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Friday 13th July, 2018
Take a gander at those trees that cascade in habit
All cultivars of trees that are named have to be cloned or reproduced vegetatively from the same tissue of the originating tree. For example Liquidambar styraciflua is the genus and species and if that's all the name that it has then, bet your boots, it has been grown from seed. Now this can be quite a good thing as often many plants, or in this case trees, will grow true from seed, or at least be a good representative of its parents.
The advantage of seedling grown is that you can get some brilliant new cultivars that may exhibit some characteristic that other clones don't have. If our Liquidamber styraciflua is followed by the name Lane Roberts for example, then this is a selected form of the species and is grown for certain characteristics, most likely either tree form or amazing autumn colours in this case. If you wish to have an avenue of the same cultivar then you know that they will all look exactly the same in form.
All named trees need to be either grafted or occasionally they may be produced from cuttings as some Magnolias can be. I do note that we get a mix of grafted and cutting grown Magnolias here and they do just fine on their own roots.
Grafting of trees is usually done on the appropriate seedling of the same species and mostly these are grafted almost at ground level... we describe these as L/W, meaning low worked, but every now and then we get H/W high worked standard and these are grafted at set heights on a pole like root stock.
The advantage of H/W grafting is that the development of the tree trunk is created at purchase time rather than having to remove the lower branches to create your own bare tree trunk over the next couple of years and so you are getting a more instant or mature like tree. Of course there are other considerations like a small or slow growing tree like the the crabapple Ioensis plena gains instant stature if H/W grafted on a 1.5m root stock. If the same tree is L/W and of the same age as a H/W then comparatively would be only 50cm high and will take the next three year to achieve the same height as the H/W.
Another really good example and use of H/W grafting are true weeping trees where the wood only grows downwards and so if you low worked these the resulting tree or plant material will grow along the ground and potentially be a large mushroom depending on the natural size of the tree.
To that end, to create a tree that is to be sold as a weeping or cascading tree, if the growers elects to L/W graft the tree, then the resulting leader needs to be trained up a stake until growing tip reaches the desired height. It can then be tipped and allowed to cascade again. Weeping maples of the dissectum type like Crimson Queen, ViridisTamukeayama, Inabe Shidare and so on, are more often than not produced this way.
Often they are trained to a height of either approx 50 cm or more usually the case to the 100 cm mark. Sometime you can get H/W ones which are usually grafted at the top of the root stock at around 100cm high. I guess that at the end of the day the resulting mature plant will still be the same, though you are more likely to have root stock growth on high worked plants which must be removed immediately it is noticed as it will over take the desired tree.
Now other larger grown trees like weeping flowering cherries, well these are mostly grafted high on standards at a variety of heights like 1.2, 1.5 and 1.8, which get the plants up in the air and then they can cascade as their natural habit.. because weeping trees can only grow downwards they really don't increment in height size very quickly though they do tend to get wider. The stem height doesn't actually grow any taller like many seem to think.
Falling Snow, Pendula Rosea and Kiku Shidare are all weeping cherries and usually come as 1.2, 1.5 and 1.8m standards and these will only gain size as they throw a vigorous new shoot upwards which as it grows will naturally curve back downwards and over which does take time. I prefer to lift the weeping branches all to the same height on the weeping trees that I have in my garden so that I can still see the trunk of the tree. Otherwise you get this curtain that falls to the ground and then I feel the tree looses its structure and just looks like a blob.
Cascading trees really suit certain landscape situations like say on a road frontage underneath power lines and so they won't get to tall. As a feature tree or plant in the garden say under windows where again you don't want the plant to grow over the window. Ponds and other landscaped areas where you may want the plant to cascade towards the water leading the eye downwards
Sometimes grouping the same weeping plant at differing heights looks really effective. Just while touching on the use of different plants, here's where good landscape design is really important. It's not just about the right plant in the right place, it's also the hard landscaping, the overall combination of layout, rooms, views and so much more. Garden Graphix landscape designer Anthony Skinner is an extremely talented and creative landscaper. If you are struggling with achieving the look you want for your garden then sometimes a different perspective may be needed. Anthony is able to provide design plans to scale suitable for both private and contractors as well. You can see some of his work on his website www.gardengraphix.co.nz
I have to mention some really special weeping trees, well I think so!
