Archive | Shrubs and Trees

Tips on the selection and growing trees shrubs and hedges

Roses are Red and Charitable Too

I am miffed  that the Royal National Rose Society has gone into administration (May 2017). Originally formed in 1876 it owns land in St Albans but finds annual running costs onerous. As small compensation here are details about a couple of charitable red roses.

The Prince’s Trust  Climber Rose

  • This rose was bred in 2000 by Harkness roses and named to help raise awareness and funds for the The Prince’s Trust.
  • The clusters of slightly fragrant, pure scarlet or blood red blooms are produced repeatedly throughout the summer into the autumn.
  • The green, glossy foliage provides an attractive backdrop to the blooms.
  • Normally a 10′  climber it can  grow up to 15 feet even on a north facing wall.

National Trust – Hybrid Tea Rose

  • A medium sized 3 foot high flowering Hybrid Tea rose.
  • Spiraling petals of  vivid red make florist quality, long stemmed blooms produced throughout the summer and autumn.
  • Young foliage is coppery red foliage maturing to a glossy, dark green.
  • Different suppliers make differing claims about the scent ranging from undetectable to sweet or strong. I think it is very light compared to most roses.
  • The eagle eyed may see some black spot but it is a hardy disease resistant rose that will tolerate poorer conditions than other rosa varieties.

At least the two beneficiaries The Prince’s Trust and the National Trust are still operating as charities even if our Royal National Rose Society is becoming defunct.

 

 

 

0

Yew Tree – Taxus baccata

Yew

Yew are used in many contexts and can feature in natural or formal situations. In the 18th century species of Taxus were brought to the UK from America and Asia to add to our native Taxus baccata. There are now many cultivars of upright, pendulous and ground cover forms of Yew.

Garden Uses of Yew

  • Yew provide evergreen structure to your garden
  • Hedging is an important garden use creating a dense living wall or sculptable feature.
  • Yew is famous for its use in topiary with its ability to take on shape and form and last for many decades.
  • Mounds can be planted with an upright yew underplanted with ground cover Yews.
  • Dwarf varieties of our native Yew include Corleys Coppertip and Dwarf White.
  • Specimen trees can be grown from Taxus baccata varieties such as Dovastoniana, Amersfoort and Fatigiata Aureomarginata
  • In a small garden select slow growing forms of Taxus baccata

Cultivation Tips

  • Yew can withstand hard or even drastic pruning.
  • For a slender upright growing Yew try a Japanese for Taxus cuspidata ‘Robusta’ as a change from the Irish yew. Train young plants to a single stem.
  • Prune annually in late summer. To substantially reduce a hedge cut in April and do half the tree one year and the other half the following season.
  • Well suited to chalky and lime stone soil but not too fussy.

Irish Yew

Golden coloured Yew

See Also

Yew Root and Branch Review

Old Yews

0

Trees Near Buildings

Trees take up large volumes of water during summer. Shrinking and swelling of clay soils can be a concern but trees 30 feet from buildings should not be a major concern. However it is wise to avoid large vigorous trees like Oak, Poplar and Willow.

Root Damage

  • Main roots are usually confined to the top 3 feet of soil
  • Shrubs and climbers are seldom implicated in root damage.
  • Swelling trunks close to buildings may squeeze against structures.
  • Root size and extent is variable dependant on species.They seldom penetrate well maintained drains but vulnerable drains should be repaired.
  • Roots radiate irregularly seeking moisture and nutrient. They may spread two to three times the height of the tree.

Subsidence & Structural Damage

  • Older buildings with shallow foundations are more vulnerable.
  • Soils other than shrinkable clay do not swell and contract as much as other soil and seldom cause damage.
  • The side of a building nearest the tree can settle due to its weight in dry soil causing cracked masonry, distorted doors and windows.
  • Fences, hedges and boundary walls may be damaged by proximity.
  • Paths can be lifted by robust roots.
  • Wind damage to trees may make them structurally unsafe.

General Tree Issues

  • A tree is the responsibility of the landowner who may be liable for any damage it causes.
  • Check with the local planning authority to establish if a tree has a ‘Tree Preservation Order’. They should also know if the garden is in a designated conservation order whose objective is to conserve landscape and public spaces in an area.
  • Trees have atendency to grow larger than you originally intended. They can block out light through your windows, shade gardens and over hang into your neighbors garden.
  • If you need to remove a large tree be aware that the large volume of water it previously transpired will remain in the ground and may lift the water table, swell the soil and cause ‘heave’ or displacement.
  • Gutters and roofs may suffer from leaf litter.
  • Surface roots and suckers can be invasive.

