Some of my best friends are coneheads; conifer geeks, really. Not all, mind you, but some. Enough. Definitely enough! And many of my favorite plants …yep, they most certainly bear cones.
I know, I know! To some this will sound like crazy talk. But for others it’ll sound just like home. ‘Pines, Firs and Cedars Galore’ is definitely a lecture for those who already love conifers, but it is also designed for those who would like to understand more about why they’d definitely love them if only they understood better.
So, not a scientific treatise, per se, meaning I’ll do my best not to ramble or drone and we’ll probably use common names and cultivar handles more than proper plant Latin.
See that gorgeous, golden plant pictured in the snowy scene above? That’s a Chief Joseph pine, aka, a Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pine. It is a grafted descendent of one, stunning, yellow-colored sport, found growing years ago in Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains by Doug Will of Sandy, OR during a hunting trip. But in addition to its simpler names it is also known as, Pinus contorta var. latifolia ‘Chief Joseph’. Now doesn’t that just roll off the tongue? And did you notice all those changes between italicized and non-italicized letters within that string of words that make up its name? It’s a little intimidating, isn’t it? Since too much focus on taxonomy and needle count can definitely interfere with those more poetic aspects of conifers we seek, this talk will unquestionably err on the side of poetry. This is a love story after all…
(This presentation is currently under production but will be available soon to accompany the publication of my latest book collaboration with John J. Albers, entitled, Growing Conifers: The Complete Illustrated Gardening and Landscaping Guide )