Friday, February 16, 2018

Conifer Blue

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Splitrock'

Pinus mugo 'Mr. Wood'

Abies veitchii 'Glauca'

Ginkgo biloba 'Blue Cloud'

John Lindley
Imagine the botanists of yore sitting in their studies at their universities or botanical gardens: they would be happy to know the study of botany continues in the 21st century, in fact it is more wonderfully revealing than ever. But what about horticulture? They must have known that before them the ancient cultures had intervened with nature to produce better olives, apples and grains. Could they have imagined that one day normally green species would have horticulturists discover and promote blue variants? Do you think that Siebold and Zuccarini, two German botanists who first described Chamaecyparis obtusa, could predict that we would be planting a blue hinoki like 'Splitrock'? I'll bet that Antonio Turra (1730-1796), the Italian botanist who first described Pinus mugo, would never have guessed that conifer aficionados would one day covet the miniature blue 'Mr. Wood'. When John Gould Veitch introduced the green Abies veitchii from Japan, it was first described by the English botanist John Lindley. Now I have the silver-blue 'Glauca' in my collection. And when Linnaeus first described Ginkgo biloba in his publications he certainly could not have foreseen the Buchholz Nursery introduction of 'Blue Cloud', allegedly.

Everyone admires blue, maybe because we react happily to blue skies. In polls in both Europe and America blue is considered peoples' favorite color. Even though the Japanese flag is red and white, my wife Haruko also supposes that blue is the favorite color in Japan. I don't know about ancient Greece, though, for they classified colors by whether they were light or dark and not by their hue. Kyaneos for “dark blue” could also be used for dark green, black or brown. “Light blue” or glaukos, could also mean light green, gray or yellow.

Acer japonicum 'Ao jutan'
Pinus parviflora 'Aoi'

Haruko tried to explain for me again (10th time) how the Japanese word ao can be used for both green and blue, and that aoi is an adjective – or was it the noun? All I know is that the maple Acer japonicum 'Ao jutan' has green leaves and that Pinus parviflora 'Aoi' is a blue-needled pine. I get agitated by her vague language, or so it seems to me, but it's not worth a marital fight, and I have to accept that her explanation is beyond me. Anyway, blue is a fun color, so let's have a look at some blue conifers.

Picea pungens 'The Blues'

I have grown Picea pungens 'The Blues' for quite a few years and I think it has one of the best cultivar names in horticulture. It originated at Stanley & Sons Nursery, Oregon as a more-weeping and silver-blue mutation on the old Picea pungens 'Glauca Pendula'. Larry Stanley was/is a keen plantsman and when he noticed the mutation he thought he might have something wonderful; in a large or more plebian nursery the potential might have been overlooked. The photo above is at Stanley's Nursery and I take it to be the original, or one of the original grafts from the mutation. It is grown by the thousands now, but sadly Stanley doesn't get a dime whenever one is sold. 'The Blues' has a stout leader and you could probably grow it to a considerable height, but I warn you that if you turn your back on it for even a short time the leader will begin to wander sideways and you cannot resurrect it.

Cedrus deodara 'Feelin' Blue'

Another weeper with a great name is Cedrus deodara 'Feelin' Blue', but its color is more gray-blue than the shiner 'The Blues'. Monrovia Nursery describes it as “the lowest of the dwarf cedars...” but it is not* and they should get out more. It can certainly be grown low but we prefer to stake ours into small upright weeping trees, and in 10 years we can achieve about 8' in height when grafted onto C. deodara rootstock. The growth rate is slower if propagated on its own roots. I got my start of 'Feelin' Blue' from Kools Nursery in Holland, and no wonder because it was discovered (seedling origin) in Boskoop, Holland in the 1980's. The C. deodara species is native to the western Himalaya and I have seen old specimens in northern India at about 10,000'. The botanical name is derived from the Sanskrit devadaru which combines deva for “god” and daru for “wood” or “tree.” C. deodara is the national tree of Pakistan, but the most cold-hardy** selections come from the Paktia Province in Afghanistan.

Cedrus deodara 'Vaneta'

*C. deodara 'Vaneta' is much more dwarf and low. So is C. libani 'Whitehouse WB'.

**I have grown some of these: 'Karl Fuchs', 'Polar Winter', 'Eiswinter' and others that are hardy from -15 F to -22 F, but I would considered 'Feelin' Blue' to be no more hardy than -10 degrees F.

