Larix occidentalis ‘Cascade Cloud’
This Western larch broom, Larix occidentalis ‘Cascade Cloud’, was discovered by Mike & Cheryl in 2014 and was finally harvested in November 2019. It took a while to figure out how to retrieve it since it was more than 75 feet high! This find is the first of 2 Larix occidentalis brooms that we found, up in the Cascade Mountain range at an elevation between 5000-6000 ft. This is significant because as noted in the American Conifer Society, there are very few cultivars of Western larch, other than Larix occidentalis ‘Bollinger’ which was a Jerry Morris broom discovered in the 1990’s! We were able to access this broom last November 2018, and grafted some scions, all of which pushed beautifully within a few weeks! We brought them out of the greenhouse in the Spring and we were dismayed that within a month, all of the needles turned yellow and fell off. We discarded most of the grafts with plans to try again in 2019. Much to our surprise, a few weeks later, the grafts that we kept, and the understock, started pushing again! We realized that while in the greenhouse for several months, the temperature never was below 50 degrees (They share space with an orchid collection). And when the grafts were placed outside in the Spring, subjected to the cool nighttime temperatures in the upper 30’s, they responded as though winter was approaching and dropped their needles. Fortunately they pushed again as the outside temperatures warmed up and they are doing great! The second broom we found, up in the Cascade Mountain range of Washington, is Larix occidentalis ‘Stratosphere’, which has not yet been harvested or grafted, and already snowed out for 2019 due to early winter in the mountains!