Cercis Ruby Falls. Which could be possibly be called a form of the Judas tree and has similar foliage to the very popular Forest pansy except the form of this tree is cascading. Imagine a weeping, ruby red, kidney shaped leaved, tree as a feature in your garden.. bright pink pea like flower will be borne on the branches... so cool.
Laburnum alpinum pendulum or Golden Chain tree.... something a tad different and will set your garden apart as not many will have this beauty. It has an attractive cascading habit which is well foliated with mid green leaves and pretty chains of yellow flowers in the spring.. again these are pea like as this one also belongs to the legume family which means that it can also fix its own nitrogen.
Sophora japonica pendula is the weeping form of the Japanese pagoda tree is a gorgeous cascading feature tree... belonging to the same genus as the Kowhai and with similar leaves, but much larger, and also an attractive green. Typical white pea like flowers are an attractive bonus in the spring. The intrinsic arching structure of the branches in it's naked form are very also highly attractive.
Last weekend for Rose Q and A with Rose society
The Waikato Rose Society We have had some good attendance so far but this will be our last 2 days hosting the rosarians who are offering advice and knowledge about rose care and maintenance. Question and answer sessions will be held here for the last time this year this weekend. Whether you want to grow roses for show, just have an amazing display in the garden or want to ask about rose choices, then these are the guys that you want to catch up with.
These dates are in facebook events, you can register you interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or show your interest on the event date you are coming to. Don't be shy, register your interest today.
Nearly at the end of potting YAY!
Many of the new seasons trees are now potted, albeit they are all over the place in nothing resembling order. Though I do believe that we have a few more days potting coming up in the next week or so but now is the big task of getting the whole nursery back into some logical law and order. This means getting all the selections of fruit trees like apples,pears, plums, peaches, nectarines and so on all together and then in alphabetical order so that we can all find them.. the same will happen to the roses as currently the letters are all together but we can get way more precise.
As we go through the nursery re-blocking, it means we can sweep and clean again especially after the blustery Monday that we have just had that blew all the rubbish out of the trees. We will get the last of the Autumn leaves too... Its a bit like having a huge garden that we work hard at to keep looking awesome.
Its a good time if the weather is nice to get into your garden and clean up and get it ready for the spring, Tidy away all the autumn leaves, get it weeded and mulched. Spray your roses and fruit trees with Lime sulphur or if you prefer do several applications of copper and conqueror oil. I really like the concept of these clean up sprays as they are not harmful products and should help reduce populations of fungal spores and insect eggs that overwinter waiting for the nice weather of spring.
Its a good time to fill those gaps in the garden and do those bigger planting projects like hedges or large mass garden plantings.
I know that Anthony, our gardener designer, is out there as I write this, lifting all of the Christmas lilies and just putting the large bulbs back... They were starting to get overcrowded with lots of small bulbs and so the vigour and display was really starting to lessen and the display at Christmas time was getting poor. Don't forget to lift perennials like Oreganums, Asters etc and replant as this will increase their vigour again too.
This section on our website is where you will find any new plants that we have added to our range. Just recently we have had a good number of new season Hellebours plants that have been bred to encourage large, colourful, more outward facing flowers. They really are getting there with these selections.
Ice n rose Rose is from a new helleborus series of 3 colours and have been called Ice n rose rose, white and red. These will flower throughout winter and well into spring. The blooms are held above the leaf and face outward rather than down, the blend of pink edged white large flowers are gorgeous. We are hopeful of acquiring the white variety of this series shortly also.
Madame Lemmonier is another of the new breed of outward facing flower hellebores, this selection offers a gorgeous range of rich pinks on lovely large flowers.
So another weekend is upon us and looking outside right now it is foggy and wet so hopefully a new day will dawn bright and shiny for whatever work you have planned for the garden this weekend.
Have a fabulous weekend and a productive week.
Lloyd, Harry and the Wairere Team
Make it a Wairere weekend where even GNOMES know that gardening's not a drag.