Further Tree Safety Tips

  • Think about the future life and nature of your tree before planting or starting work. It pays to plan ahead.
  • If a large tree needs pruning, lopping or taking down use a tree surgeon who has full insurance.
  • Consider neighbors and  overhangs across roads and public paths.

 

0

Red Acer Shrubs

Problems with Red Acers

  • Red leafed plants contain less Chlorophyll, the green pigment that’s instrumental in photosynthesis. These shrubs have less substance in the leaf which can be thin and papery.
  • The leaves are prone to wind damage and will turn brown on the edges quite easily. This wind burn or desiccation is unsightly and can be quite damaging.
  • Thin twigs without leaves are dead and need to be pruned out
  • Acers grow extremely slowly.
  • Some Acers have young green leaves that change over time and only turn deep reddish-purple in summer and scarlet in autumn.

Environment for Acers

  • Acers are hardy but avoid windy areas and frost pockets. Shelter from late frosts.
  • Acers prefer sheltered, sunny or partial shade.
  • Some varieties of Japanese maples are OK in a large plant pot.
  • Soil needs to be neutral or slightly acidic.
  • Grow in moist but well-drained soil.
  • Keep away from bright sunlight.

Red Acer Varieties

    • Lower growing palmatum cultivars work well in mixed plantings
    • Red Pygmy grow best in moist but well-drained soil, away from bright sunlight
    • Amagi shigure is also called Purple Passion.
    • Try  Acer Palmatum Katura or Acer Palmatum Little Princess
    • Acer Palmatum Shishi-gashira is a small red  Japanese maple.

0

Paw Paw Fruit Trees

 

2010-02-05 10-26-42 Paw Paw leaf intricate patterns - IMG_1565

 

I never thought about growing exotic fruit like the Paw Paw That was until I saw a tree for sale in Thompson Morgan’s catalogue. The sun accentuates the intricate pattern in this paw paw leaf.

Asimina triloba Papaw or North American Paw Paw

  • This hardy pawpaw produces solitary, cup-shaped flowers and large, exotic foliage.
  • During long, hot summers it will produce edible fruits with a delicious, tropical flavour, that can be harvested from September.
  • In cool climates the Paw paw or Red Indian Banana forms an attractive multi-stemmed plant that makes an unusual addition to the shrub border with its buttery yellow autumn foliage.
  • Pawpaws are self fertile, and pollinated by insects, however the chances of pollination will improve when growing more than one paw paw.
  • Alternatively the flowers can be hand pollinated.
  • Height and spread to 19’ so they do need a spacious garden.
  • Happiest in full sun or dappled shade

Asimina Triloba / Paw Paw

 

‘Pawpaw (Asimina) is a genus of small clustered trees with large leaves and fruit. Growth Habit: The pawpaw is a deciduous, often narrowly conical tree growing from about 12 feet to around 20 feet. Pawpaw trees are prone to producing root suckers a few feet from the trunk. When these are permitted to grow, the single-clone pawpaw patch comes into being. The prevailing experiences of many individuals is that the pawpaw is a slow grower, particularly when it is young. However, under optimal greenhouse conditions, including photo-period extension light of approximately 16 hours, top growth of up to 5 feet can be attained in three months. Continue Reading →

0

Grow Healthy Hydrangeas

Hydrangea

There are several types of Hydrangea to consider. The Mop Heads or Hortensia above, the lace caps or other species. They are a rewarding group of plants to grow well but need the right conditions to excel.

Provide Suitable Growing Conditions

  • All hydrangeas thrive in moist well drained fertile soil.
  • Too wet and humid and you may get root rot and botrytis on foliage.
  • Hydrangeas appreciate partial shade.
  • Shallow chalky soil or light sandy acid soil may cause yellowing of leaves. To cure this water or foliar feed with Epsom salt (Mangenisum Sulphate).
  • Hot dry conditions can encourage powdery mildew.
  • Hydrangeas can be prone to insect attack from Aphids, Red Spider mite, Capsid bugs and even Vine Weevil.

