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Jun
14
2016

Coniferous Contemplations – June 2016

A Preview of our WR Conference and a Review of Seattle Conifer Day

Hello friends and colleagues. I writing to you today from the safety of my home office while witnessing the most delicious rain squall freshen the rapidly maturing seasonal growth of the conifers and maples in Glacier’s End Arboretum. If you’re considering a visit this year, now’s probably the best it’s going to look in 2016.

I spent last weekend in Seattle to do some ground work for our upcoming WR Conference and to take part in a really fun and informative pruning demonstration at Washington’s only Reference Garden, The Arb at South Seattle College.

The WR Conference

To start, just a friendly reminder that the cutoff for early bird registration for this great event is coming up soon. On July 1st, our early bird special expires and the regular registration price of $350 kicks in. Also be aware that because of transportation constraints we have to start a waiting list once we reach 55 registrations, so don’t miss out. For more information and a link to register, go to this link.

Here are some of the sights along the way . . . First stop was Washington Park Arboretum with its extensive collection of mature species trees.

A short mile-long hike among the trees takes the viewer to a nice overview of the park.
A short mile-long hike among the trees takes the viewer to a nice overview of the park.

Photo by David Olszyk

 

How about some Cedrus atlantica 'Aurea?' Stunning against the bluest sky you'll ever see that's in Seattle.
How about some Cedrus atlantica ‘Aurea?’ Stunning against the bluest sky you’ll ever see in Seattle.

Photo by David Olszyk

 

Pinus montezumae var. lindleyi — a nice shot of very long (12-inch) needles and new shoots. It's quite happy in Washington Park Arboretum.
Pinus montezumae var. lindleyi — a nice shot of very long (12-inch) needles and new shoots. It’s quite happy in Washington Park Arboretum.

Photo by David Olszyk
Considering the size of the trees they've been here for a while.
Considering the size of the trees, they’ve been here for a while.

Photo by David Olszyk

 

 

 

After the Washington Park Arboretum, I made a quick stop at the docks at Lake Union where our Saturday evening dinner cruise will embark. This part will be really fun.
After the Washington Park Arboretum, I made a quick stop at the docks at Lake Union where our Saturday evening dinner cruise will embark. This part will be really fun.

Photo by David Olszyk

 

Seattle Conifer Day

To all who made the time to support this event, thank you! We had nearly 30 members and guests in attendance and all were mesmerized by the artistry and showmanship of Dave DeWire and his project d’jour, an 18-year old Pinus thunbergii ‘Nishiki Kimatsu.’

Pictured is the original tree, 18 years old and quickly taking over its space.
Pictured is the original tree, 18 years old and quickly taking over its space.
This cultivar is famous for its rough "corky" bark. Why obscure it with all that lush foliage?
This cultivar is famous for its rough “corky” bark. Why obscure it with all that lush foliage?

Photo by David Olszyk

 

Aggressive candles and lush growth such as this are a source of great concern to keepers of small gardens and aesthetic pruning specialists.
Aggressive candles and lush growth such as this are a source of great concern to keepers of small gardens and aesthetic pruning specialists.

Photo by David Olszyk

 

Introducing Dave DeWire, Bonsai and Niwaki master extraordinaire. He has a plan to go about solving the problem.
Introducing Dave DeWire, Bonsai and Niwaki master extraordinaire. He has a plan to go about solving the problem.

Photo by Jim Singer

 

First task, establish a new "top." Off with its head!! Although this goes completely against all traditional pruning practice, it's perfectly acceptable in aesthetic pruning such as this.
First task, establish a new “top.” Off with its head!! Although this goes completely against all traditional pruning practice, it’s perfectly acceptable in aesthetic pruning such as this.

Photo by Jim Singer

 

All the while, the crowd is captivated. How's it all going to turn out?
All the while, the crowd is captivated. How’s it all going to turn out?

Photo by Jim Singer

 

Personally, I think this branch makes a particularly artistic statement.
Personally, I think this branch makes a particularly artistic statement.

Photo by David Olszyk

 

This is the final product for now. If you look closely, the left side of the tree was purposely left untouched . . .
This is the final product for now. If you look closely, the left side of the tree was purposely left untouched . . .

Photo by David Olszyk

 

A conscious decision was made to leave one side of the tree untouched. The next semester of students in South Seattle College’s Landscaping and Horticulture program will have this as a teaching aid so they can begin their own journey into the art of aesthetic pruning. As for the rest of the tree, come back for our conference in September when Dave DeWire makes a return visit to finish the job.

Happy Conifering!
David Olszyk, Western Regional President
Conehead

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