Welcome to my Western Pennsylvania garden. Join me on a "Walk Down the Garden Path".

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Arboretum Walk and a Rarity

For my final post on Hershey Gardens I wanted to share some photos of the magnificent trees and conifers on the grounds. While I do thoroughly enjoy the flowers and perennials, there is something special about the trees. Maybe it's the years and years of growth which have made them the magnificent heralds of the natural world. When I think of my own property and how I would like this tree or that tree, I am thinking of the tree at a mature stage, not the stage it would be planted at, and I am always a little sad thinking of the time which must elapse to reach my vision. But this should not deter me from planting trees, for just as life for us is a wonderful journey, so is life for a tree. And to see that tree grow over the years and be able to look back and remember when it was just planted, or only this big, is as rewarding as enjoying the mature tree itself.

But I digress, and must get on with the short pictorial tour of mature trees on the grounds of Hershey Gardens.

These first two photos are of the Fragrant Snowbell, Stryax obassia. I was intrigued by the yellowish fruits that it had. After reading a little about this tree, I found out that it has beautiful, white, fragrant flowers on 4 to 10 inch long racemes in late spring or early summer. It is not noted for it's fall color or it's insignificant (to some) fruits.

This is a Variegated Juniper. Some may not like the yellow in it, thinking it not looking healthy, but I don't mind and think it adds some brightness in what would otherwise just be green.

I really liked this Weeping Beech, Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula'. It was trained and draped over the walkway. I imagine it as a secret hideaway on a hot day.

Grab your tissues, there is more weeping. This time a Weeping Norway Spruce, Picea abies forma pendula 'Inversa'. That is all one tree, with it's branches falling like tears on the ground.

Yet another weeper, but so attractive I think. This is the Weeping White Pine, Pinus strobus 'Pendula'.

I just liked how the composition of this shot turned out. Very geometrical.

Another composition shot which is very inviting to me with the various shades of cool green.

And finally, the rarity you have been waiting for since being teased by the title of this post. This is the "Mother tree" of all Cryptomeria japonica 'Dense Jade', or for those of us who prefer English subtitles, the Hybrid Japanese Cedar v. Dense Jade. All Cryptomeria japonica 'Dense Jade' can have their ancestry traced back to this tree. There can only be one "Mother tree" to a whole new variety. I had never heard this term before, so my trip was a learning experience as well. Now that's a family tree. This tree was transplanted in Hershey Gardens in September 2006. It looks like it is enjoying it's new home.


joey said...

Thanks again for the lovely tour, Cindy. I truly feel as though I was indeed beside you!

Karen said...

I love weeping trees. I have a weeping copper beech in my garden, planted by someone else but I appreciate it. That jade tree is astonishing, how did they transplant such a mature tree and have it survive?!

tina said...

Such super nice heartfelt thoughts about trees. I keep planting them too even though I might not ever see them reach these proportions. I just love the fruit of the snowbells. I did not know they had any but have been told these are excellent little trees for the landscape. The weepers were great too as is that huge Crytomeria. One of my favorites, though they don't grow well for me:( That is neat about the Mother tree.

Gail said...


The Fragrant Snowbell looks like a keeper tree, but to be perfectly honest...I am not a big fan of some of the weeping conifers....too weepy sometimes; although, they can look spectacular in a setting like Hersey Gardens.

I love the Mother Tree term...what a fascinating bit of information; all from one tree!


Cindy said...

Joey ~ I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I wish you really could have been with me for the tour.

Karen ~ The picture on the placard talking about the Mother Tree showed a huge backhoe. I guess when you are professionals, you can do things right and much easier than it would be for you or I.

Tina ~ I bet the snowbell is just lovely in bloom and I would welcome it in my landscape. I had never heard that term before and thought that quite amazing.

Gail ~ yes some of those weepers are a bit weepy and need the large expanse of a public garden space. When we home gardeners have so much to plant in so little space, I agree that they wouldn't work as well.

Rose said...

The Norway weeping spruce is certainly unique! I agree that it is so important to plant trees,even though we may never see them at their full maturity ourselves. Funny, but Beckie (Dragonfly Corner) and I were talking about this very idea at lunch today: you really plant trees for posterity, not yourself.

Cindy said...

Rose ~ Yes, since we enjoy trees planted way before we were born, it's only right we repay the favor.

Machelle said...

You sound lke me.Years ago when I first started gardening I hated to buy a small tree, I wanted a BIG tree and of course I couldn't afford a mature tree, so I just didn't buy one at all. Now, I think
if I had planted a microscopic tree then, by now it would be big. So now when I shop for trees or shrubs I try to keep that in mind.