillata ‘Picola’ — this variety of Japanese umbrella pine features short, deep-green needles and dwarf, pyramidal stature. In 10 years it will only be 2 feet (60 cm) tall and 1.5 feet (45 cm) wide. It is adaptable in USDA Zones 5 to 7.
Cedrus brevifolia ‘Kenwith’ — a small Cypriot cedar with the unique combination of tiny needles and an upright miniature tree-like habit. USDA Zones 7 to 9.
Picea abies ‘Wichtel’ — a witch’s broom found on P. abies ‘Humilis’ in the United Kingdom. Growth is a fraction of an inch per year; a true miniature in the realm of conifers. USDA Zones 3 to 7.
Pinus parviflora ‘Bergman’ — a compact Japanese white pine that features soft silvery blue twisted needles. It is hardy to USDA Zone 4.
Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Chirimen’ — an interesting form of Hinoki cypress with a unique, sculpted growth habit; no two plants will be alike. Hardy to USDA Zone 5.
Ginkgo biloba ‘Mariken’ — a dwarf, witch’s broom form of maidenhair tree which assumes the shape of a flattened sphere. The growth is compact but the leaves are of typical size. Look for rich golden yellow color in the fall. Hardy to USDA Zone 6.
Larix decidua ‘Puli’ — a selection of European larch which produces light green, lacy foliage, cascading in beautiful curtains across rocks or down a slope. In the fall this curtain will become vivid golden yellow before shedding its needles in late fall. Hardy to USDA Zone 2.
Taxodium distichum ‘Pevé Minaret’ — this bald cypress is slow-growing with a dwarf, upright form. It’s foliage is soft, dense and dark green in color. It can tolerate the extreme summer heat of a southern garden and winter cold in the north. Hardy to USDA Zone 5.
Pinus heldreichii ‘Smidtii’ — a very dwarf form of Bosnian pine, featuring bright green needles which are dense and are about 3 inches (7.5 cm) long. A ten year old plant may be 12 inches (30 cm) tall and wide. Hardy to USDA Zone 6.
Pinus strobus ‘Niagara Falls’ — a weeping form of eastern white pine, featuring a dense, full appearance with numerous branches. Hardy to USDA Zone 3.
Picea pungens ‘The Blues’ — a weeping form of Colorado spruce, featuring powdery blue needles. The tree wants to grow horizontally and mounding; it must be staked to gain vertical height. Hardy to USDA Zone 2.
Picea abies ‘Pusch’ — a witch’s broom found on P. abies ‘Acrocona’. This miniature only grows an inch or two (2.5 – 4 cm) a year. It features bright magenta-red cones that emerge in early spring. It is hardy to USDA Zone 3 and grows well in full sun to partial shade.
Picea omorika ‘Pendula Bruns’ — a narrow upright, strictly weeping form of Serbian Spruce. It features bi-colored needles and was first introduced by Bruns Nursery of Germany in 1955. Hardy to USDA Zone 5.
Picea orientalis ‘Tom Thumb Gold’ — a selection of Caucasian spruce which grows to a dense, low mound with radiating tiny twigs bearing numerous short bright golden-yellow needles at the outer tips. This miniature spruce was found as a baseball-sized witch’s broom on P. orientalis ‘Skylands’. Hardy to USDA Zone 5.
Metasequoia glyptostroboides ‘Ogon’ (aka ‘Gold Rush’) — a fast-growing pyramidal tree. This dawn redwood features fern-like golden-yellow foliage for most of the year until it turns orange and falls from the tree like other deciduous conifers. Hardy to USDA Zone 5.
Picea glauca var. albertiana ‘Pixie Dust’ — a dwarf form of dwarf Alberta spruce. Its striking yellow new growth contrasts dramatically with the deep green mature foliage. Hardy to USDA Zone 3.