 

Hydrangea

                                                       Lacecap

Flowering Problems

  • The main cause of non-flowering is pruning too hard and cutting off the buds. Just trim off the old heads in spring to the first fat buds.
  • The failure of flowers to turn blue is caused by a shortage of trace elements of Aluminium. This is available in acid soils but not alkaline soils.
  • Some species will change from pink to blue by using a proprietary preparation or colourant. This is unlikely to work when the soil is too alkaline.
  • If you have a pink flower this can be enhanced by applying limestone or chalk during winter.
  • White flowers remain white whatever you do. Some fade to a pink tinge.

8 foot hydrangea

 

Other Sources of information

Hydrangeas available from Thompson & Morgan

See Help to change Hydrangea colour
Hydrangea Hydrangea an enthusiasts site

Amazon for Hydrangea books

1

Firethorn or Pyracantha For Berries

Snape pyracantha

Pyracantha, can be a neat shrub with attractive flowers and magnificent red, yellow or orange berries. The white flowers in summer are followed by autumn and winter berries, in fact my shrubs are still in berry this March.

Growing Tips

  • Train  your Pyracantha against a wall or fence or as a specimen plant.
  • Clipped regularly Firethorn, or Pyracantha as it is correctly known, also makes an excellent evergreen hedge.
  • Plants will grow in most fertile garden soil  in sun or partial shade.
  • Avoid  water-logging but if near a wall or hedge water your plants in dry spells.
  • Berrying may be reduced in shady sites or against north-facing walls.
  • Plants grow 5-10 feet high and wide if unrestricted.
  • A general purpose spring feed and mulch is welcome.
  • Propagate from cuttings or seed that may not come true to the parent plant.

 

Pruning and Clipping

  • Pyracantha flowers on shoots produced the previous year so avoid trimming off too many flowers. Try to retain as much two-year-old wood as possible.
  • Pyracantha has long, sharp thorns hence it’s common name Firethorn. It can be used in a hedge to deter unwanted visitors
  • When overgrown, Pyracantha can be heavily pruned  to get back into shape.
  • Prune to make the berries more visible and to keep the plants in shape.
  • Shorten all sideshoots that grow from the main framework in late summer. Stop just short of the clusters of berries   about two to three leaves from the base of the side shoot.
  • While young shoots are still flexible so tie them in or train to form shapes.
  • Trim Pyracantha hedges a couple of times between spring and the end of summer

Continue Reading →

0

Edgeworthia Gardeners Tips

Edgeworthia is a genus of shrubs that flower in small clusters of scented 4 petaled flowers tightly packed to form a ball shape. The genus is related to the Daphne family and can be grown in the UK with similar treatment and success.

You can get a long display as they flowers open progressively from winter through February until it leafs up in spring. Varieties may be evergreen or deciduous.

Key Tips

  • Avoid waterlogged soil and soil prone to drying out.
  • Plants grow well around other shrubs without being too enclosed.
  • Despite being called the Paper tree it only responds well to light pruning to retain shape.
  • Buy when the plants are in leaf so you can assess it’s health

Growing Characteristics

  • Plants mature to a height of  5ft by 5ft in a rounded shape.
  • Plants  would survive  in a greenhouse or conservatory if your garden is too exposed.
  • Flowers are in terminal clusters opening in January February before the leaves.
  • Leaves of the deciduous varieties are lance-shaped, dark green and 6ins long.
  • The bark is  cinnamon-coloured with papery flakes.   Bark was used in the manufacture of high-quality paper for Japanese banknotes.

Edgeworthia Varieties

  • Edgeworthia chrysantha produces a tight yellow ball shaped flower on a leafless stem
  • Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Rubra’
  • Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Red Dragon’ as the name implies has fiery red flowers when fully open
  • Edgeworthia papyrifera is also known as the paperbush
  • Edgeworthia chrysantha Grandiflora is reputed to have larger flowerheads

Plants are available from Thomson and Morgan (credit the Photo) and Burncoose

0

Gaultheria Berries in Winter

Purple and White Berried Gaultheria

  • Gaultheria are a range of shrubs often with aromatic evergreen leaves.
  • Grow for the fleshy coloured berries or calyx and look for Gaultheria mucronata
  • Some species are unisex and one male to six female shrubs will increase berrying
  • Grow in acid soil conditions with heathers and conifers or in a pot with ericaceous compost.
  • Flowers and leaves are small in comparison to the berries
  • The plants do not want any extra fertiliser
  • Also named Pernettya or Prickly Heath
2

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes