The Majesty of the Conifers Await You
Enter a serene world among the majestic beauty of the conifers. From the Visitor Center, take the path between the Maze and Children's Garden, and then turn left on the Conifer Walk. This half-mile paved path guides you past 150 different species of junipers, pines, spruces, firs, yews, and larches.
Branch off the main trail and stand in the midst of the Conifer Collection. Conifer means "cone bearing." Conifers bear their seeds in cones of different shapes and sizes. They usually have needles or scale-like leaves.
Touch the blue juniper cones or the soft needles of larches. Photograph the interesting bark of cypress or redwood. Or hike through Douglas firs, spruces, and hemlocks.
Conifers have long since stirred imaginations of people of many cultures. Author J.K. Rowling (1965-) gave Lord Voldemort, the main villain in the Harry Potter books, a wand of yew to match his character: long-lived and poisonous. Pines inspired Ralph Waldo Emerson's (1803-1832) Woodnotes II: "Who leaves the pine-trees, leaves his friend, unnerves his strength, invites his end."
Explore our new, quarter-mile Conifer Loop, just off the Conifer Walk. This short, easy stroll takes you through diverse terrain featuring a pleasing mix of wide vistas and enclosed spaces. Kids will enjoy playing hide 'n seek among 50-year-old yews with sculptural shapes, looking for the weeping Katsura tree, and spying an unusual Ginkgo.
The Vanishing Acts exhibit is located along the Conifer Loop. Young and old alike can learn about endangered trees and the simple things we can do to protect them. Look for the "secret arrow" leading to a beautiful Fraser fir, one of the exhibit's featured trees.
Also along the Conifer Loop, you'll find the Dwarf Conifer Garden and the Dwarf Deciduous Shrub Collections. They contain examples of attractive, easy-to-maintain trees, shrubs, evergreens, and woody perennials that remain small throughout their lifetime.