18 January 2002
Humphrey J. Welch
Volume 1

The Conifer Manual - Cover Forestry Science, Volume 34, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 1991, 439 pages, line drawings, black-&-white photographs, index
ISBN 0-7923-0616-3


The authors of Manual of Cultivated Conifers, published in 1965, claimed to have covered all the species of conifers that are hardy in the cold- and warm-temperate zones and also to have included all the names of cultivars published since 1753, with descriptions. The book at once established a claim to be the most complete survey of the cultivated conifers possible, a lead that it has held for nearly a quarter of a century and which, despite the appearance of other manuals, it can still claim because of its documentation of the names.

A very large number of the older names in that book relate to selections that have long since been lost to cultivation. On the other hand, since 1965 there has been a great increase in the number of new cultivars. The present Conifer Manual takes account of both these matters and also incorporates changes in the taxonomy of conifers that have been accepted during this period. The opportunity has been taken to amplify the descriptions of species and to introduce a new system of guides to their identification which many readers will find easier to use than formal keys.

A notable change since 1965 has been an increase in the use within ornamental horticulture of species that never attain arboreal proportions and of slow-growing variants of larger species. This has resulted in a proliferation of cultivars loosely embraced under the term 'Dwarf conifer'. These have been dealt with in depth in the present author's own books, notably in Manual of Dwarf Conifers, published in 1979. The incorporation of a complete up-date of that book within the present work will serve to justify the claim to comprehensive treatment that is implicit in the title The Conifer Manual.

Table of Content
Volume One

Author's Introduction1Watering42
Picture Credits3Pruning42
    5.Classification and Nomenclature44
A Conifer Bibliography4Botanical classification44
1.General Introduction9Historical review47
The word 'conifer'9Nomenclature of cultivated plants50
The origin of conifers9The codes of nomenclature51
The morphology of conifers11Latin-form cultivar names53
   The roots11Authorities54
The trunk11Types and protologues54
The branches11The World Conifer Data Pool56
The buds13Conifer names registration56
The leaves14Conifer Data Sheet60
Flowers and cones146.Identification62
2.The Uses and Value of Conifers18Keys62
Conifers in nature18Guides to identification of species63
Using conifers18  Method of using the guides63
A solitary specimen20The twelve main groups64
Hedges and shelter belts: woodland20'Go-to' listing for main group one65
Dwarf conifers20'Go-to' listing for main group two65
Alpine forms22'Go-to' listing for main group three66
Seedling mutations22'Go-to' listing for main group four69
Juvenile fixations23'Go-to' listing for main group five72
Bud mutations23'Go-to' listing for main group six74
Witches' brooms24'Go-to' listing for main group seven75
Cultivariants25'Go-to' listing for main group eight80
Using dwarf conifers25'Go-to' listing for main group nine83
'Go-to' listing for main group ten83
3.Choice of Species and Varieties31'Go-to' listing for main group eleven85
Climatic zones and hardiness ratings31'Go-to' listing for main group twelve86
4.Cultivation377.Varieties Currently Available90
Soil preparation37Citation of 'authorities'90
Purchase of plants38Citation of Latin-form cultivar names91
The planting season41Abies92

x Cupressocyparis282Microstrobus424
Decussocarpus316Index to Volume One427

18 January 2002