Juniperus horizontalis 'Icee Blue'

There are at least two conifer cultivars named 'Icee Blue': one is a Podocarpus elongatus and the other a Juniperus horizontalis. I don't know which was named first, but it was bad form to have likewise named the second one. The J. horizontalis species is native to northeastern North America where it can be found growing in rocky soil and over cliffs. 'Icee Blue' forms a low-growing dense mat that stays less than a few inches tall, but it can be problematic in Oregon winters where the constant rain can cause shoot die-back. Maybe the problem is my own, for I have happy soil with plenty of irrigation, and perhaps my long new growth is too soft to withstand the winter.

Podocarpus elongatus 'Icee Blue'
Podocarpus elongatus is commonly known as the “Breede River yellowwood” from South Africa which grows into a multibranched bush, and it is the national tree of that country. The specific name is due to relatively elongated leaves in comparison to many other Podocarpus.* The type features blue-gray leaves but 'Icee Blue' is much deeper in color. It should be grown in full sun for best color, but unfortunately is only hardy to USDA zone 9 (20 degrees F).

Podocarpus henkelii

*P. henkelii has much longer leaves, but it wasn't discovered until P. elongatus was already named. Oops.

Cupressus arizonica var. glabra 'Blue Ice'

I don't know – or really want to know – the difference between Cupressus arizonica and C. arizonica var. glabra, but in the Hillier Manual of Trees and Shrubs (2014) it states that the var. glabra is more common in cultivation. A cultivar with stunning blue foliage is 'Blue Ice' which grows into a small conical tree. According to Hillier it originated in New Zealand about 1984. Shortly thereafter the now bankrupt firm of Duncan & Davies sent samples of 'Blue Ice' and Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Fernspray Gold' to the large wholesale nursery where I toiled. My employer showed the samples to me, but stated, “What am I going to do with these?” His nursery was frankly a boring place with mugo pines, Alberta spruce and Rhododendrons by the many thousands. I found the two conifers to be fascinating and I offered to buy them. I was starting my own nursery then so he gave them to me gratis, and after a few years I had both in production, probably the first company in North America to offer them. 'Blue Ice' is fast growing and I took a 6' specimen to our Farwest Nursery Show where it was an instant hit. At one point we propagated about 5,000 grafts and sold them as lining-out-stock...which is funny because we don't produce even one now. The problem is that the plants weren't hardy enough for most of my liner customers' customers. When they were dug from the field the stress caused them to produce unsightly gray male pollen, and if they were grown in containers they would flop around and require a stake. On their own roots – which I was never very successful at – they grow thin and feeble. Worst of all the grafted tops would grow too fast in the field and the roots (on Cupressus arizonica) couldn't keep up, so after a rainy windstorm the field of 'Blue Ice' would all be leaning at a 45 degree angle. We had about a 12-year run with it, but now nobody even asks.

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Baby Blue Ice'

You get it by now that the word “ice” or “icee” sounds catchy with the word “blue,” and another conifer is Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Baby Blue Ice'*, which I admit is a fun name to say. It forms a compact pyramid grown either in a container or in the ground, and my oldest specimen (above) is now 6 or 7' tall. The pisifera species (Latin for “pea bearing” due to the size and shape of the seed cone) strikes readily from cuttings at just about any time of the year. The various cultivars are hardy to -30 degrees F and are relatively problem free; my only trouble is a wet snow that makes me want to dump my outside plants, but by the following summer they look good and compact again. 'Baby Blue Ice' was discovered by Stanley & Sons Nursery, the same company that found Picea pungens 'The Blues', in 1998 as a dwarf mutation on C.p. 'Baby Blue', the latter a cultivar nobody grows any more.

Picea pungens 'Baby Blue Eyes'

*Baby Blue Ice is a cute name. There also exists a 'Baby Blue Eyes' for a Picea pungens cultivar, and I grow one in the Flora Wonder Arboretum.

