About Abies amabilis ‘Sway’: This was the very first Abies amabilis broom we discovered. The tree and broom are truly lovely, aptly named “amabilis”. While walking along the Pacific Crest Trail, the broom silhouette was spotted in the skyline. We have been watching this broom for a number of years and finally had an opportunity to harvest a few scions during our mild November in 2021. Our new grafts are showing some activity in April 2022. Looking good so far! Hopefully success since the broom is so challenging to access during grafting season!
Abies concolor ‘Wildcat’ is an interesting white fir broom discovered on the Northern Michigan University campus, home of the “Wildcats”! The broom itself was the size of a soccer ball, with dense powdery blue foliage. It grows less than 1 inch per year.
About Abies grandis ‘Grandiose’: We have always had a fascination with variegated conifers, always on the look out for sports, and the even more elusive trees, that show color variegation. The coloration is usually easiest to identify when the conditions are overcast or at dusk. We found this young Grand fir tree in the backroads of the Cascade Mountains of eastern Washington in November 2020 during our expedition to harvest other specimens. We were on our way home in the late afternoon, just after harvesting Abies amabilis ‘Little Star’ when this colorful conifer was spotted.
This is the second Grand fir variegated tree that we have found. The other, Abies grandis ‘Grand Prize’ was discovered a few years ago, and the grafted cultivars of ‘Grand Prize’ are doing very well, even in the eastern Washington high desert conditions. We are hoping for the same results with this new cultivar, Abies grandis ‘Grandiose’ as the coloration is more diffuse for this specimen.
Abies grandis ‘Grandiose’ scions were grafted immediately after harvest, in November 2020, and the buds and cambium looked very healthy!
About Abies amabilis ‘Rock Star’: This Pacific Silver fir broom was discovered during a day trip up in the Cascade Mountains of eastern Washington in the summer of 2020. The Abies amabilis parent tree of this new cultivar was growing along the edge of a crumbling rock bluff.
We returned in November to harvest scions, and to make matters worse, the rocky bluff was covered with loose rocks, moss, and ferns, so that the trip up was slippery and challenging with the long pole pruner!
Fortunately, we were able to harvest just a portion of this Abies amabilis conifer broom, to leave most of the remainder of ‘Rock Star’ intact!
This new Abies amabilis cultivar graft is safely tucked away in the green house for now. We are eagerly awaiting to see this Rock Star’s performance!
About Abies amabilis ‘Little Star’: This ‘Little Star’ was discovered in the Pacific Northwest Cascade mountain range during the summer of 2020. The tiny Abies amabilis broom sat atop the end of a long branch, and became visible as it bounced around in the breeze between the shadows and sunlight. It was illuminated by a ray of sunshine amidst a dark background forest of moss covered branches.
We returned in November 2020, a few days before the first eastern Cascade mountains snow storm of the season, to harvest this conifer broom, along with the beautiful variegated Abies amabilis ‘Colorific’. This time, the ‘Little Star’ was enhanced by the beautiful color change of autumn.
The pruner on a 22 foot pole was too short to reach the broom. The silky saw on a longer pole was also too short, but thankfully, there was a 3 foot stump directly underneath to stand on, and the branch holding the broom was barely within reach!
Much to our delight, the Abies amabilis ‘Little Star’ was a miniature broom with tiny dense short branches! The center had some brown needles. They may have been shaded from of debris collecting in the center of the dense broom.
This Pacific silver fir broom was grafted in early November 2020 and the scions of this new cultivar had great cambium for grafting!
There’s a twinkle in it’s buds!
About Abies amabilis ‘Colorific’: This intensely colorful Pacific silver fir variegated sport was discovered during the summer of 2020.
The very large heavily variegated branch, measuring greater that 10 feet in the tree, was the most vigorous and healthy of any of the variegated amabilis specimens we have found so far. The other Davison variegated Abies amabilis cultivar grafts have met with limited success. Only a few of each have survived, probably partly because they had to be grafted in the fall, due to access issues in the snowy mountains. We are cautiously optimistic that ‘Colorific’ will be a beautiful and colorful new variegated cultivar that should graft well! We have acquired experience through trial and error, and the branch was so healthy appearing! A few scions of Abies amabilis ‘Colorific’ were grafted in early November! The cambium was great! We also sent scions to our friend, Paulie Seidel, who has been grafting now for a couple years, with a great success rate! Keeping our fingers crossed!
The scions were grafted in early November 2020 on to Abies amabilis understock seedlings. The grafts are covered with plastic baggies to contain humidity (removed for photo). There are more scions on the parent tree for later if this proves to be a good one!
About Abies amabilis ‘Galaxy’. Our friends from the Czech Republic gave us directions to an Abies procera broom and we were on an expedition to find it. The road to the other broom was blocked, but not for naught when Mike found this cool Abies amabilis broom instead! This Pacific silver fir broom has a flattened dense growth habit, long needles, and a nice look. It grafted beautifully! We have a couple grafts in the greenhouse and the buds are getting plump and green (not ideal, too soon, I know!). Other ‘Galaxy’ grafts are housed in a cooler environment, and we shared scions of this new cultivar with friends in Oregon. We will see!
Abies amabilis ‘Galaxy’ broom was barely within reach of the pole saw. It was so dense that Mike was unable to get the saw through the broom to harvest just a piece. And the wood was extremely dense and he had difficulty sawing through it…
So the entire broom was harvested, but one can appreciate the interesting habit as the whole broom can be seen, disc-like and flat, like most galaxies, with a very nice growth pattern!
Abies grandis ‘Grand Prize’ is a new cultivar from a golden variegated Pacific grand fir that was discovered while hiking in the eastern Cascade mountain range of Washington state. The golden variegation was present throughout the tree and the new grafts are pushing with yellow variegated foliage that persists throughout the year! It was found by the Davisons on the same day as a fully golden variegated Pinus monticola, ‘Monti’s Gold‘. It was accessed during the winter via snowmobile and the entire tree, which was at least 10 feet tall, was buried under snow. Mike was able to figure out the location based on the surrounding landmarks and dug out a few branches to gather cuttings, and nearly all of the grafted scions pushed.
Abies amabilis ‘Pulsar’, is a new cultivar from a Pacific silver fir broom that was discovered in the eastern Cascade mountain range of Washington at an elevation of almost exactly 1 mile (5276 feet per our Altitude app!). It is an extremely dense and old appearing broom. So we decided to name it ‘Pulsar’. We harvested a few scions in the fall of 2018 and they pushed nicely, and developed multiple new buds! We gathered more scions in November 2019, to share with other enthusiasts! While harvesting this “Star” broom, we also found a tight little broom that we named Abies amabilis ‘Stellar’! At present, there are only 1 or 2 Abies amabilis cultivars commercially available, which includes the beautiful and sought after ‘Spreading Star’ which originated as a seedling in the Netherlands before 1960.