Trees

23 posts / 0 new
Last post
Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14
Trees

Even rock gardeners plant trees, either for shade or for ornamental purposes in their gardens. I'm starting this topic to explore favorite ornamental trees and shrubs that we might consider adding to our gardens.

I start with Magnolia tripetala, a southeastern USA species. The USDA Plant Profile link shows its native distribution as including New England and Massachusetts, whereas the Flora of North America does not, it shows a more limited southerly range. Regardless, this "giant leaf" magnolia is perfectly hardy here.

Magnolia tripetala, umbrella magnolia, umbrella tree (Syn. Magnolia virginiana var. tripetala)
USDA Plant Profile shows a distribution including Massachusetts, but the Flora of North America does not show any distribution that far north, it shows a more limited southeasterly distribution.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=MATR
http://www.efloras.org/object_page.aspx?object_id=6428&flora_id=1

What I show is a selection named M. tripetala 'Petite', selected on account of the bright red seed heads. My tree grew to about 18', but snapped off at the base in an ice storm in 2008. For the next 3 years I selected suckers to become the new tree, but each autumn the leader would break off. Finally in 2011, a new leader became strong enough to restart the tree. It's a quick grower, with enormous tropical looking leaves, and immense blooms.

I was totally surprised today to see a single large bloom from my deck, hadn't even seen a bud before that. The leaves can grow more than 2' long (70 cm), a leaf whorl is huge, with striking late blooming white flowers. When checking out the bloom, I was surprised that flowers smelled so bad, a weird hard-to-describe aroma, something like brackish fishy salt water. It is reported "the malodorous flowers of Magnolia tripetala are uniquely associated with this species".

Two views of the flower, about 8" across.

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Lirodendron tulipifera (Tulip tree) has the strongest coloring I've seen yet in my yard.  Too bad the flowers are so high up, but they are surprisingly discernable among the foliage.

       

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

These are nice, Rick! I grow a specimen in my yard and it is about 15 years old but I've never seen flowers. I don't expect to see any either as the summers are too cool I suppose.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

That tree is 20 years old from a 5ft tree.  It only began bloom in the last 5 years, so there is still hope for you, Trond.  Flowers are a bonus.  I was just happy it survived this far north!  Apparently, it needs a pollinator and I only have one tree, so seeds are non-viable. 

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Mark, I hadn't noticed your post on Magnolia tripetala :o
Magnolia is one of my favorite shrub- and tree genera :) However, I only have about 5-6 different species. I would love to grow M. tripetala but our summers are to cool, I assume. It wouldn't harden off in time for winter :-\

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Afloden
Title: Guest
Joined: 2012-01-15

Magnolia tripetala should be hardy for you. Here it is a mountain plant or in shelter mesic areas. It is extremely abundant when found, but I cannot say I've seen any cones set this year so far. Fraseri should do well for you too. Your cooler weather may make it slower growing, but I doubt it would have much issue with hardening off properly.

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Thanks, Aaron. Now I need to get hold of seeds ;D

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Our Minnesota Arboretum had their Spring Expo this past weekend.  The staff always invites local plant societies to put up display tables (manned or unmanned) to promote their cause or even sell things.  I represented NARGS and the American Conifer Society.  I snipped a few conifers from my yard and made this bouquet.  In it you can see:
Thuja occidentalis 'Spiralis'
Chamaecyparis thyoides
Pinus strobus
'Wintergold'
Thuja koraiensis (green upper sides and white undersides)

I meant to make a more detailed photo, but I generally hate using flash and forgot to turn in on, so this will have to do.

         

As I talked with one of my friends (who knows there are pines that turn yellow in winter), I discovered that he still assumed the yellow was just a sickly color that was supposed to be green.  So I had to put a note with the arrangement that said:
"Wintergold White pine is supposed to yellow!".  :rolleyes:

Better pics now:

            

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Tingley
Title: Member
Joined: 2013-01-07

Rick, what a great selection of evergreens. We've grown fond of them in the lndscape, and are always looking for a few more interesting plants to add to the yard. It is funny how many folks think that evergreens with golden foliage are sickly, so they don't buy them. This year we are looking forward to see how much growth Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'Goldrush' (also known as 'Ogon')puts on in a season. The photo of Goldrush below is credited to Alfred Osterloh- Hortipedia Commons.

Growing trees from seed is usually a trial of patience, but there are a few exceptions. Last year, we planted a seedling of Paulownia tomentosa. At the time of planting, it was little over 1 foot/ 30 cm high. By the end of summer 2012, it had reached about 9 feet, almost 3 metres high, with individual leaves that were 60 cm / 2 feet across. I collected some seed from a mature tree nearby, and now have a flat of seedlings. It will be interesting to see how quickly they grow from such tiny seeds.

Southwest Nova Scotia, zone 6b or thereabouts

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

A nice bouquet, Rick! At least I can now match the Thuja koraiensis ;)

Gordon, several years ago I did grow Paulownia from seed. Although they were quick to grow by our standards they couldn't beat yours! They lasted a few years but Paulownia doesn't like neither our summers nor our winters :-\

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Paulownia tomentosa is only root hardy here most years, and the few "established" ones that I've seen grow 10-12ft each year with multiple stems.

Some more pics of Thuja koraiensis:
http://nargs.org/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=274.0;attach=13692;...

http://nargs.org/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=907.0;attach=25778;...

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Pages

Log in or register to post comments