Picea engelmannii 'Blue Magoo'

When I began my nursery years ago I grew a lot of conifers from seed. The resulting seedlings might yield something interesting, but if they didn't you could either throw them away or perhaps use them as rootstock (which I still do with Japanese maples). In the mid 1980's I germinated a few hundred Picea engelmannii, and three years later I set aside about five of them that were the most blue. These were grown in the field, and one became my favorite, so I propagated and named it 'Blue Magoo'. The branches did not weep at all, but the new shoots drooped in spring giving the tree a graceful appearance. I sold a fair number because others agreed, and the western North American species is hardy and relatively easy to grow. Well – easy – except the species is prone (along with Picea pungens) to attack by a dreaded moth which lays eggs in the terminal leaders, and as the larvae develop they kill the spruce tops. Dwarf and miniature cultivars of P. engelmannii are not targets for the moth for they prefer to infest the succulent leader at the top of taller trees. Rather than a battle with the creatures with chemical control, I just don't grow them anymore. Buchholz Nursery is too small and diverse with affected trees in many locations, so preventative measures are inconvenient and costly. You win some, you lose some.

Picea pungens 'Blue Pearl'

Picea pungens 'Pali'

Picea pungens 'Herman Naue'

Picea pungens 'Procumbens'

I asked Seth what was his favorite blue conifer and he responded Picea pungens 'Margarite'. Yep, that's a good one, but I don't have a photo to prove it. But there has been a long debate about what is the “best” Colorado blue spruce...which can't be determined until we all agree on what best means. As I mentioned with Picea engelmannii cultivars, I now steer clear of the large-growing pyramidal cultivars such as 'Hoopsii' which was very popular at the beginning of my career. 'Thompsen' (from Denmark) was just as silver-blue but it too was prone to moth attack. Even the more-dwarf and compact 'Sester's Dwarf' suffered some damage, and there's nothing worse than a formal pyramidal tree without its top. On account of that we grow the miniatures like 'Blue Pearl' and 'Pali' Others that are slow-growing – but not “miniature” – include 'Early Cones', 'Ruby Teardrops' and 'Herman Naue'. These cuties produce erect purple cones in the spring, and as summer progresses the cones turn blonde-brown and dangle downward. None of these coners are very profitable for the nurseryman, but then they are easy to sell. Two clones that creep low and at a faster rate include 'Procumbens' and 'Dietz Prostrate', and they are very effective when planted in front of upright golden conifers like Pinus sylvestris 'Gold Medal'.

Juniperus deppeana 'Ohmy Blue'

Juniperus deppeana is the “Alligator bark juniper,” a species from dry areas in central and northern Mexico...up to Arizona, Texas and New Mexico. Other than the interesting checkerbark I find the species to be mostly ugly. Botanists still haggle if there are five distinct varieties: var. deppeana, var. robusta, var. sperryi, var. zacatecensis – the four of which don't interest me. The fifth variety is pachyphlaea and it is known for stunning blue foliage with white resin spots. Thirty years ago I was visiting the garden of the late Dr. Bump of Forest Grove, Oregon, and he led me to a seedling tree of J. d. var. p. I uttered “My God, that's blue.” He invited me to take cuttings if I wanted, and I did. To keep track of it I had to give it a name, and I couldn't call it 'My God That's Blue' so I chose 'Ohmy Blue'. It wouldn't root for me, but I did graft a few onto Juniperus scopulorum 'Skyrocket'. Over the years the grafts onto 'Skyrocket' were not usually successful, besides sales were weak because I was apparently charging too much for a mere juniper. I haven't propagated it in ten years but I do keep a nice specimen in the collection. The specific name deppeana honors Ferdinand Deppe (? - 1861), a German botanist who had given the species a name previously used for another species; which is not allowed so it was changed to deppeana. The variety name pachyphlaea is from Greek pachy for “thick, dense, large, massive,” and I don't know phlaea unless it refers to the bark.

Pinus cembra 'Blue Mound'

Pinus cembra 'Blue Mound' is a dwarf dense tree, and the finder of it – I forget who he was – told me that the original seedling did indeed grow into a “mound” shape. He conceded though, that despite its name all grafted propagules will eventually assume a pyramidal shape. This most garden-worthy “Swiss stone pine” can eventually reach 10' in height – mine is already 8' tall at 30 years old. Horticulture is replete with name tags – like the Podocarpus elongata that I mentioned earlier – that can seem quite inappropriate down the road.

