Derek Spicer wins Harper Award

By Sara Malone
Derek Spicer holds Volume II of the RHS Encyclopedia of Conifers
Derek Spicer holds Volume II of the RHS Encyclopedia of Conifers

Derek Spicer is the latest winner of the Justin C. “Chub” Harper Award for the Development in the Field of Conifers. Derek is an ACS member and the owner of Kilworth Conifers based in Leicestershire, England. Derek has grown and sold conifers for more than 40 years and has used that experience to co-author, with Aris G. Auders, the first comprehensive encyclopedia on the subject, the Royal Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Conifers. Published in 2012, this two-volume, extensively illustrated encyclopedia is a complete reference book covering all recognized conifer cultivars and species, both hardy and tropical. The 1,500-page work features names, synonyms and brief descriptions, as well as information about 10 year height and spread, where known, for over 8,000 cultivars and 615 conifer species, including their subspecies and varieties. In addition to the descriptive text, it is illustrated with more than 5,000 photographs, which were taken especially for this encyclopedia.

Derek has been Chairman of the British Conifer Society since 2003. In this position, he has made significant efforts to increase conifer awareness in Britain. He has attended trade shows, given interviews, lectured and demonstrated his willingness to share his hard earned knowledge. Derek has also shown his drive to discover and develop noteworthy cultivars as shown by the following list of conifer cultivars he has either developed or introduced:

Abies boris-regis 'Spring Delight' Abies koreana 'Cream & Green' Abies delavayi 'Midnight Blue' Cedrus brevifolia 'Jade Medusa' Cedrus libani 'May' Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Taranto' Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Kilworth Column' Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Moonsprite' Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Pearly Swirls' PBR Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Sulphur Spire' Cupressus nootkatensis 'Glassel Gold' Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Digby' Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Purple Dome' Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Spindrift' Juniperus chinensis 'Ferngold' Juniperis communis 'Corielagan' Phyllocladus alpinus 'Highlander' Phyllocladus alpinus 'Highland Lass' Picea abies 'Dumpy' Pinus mugo 'Tuffet' Pinus parviflora 'Hobbit' Pinus parviflora 'Sage Tiers' Pinus sylvestris 'Green Cone' Pinus sylvestris 'Knowle' Pinus sylvestris 'Tarrango' Platycladus orientalis 'Flame' Podocarpus 'Guardsman' Podocarpus nivalis 'Kilworth Cream' Taxus baccata 'Autumn Shades' Taxus baccata 'Greensleeves' Taxus baccata 'Icicle' Taxus baccata 'Ivory Tower' Thujopsis dolabrata 'Solar Flare' PB