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Plant of the Month

'Idaho Endurance' Giant Sequoia
Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Idaho Endurance'

Location: Grid M-24 near the top of the hill just north of the garbanzo bean field north of the barn

I just got back from a great trip with the American Conifer Society to fulfill a bucket list item of seeing Giant Sequoias and Bristlecone Pines in the wild in California. That seemed like a good reason to check up on the trees that we had grafted from the Giant Sequoia in the Shattuck Arboretum which was planted in 1917. The grafting was done in the early part of 2011 and we received the plants in 2012, held them for a year, then planted them out in the spring of 2013.

'Idaho Endurance' Giant Sequoia is the smaller tree in the center of the picture, the larger tree is seedling planted in 2003. 8-23-16
'Idaho Endurance' Giant Sequoia is the smaller tree in the center of the picture, the larger tree is seedling planted in 2003. 8-23-16

I think they have done remarkably well, as they are over 6 feet tall now. This year seems to be a particularly good year, as they have grown nearly 2 feet!

New growth on 'Idaho Endurance' Giant Sequoia 8-23-16
New growth on 'Idaho Endurance' Giant Sequoia 8-23-16

There are twelve Giant Sequoias planted in the 'new' Arboretum, including two 'Idaho Endurance' and four seedlings from the Shattuck tree in the 'new' Arboretum.

Monthly Projects

It is hard to believe that the summer is pretty much over-or at least, since two of my three person crew have gone back to school the chances to get major projects done is pretty much over! For the next few weeks until the weather changes we will struggle to keep up with the routine mowing, watering and weeding.

Annual bed 8-23-16
Annual bed 8-23-16

The high point of my month was the trip to California. Hopefully that will result in getting some seeds from the Bristlecone Pines. The President of the Western Region of the American Conifer Society was on the tour. He knew about a 'witch's broom' (a branch with unusual growth habit, usually more compact/congested than normal) on a middle aged Bristlecone (approx. 600 years according to the ranger) near the visitor's center. The ranger did not know about witch's brooms and was enthused to see it. He even took an incrment borer and took a core sample to determine how old the broom was. The broom had a good crop of cones, and the ranger agreed to collect seeds from the broom when they ripen later this fall and share them with group. I am on the list to get some of the seed. Sometimes the seed from a broom will produce seedlings with the congested growth of the broom, which is one way that many dwarf conifers are developed.

'Ranger Dave' taking a core sample from a Bristlecone Pine in the White Mountains in California 8-13-16
'Ranger Dave' taking a core sample from a Bristlecone Pine in the White Mountains in California 8-13-16

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