Ephedra equisitina 'Blue Stem'

Even people who are familiar with horticulture are surprised to hear that the Ginkgo genus is (somewhat) classified as a conifer, or at least in the Hillier Manual it is listed with the conifers. Even more strange, I think, is when I first discovered the Ephedra genus included with conifers in Krussmann's Manual of Cultivated Conifers, a comprehensive reference book that I began using at the beginning of my career. Hillier doesn't go so far, and Ephedra in the Ephedraceae family is included in the Trees and Shrubs section. Hillier concedes, however, that Ephedra is, "A genus of great botanical interest, providing a link between flowering plants and conifers." Conifers "flower" too of course, but theirs are not considered true flowers....another example of a gray area in botanical classification. Anyway, I doubt that either Krussmann or Hillier ever encountered E. equisitina 'Blue Stem', whether we call it a conifer or not. Our website describes it as "An interesting conifer-related shrub with slender rush-like powder blue stems. Small orange-red berries sparkle delightfully in the blue foliage. Wonderful addition to a rock garden."

The adjective wonderful...again. Regular readers of the blog know that I use, and probably overuse the word. But I am sincere every time. Blue is wonderful, and the color is no stranger to the Flora Wonder Blog.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Winter Maple Propagation

I have owned a wholesale nursery for 38 years, which is unusual since I am only 39 years old. Over the course of the years we propagate by grafting in both summer and winter...and here we are: well into February and I'm trying to wrap up my 38th winter season. These "years" don't consider that I previously grafted for other companies, so ok, I confess that I'm older than 39. What to graft, how many to graft, what rootstocks are available at the correct size??? – nobody in the company has a clue what to do if I'm not here. Believe me, I'm not trying to boast about my importance; and really I am stating the sad fact that I have created a company that cannot operate without me...which is not a comforting prospect for this old geezer.

Acer x conspicuum 'Phoenix' in August
Acer x conspicuum 'Phoenix' in January

Acer x conspicuum 'Phoenix'

We've had a mild winter and soon spring will engulf us. Before it's too late I committed to grafting our stripe-bark (AKA snake-bark) maples. Acer x conspicuum 'Phoenix' is the cultivar in greatest demand, so it took up the majority of the rootstock (on A. davidii). I have a love/hate attitude towards 'Phoenix' – I love the winter bark of course, but in summer my oldest specimen planted next to the house looks dreadful after a 100 degree day. It's not that the leaves burn, but rather all of the green is bleached away and so I have to look at a yellow tree from July through October. Some years the autumn foliage is vibrant, but most of the time it goes from yellow-to-brown. If you grow 'Phoenix' in shade the leaves will be protected, but then the winter bark color will be dulled. I gave up growing 'Phoenix' as a field crop, and now all of our plants are produced in a greenhouse under white poly. They grow too fast that way, so we prune the new growth in half around August. The x conspicuum hybrid is Acer davidii x Acer pensylvanicum which would be hardy to -20 degrees F, USDA zone 5, however the 'Phoenix' cultivar is probably less hardy, which is usually the case for such freaks of nature.

Acer pensylvanicum 'Erythrocladum'

Elaeagnus 'Quicksilver'
Speaking of freaks, nothing can be moreso than Acer pensylvanicum 'Erythrocladum', a maple that I consider to be more problematic than A. x conspicuum 'Phoenix'. In the Hillier Manual of Trees & Shrubs (2014) 'Erythrocladum is called, "A lovely form with brilliant candy-pink, white-striated young shoots in winter." Lovely indeed, unless the shoots are black from death. I grafted 50 anyway since they are so easy to sell, but they'll spend their formative years in our greenhouse, and never see the outdoors until they are in somebody's garden center. 'Erythrocladum' received the Award of Merit in 1976, but I can't imagine that it performs better in wet foggy England than in Oregon. In my career I have questioned quite a number of Awards of Merit, and I actually wonder if money is changing hands under the table. Take Elaeagnus 'Quicksilver' which received the AM in 1978: It took a few years and a lot of effort to get rid of mine; it was looking scrappy so I cut it down, but 50 feet away the suckers kept popping up. 'Quicksilver's' place might be at the edge of a woodlot, but certainly not in a "garden."

