Tucked just off of Route 195 south of campus, UConn’s Conifer Collection hosts hundreds of trees, the fruits of Sidney Waxman’s hunts. Waxman, a plant science professor, was a pioneer of propagating dwarf varieties of pine — with the help of his .22-caliber rifle. He and his friends would scour the countryside for witches’ brooms, atypical clumps of branches on pine trees. Waxman would use his .22 to shoot high up into the clumps to dislodge pinecones and collect seeds, which he would then plant, all in the name of developing new varieties of dwarf pines. Since eastern white pines, Pinus strobus, are so common in Connecticut, the UConn Conifer Collection boasts an almost startling array of dwarf white pine varieties, as demonstrated below.
Courtesy of Sidney Waxman