Running (to keep warm) with chainsaws: ACS Workday at the Oregon Garden

By Sara Malone

A few hardy Western Region members gathered last Saturday at the Garden at 9 am when the temperature read 18°F, a really cold reading for Silverton, OR. The decision was made to leave the Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Hazel Smith', hit by a freak lightening bolt during a storm last autumn as an example of what lightening can do to a tree. See the photos - pretty impressive. A nice large piece of the exploded tree was set aside and placed in a bed of small conifers where the hope is that it will artfully deteriorate. A Cupressus arizonica var. glabra 'Raywood's Weeping' was also on the hit list, due to overcrowding (and the fact that there are two others in the garden) as well as a Picea mariana 'Aureovariegata', an Abies pinsapo 'Glauca' a Corylus avellana 'Rote Zeller' and a Picea sitchensis 'Papoose', the latter all due to poor performance either from disease or inadequate root development. The power tools and machinery helped, but we can't help wondering if good old-fashioned axes and shovels wouldn't have kept this crowd warmer!

Thanks go to Doug Wilson for organizing the event! Eric Bizon, Jason Hupp, David and Anita Olszyk, Brian Jacob, Chris Harling, Jim Lewis and Joe Carli (who cleverly avoids being in any photographs by being the one with the camera) formed the rest of the work crew, along with Ty Boland, Horticultural Manager, and Sara Wilmes,Greenhouse Manager, of The Oregon Garden. Jenni Burkhead made the chili for lunch even though she was wisely out of town in warmer weather! The second day was supposed to have been devoted to planting, but with the frozen ground that has been postponed for a bit. We hear that the lounge in the Oregon Garden Resort is a lovely spot to warm up in front of the fire, and we hope that the crew took advantage of it!

Plants slated for near term installation and their donors include:

Abies procera 'DelBars Cascade' and a Thuja plicata 'Whipcord', both specimen-sized (Jason Hupp, Western Evergreen)

Pinus strobiformis 'Pendula', specimen-sized (Brent Markus, Rare Tree Nursery)

Picea sitchensis 'Bentham's Sunlight' (Don Howse, Porterhowse Arboretum)

Abies nebrodensis 'Sicilian Gold' (Don Howse, Porterhowse Arboretum)

Abies recurvata (Don Howse, Porterhowse Arboretum)

Pseudotsuga menziesii 'Hibbard Broom' (Don Howse, Porterhowse Arboretum)

Acer palmatum 'Aka Shigitatsu sawa', specimen-sized (Lucille Whitman, Whitman Farms)

Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Blauer Eichzwerg'

Pinus Parviflora 'Koru'

Sciadopitys verticillatum 'Ritchie's Cushion'

Pinus flexilis 'LIl Wolf'

The last four were donated by your WSR editor and your ACS website photographer, and were all acquired at the auction at September's WSR annual meeting.

Thanks to all of the donors for continuing to make the conifer collection at The Oregon Garden one of the best anywhere.