Acer pectinatum 'Mozart'

Anyway, back to maples. We grafted 50 Acer pectinatum 'Mozart' (which some list as a conspicuum cross). It takes full sun in Oregon and so far has proven hardy. In winter the bark is purplish-red with white vertical stripes. I have seen photos inside an enormous Dutch greenhouse operation where thousands of 'Mozart' were being grown from rooted cuttings, but I wondered how hardy they would be. According to De Beaulieu in An Illustrated Guide to Maples, Acer pectinatum is native to the southern Himalaya, from Nepal, Bhutan, northern Myanmar to Yunnan, China. That doesn't sound very hardy. The subspecies forrestii is from Yunnan Province in the Yulong Mountains and is perhaps more hardy. It is said (Hillier) that 'Mozart' was "Raised from seed wild-collected by Peter Vanlaerhoven." If that is the case, then it certainly can't be an x conspicuum hybrid (A. davidii x A. pensylvanicum). Most of my maple market is in regions more cold than Oregon, so the botanic status is very important. DeB. continues: "In 1977, Murray regrouped four species – Acer forrestii, A. laxiflorum, A. maximowiczii, and A. taronense – under A. pectinatum, which is the oldest valid name among them." Note that A. maximowiczii is not the same as A. maximowiczianum (formerly A. nikoense). The former is in the Macrantha section and the latter is in the Trifoliata section (with A. griseum) and they are completely different.

Acer caudatifolium 'Variegata'

I also grafted a few Acer caudatifolium 'Variegata', a pretty thing even though its cultivar name can't be valid. This is another case where the botanists are not friendly with the gardener, because care must be taken to not confuse the A. caudatifolium species with A. caudatum. The former is in the Macrantha section and the latter in the Parviflora section. A. caudatifolium (formerly A. kawakamii, A. morrisonense) is from mountain forests in Japan, while A. caudatum is from China and Manchuria. Remember, we are talking about stripe-bark grafting, and A. caudatum is not a stripe-bark. I grafted only five scions of the A. caudatifolium 'Variegata' to be sure I keep it on the Ark when I plant the mother tree into the arboretum. I don't know if it will prove hardy enough, but what else can you do when its canopy is pushing into the top of the greenhouse?

Acer davidii 'George Forrest'

Acer davidii 'George Forrest'

Acer forrestii

Nomenclatural confusion continues when you consider Acer davidii 'George Forrest' and A. forrestii, and though both are stripe-barks they are not one and the same according to Hillier. 'George Forrest' ('Horizontale') is "An open tree of loose habit with vigorous, spreading branches and large, dark green leaves with rhubarb-red stalks. This is the form most commonly met with in cultivation." This "cultivar" was introduced by George Forrest from Yunnan in 1921-22. Acer forrestii was also introduced from Yunnan by Forrest in 1906. Are these really two separate species? The photos of 'George Forrest' were taken in England 15 years ago, while the photos of A. forrestii were taken recently at the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Washington state.

Acer davidii 'Serpentine'

I have been growing Acer davidii 'Serpentine' for a long time, although I only propagate about every third year. It is a fast-growing cultivar and I suppose with time it would get huge. The colorful bark is most evident on young shoots, so it is probably better grown as a bush rather than as a large upright tree. That's another way of saying that sales are not so hot for fast-growing stripe-barks.

Acer tegmentosum 'Joe Witt'

Acer tegmentosum 'Joe Witt'

I attended a Maple Society conference in Belgium six or seven years ago and the most eminent Acer botanist of our time declared that Acer tegmentosum comes true from seed, and that there is absolutely no variation and therefore no cultivars of the species. Immediately a half dozen hands shot up to protest the know-it-all, and everybody said, "What about A. tegmentosum 'Joe Witt'? The botanist conceded nothing, and to this day is sure that 'Joe Witt' is undoubtedly a hybrid. Maybe it is. It was raised from seed by Mr. Witt, curator at the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle. He planted it at his home where it grew fast and strong, and was one day noticed by visiting plantsman Dan Hinkley. Hinkley thought it was remarkable for its chalk-white bark, so he named and introduced it. 'Joe Witt' can be grafted onto any stripe-bark maple, and we have even rooted it with summer cuttings under mist.

Acer davidii 'Serendipity'

Acer davidii 'Serendipity'

Joe Witt passed away a number of years ago, and by chance his daughter worked at Buchholz Nursery for a few years. When her mother aged the decision was made to sell the family home, but I wonder if the new occupants recognize and prize their famous maple. On the property was a companion to the Acer tegmentosum – it was an Acer davidii seedling, also from the Arboretum. Witt's daughter asked if we could propagate the davidii as a memory to her father. She named the selection 'Serendipity' for a reason that I cannot remember. If anybody would like a start of that, or of the tegmentosum 'Joe Witt', just let me know.

