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An Interview With Byron Wix

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Friday, April 4th, 2014

This week, we caught up with Byron Wix, manager of landscape and aquatics for the past 33 years, to find out what we can expect to find in the revitalized land of High Sierra fun!

Can you tell us what types of plants can be found in Camp Snoopy?
Sure, right now guests can see redwoods, pine trees, shrubs, ferns and perennial flowers. Also, trees planted by Walter Knott himself. Interestingly our redwoods are a pretty unique in the sense that they can grow to be up to 400 feet tall in their natural habitat. That would make them taller than Supreme Scream! Knott’s horticulture department planted trees in Camp Snoopy that were initially 10ft. tall and have since grown to be 60ft.tall over the course of 30 years.

What new types of vegetation will be added throughout Camp Snoopy?
Our horticulture team has upped the game tremendously for the revitalization of the entire area. We are broadening what types of plants will inhabit the camp by adding in greenery that can be found along streams, ferns that live beneath coastal redwoods, a lot of colorful perennials. We’re also adding in river birches and blue cedar trees to the stream next to Rapid River Run. We wanted to design an environment that is relaxing and rich with year-round color. The greenery is planted in a way to mimic what you see on a hiking trip, nothing planted in rows so to speak.

How does the team take care of the landscape inside the Park?
We nurture the plants with the right amount of water, fertilizer as well as planting them in an appropriate area where they can flourish. We also change our perennials 3-4 times per year.

Approximately how many plants, trees, shrubs are there in Camp Snoopy?
Right now there are approximately 200 trees, 1000 shrubs and 1000 perennials. We have been and will continue to add to that number.

Wow! Camp Snoopy is sure to be an immersive experience! On that note, how many pounds of soil will be purchased for the revitalization?
For this project we have ordered100k pounds of amended top soil.

How do you decide what types of plants and trees to buy?
We go all over SoCal to acquire our plants and plant material for the entire park. We use dozens of whole sale nurseries. Some of our vegetation comes in from northern and southern California growers. For us, the quality of the plant is number one. Health and vigor of the plant is also very important.

You are quite the expert! Do you have any gardening tips for fans at home?
I sure do. I always advise family friends and even inquiring park guests to do their research when thinking about what types of plant and or tree to buy. Find a plant/tree that will fit well into the location where you’re going to plant it. Buy the right variety and don’t disregard smaller hybrids of large plants and trees.

Do you have a favorite plant or tree?
I would have to say the multi trunk Arbutus Marina is my favorite

Sounds like an interesting tree, why is it your favorite?
I feel that it has it all! It has great structure it doesn’t get too big, its evergreen, and it bares berries and flowers. Did you know that this tree will actually be planted inside of the meet and greet area’s arbor?

That’s wonderful! The new mmet and greet area is a great addition to the camp. Can you tell us a little more about the structure of the tree?
I would love to. The tree’s base will be 6’x6’ wide and will be 16-17 feet tall and 10-13 feet wide. It will weigh approximately 3-4 tons. When the tree arrives, it will be craned into the meet and greet area.

That’s impressive! Byron, thank you for taking us through the exciting plans for Camp Snoopy! We will let you get back to the Knott’s Berry Bloom landscape install!
Any time! We are actually just about done with Bloom landscape overlay. The flora for Knott’s Berry Bloom is simply amazing, I am very proud of what the landscaping team did for it. Thank you.