ACS Collectors’ Conifer of the Year 2006 to Present

2020

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.

2019

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.


2018

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.

2017

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.

2016

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.

2015

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.

2014

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.

2013

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.

2012

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.

2011

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.

2010

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.

2009

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.

2008

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.

2007

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.

2006

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.