Acer pensylvanicum 'Silver Fox'

Acer pensylvanicum 'Silver Fox'

The final stripe-bark that I'll mention is Acer pensylvanicum 'Silver Fox', a selection from Crispin Silva of Oregon. The "Moosewood" maple is the only native American stripe-bark, and 'Silver Fox' displays a trunk that commands attention. As with the others I've written about, I don't propagate many nor do I do it every year because my customers prefer exotics versus native American species.

The exotic maples we propagate in greatest number are of course Acer palmatum cultivars, but about 95% of them are grafted in summer when the heat is free. In the winter we place the grafts on our hot-callus pipe, and though the heated water in the pipes is certainly not free, last year virtually every graft "took" so I hope for the same this year. I know the risks, for the Gods of propagation like to toy with you to keep you humble. If they all live again this year I should probably buy a lottery ticket.

Acer palmatum 'Marlo'
Acer palmatum 'Taylor'

Some palmatum cultivars are too thin and soft in the summer, so these are the candidates that we winter graft. A.p. 'Marlo' is relatively new (for me) and it is very colorful, and it has effectively replaced the patented A.p. 'Taylor' because the latter is more prone to mildew. I received my start of both cultivars from Holland, and while I know that 'Taylor' is a Dick van der Maat selection, I don't know about the 'Marlo'. Anyway 'Marlo' grows as a bush about as wide as tall. It needs some protection form the sun in Oregon, in fact I consider it to be a patio plant in a container where it will also receive winter protection. 'Marlo' – I think named for a girl – is like a high-maintenance woman: very pretty when happy, but the guy has to decide if she's worth the effort.

Acer palmatum 'Tattoo'

While I was searching for another maple in the greenhouse I noticed my original start of A.p. 'Tattoo', a compact miniature spreading bun. I noted dozens of one-inch shoots that I had somehow overlooked in summer, and these little twigs were promptly dispatched to Juana in the propagation room. She makes every graft successful it seems, no matter how small or difficult the scion. I don't know the origin of 'Tattoo', or of its curious name, but if someone claims that it was a seedling or a mutation from A.p. 'Mikawa yatsubusa', that would be believable. A fantasy plant that I can imagine would be a red-leaved 'Tattoo', but I've never seen seed on my green specimen. For a while there was a false 'Tattoo' in the trade; I had it and it wasn't very impressive. Then the late D. Dodge of Bethlehem Nursery in CT – well, before he was "late" – gave me my start of the real deal. Mr. Dodge operated a small nursery, but one with a choice collection of maples, ginkgo and conifers, and my source records indicate that I received over fifty wonderful plants from him. So, in that sense he lives on...and I should do likewise.

Acer palmatum 'Wild Fire'

Basically, winter maple propagation involves me walking around the nursery with plastic bags and a pair of felcoes. I cut what I encounter and I can make an excuse for most everything. Such is the case with A.p. 'Wild Fire', and with the leaves out of the way it is more simple to choose good scionwood. I remember back a few months ago that I was impressed with its bright yellow fall leaves. Now the stem colors range from yellow to orange to red at the tips, and really it is more interesting than the ubiquitous 'Sango kaku' ("coral tower") which we stopped growing altogether.

Acer palmatum 'Bihou'

Another coral bark A. palmatum is 'Gold Digger', and it displays green leaves that evolve from yellow to red in autumn. The summer shoots stay yellow on my young plants, and I'm curious how evident this will be as the trees age. Both 'Gold Digger' and 'Wild Fire' can probably tolerate more cold temperatures than the popular Acer palmatum 'Bihou', but we sell a lot of the latter in Oregon, Washington and California.

Acer palmatum 'Peve Starfish'

Acer palmatum 'Japanese Princess'

I try to keep my propagating numbers reasonable, meaning that it is better to sell out of a cultivar down the road than to have too many. My customers are fickle for the most part, and it is their right to be. We could have propagated twice as many Acer palmatum 'Peve Starfish', a plant currently in great demand, and at least five times as many 'Japanese Princess', which is also in great demand, but I resisted the temptation to graft more. I remember in 2007, a year before our great recession, that a large Oregon wholesale nursery limited their customers on maples to only 30% of their total order. Some of their customers were trying to order maples only, and then buy their Hydrangeas and Alberta spruce elsewhere where the price was better. I found that amusing, to try to force your customers into supporting your other plant material. My customers can order whatever they want, and I'm pleased to be able to supply them, and it's my job to mind-read their future wants when I propagate. Feel free to "cherry-pick" at Buchholz Nursery; after all we only grow the cherries.