Chapter 2 - A Plant Pioneer

Chapter 2 - A Plant Pioneer

Gunnar James Hiorth (1894-1967), the man who wanted to dress up the mountains of Norway.

Gunnar was a plant pioneer, who planted more than 2000 different plants from all over the world at Håskog. He thought it was poor that the Norwegian forests only had 2 main types of timber and wanted to try out trees from other regions like Siberia and California.

Just to mention a few, he tried 53 different types of fir (Abies), 57 types of cypress (Chamaecyparis), 14 types of larch (Larix), 42 types of spruce (Picea), 58 types of pine (Pinus) and 79 types of juniper (Juniperus). There are still many trees planted by Gunnar to be discovered in the forests of Håskog, like the beautiful rhododendron forest still remaining on the property.




“Gunnar Hiorth was not only a plant enthusiast. He was also fond of lyrics and he knew his classics. In particular, he likes to read Lord Byron. There he found the poem “To a foundlander'' where it says that a dog like that has all the good traits from a human and none of their bad ones… Lord Byron's dog was called Boatswain and thereby Hiorth was calling his dog Båtsmann”.

“I was about to say that Siberian dwarf pine one time is going to dress up Norway's naked shoulders… From Sembra pine I have got 25 kilos of seeds that are sprouting nicely and in three years I can deliver 100.000 plants of this type”.

— excerpts from Stavanger Aftenblad, En pølsepinn i jorda, 20.06.1959.