ACS Grants and Merit Awards for 2013 Announced

By Sean Callahan

The American Conifer Society announced its major awards for 2013 during its annual national meeting in Mt. Kisco, NY, today. Dennis Groh of Dearborn Heights, MI, is the winner of the Marvin & Emelie Snyder Award for Dedicated Support of the American Conifer Society and Kurt Wittbodt-Mueller of Verden, Germany, is recipient of the Justin C. “Chub” Harper Award for the Development in the Field of Conifers. The Jean Iseli Memorial Grant is to be awarded to Dr. Chad Husby of the Montgomery Botanical Center of Coral Gables, FL.

Groh, a Life Member of ACS, has served as a national officer, holding the positions of Past President, President, Vice President - Treasurer. He currently serves as advisor to the Board of Directors for the Society’s investment portfolio. Groh was one of the champions and the chief fundraiser for the book People & Plants: The Harper Collection of Dwarf and Rare Conifers published by MSU Press and is a Michigan Master Gardener.

Herr Wittbodt-Mueller is an ACS International member who, as proprietor of the Scia Tree Nurseries, has introduced some of the most prized conifers of the past 30 years. His work on cross pollination of firs and his development of new Sciadopitys cultivars are particularly notable. He is also the author of two books,Tannen mit Ptiff –[Spruces with Zest, 1999] and Tannen-Atlas [Spruce Encyclopedia, 2005]) published only in German. During a 2000 tour ACS members met with Wittbodt-Mueller and toured his facilities. He has provided a list of his introductions.

Dr. Husby is heading up a project to create an exchange between botanical gardens in the US and UK. Accompanied by Ron Determann of the Atlanta Botanic Garden, Husby will use the grant to travel to the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, and the Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, Kent, to obtain rare conifer taxa to bring back to their respective institutions. His proposal can be found here.