We might have a problem in the garden. Or, we might have something else totally. I'm talking about the volunteer Silver Maple tree that popped up last season and one that I have left alone all this year. Has it grown? Yeah. It.has.grown. A LOT. I last posted about this tree in mid-July (about 50 days ago) and it has not slowed down since then. I mentioned in that post that I was guessing it had put on 3' of new growth this year. Now? I'd say it is more like five feet of new growth. It is every bit as tall as the Exclamation London Planetrees that sit by the fence . Below, is a look at the current state of this (questionable-in-value) tree that is in our south beds: I didn't plan for this tree. And...I've read all about the merits of Silver Maples. Naturalist Donald Peattie wrote an length about the Silver Maple and called it a paradox . Both the pros - fast-growing, beautiful crowns and ability to grow in hard-to-grow spots and their cons - it gets
Showing posts with the label pleach
Planted in late October 2021, we have a set of three Exclamation London Planetrees that are planted pretty close to our fence in the backyard. I tucked them in behind the row of Oakleaf Hydrangeas along the south bed. When I planted them, I talked about drawing some inspiration from Disneyland and wanted to try to train these into being 'cube-shaped' or pleached in some way . They were BARELY more than whips when they went in - something on the order of say .5" caliper. They were barely peeking over the hydrangeas and not much taller than the fence that sat behind them. I have not touched them with a pruner since they arrived. I've watered them - along with the shrubs - when I can. And...in the photo below, you can see their current state. All three have survived and are now more than three-feet-above the top of the fence. My plan - at the time - was to get sturdy trunks established about eight-feet-tall. And then begin to make the pleach cage/frame on top
This post serves as the final 'tree planting' post for the year, but also lays out a little bit of the self-education process I've been through in terms of ornamental tree pruning over the past few weeks. I'm learning (everyday!) that there are many types of pruning - and I've tried one of them: espalier. But, in addition to espalier, there's also pollarding, pleaching and topping. The espalier I've done includes some horizontal cordon work on a pair of Greenspire Linden trees . After four growing seasons, they're starting to come into their final form and I love them. And more recently, set up a new pair of crab apple trees with a TBD form . I've been exploring the other pruning methods to figure out if I should try to learn and get to know them. What I've settled on is trying my hand at pleaching. The first time i talked about pleaching was back in 2018 here when I was discussing trees . At the time, I was using pleaching and espalier int
It has been a while since I posted a full-frontal photo of our pair of Greenspire Little Leaf Linden trees that have been trained into a four-tier horizonatal cordon espalier in our backyard. These are planted in Zone 5b and trained with wire alongside a six-foot-tall cedar fence. You can see the top tier is a foot or more above the top of the fence and the root-flare of the trees is BELOW the bottom of the fence. Thus, These are eight or nine feet tall. The last time I showed this shot that you see below, was back in September of 2020 - close to 10 months ago . When I compare the photos, I see a few things: 1. Tree on the left: The lowest tier has grown out a bit - mostly the right side. 2. The trunks have thickened up. I'll have to grab some caliper measurements soon to confirm. 3. The two little 'scaredy cat' pieces I left on last year are still there on the tree on the left. Should prune them off soon. 4. Tree on the right: the bottom tier has grown out.
By now, I think I've been pretty clear that this place - Luxembourg Gardens in Paris - has left a pretty significant impression on me garden-wise. Just yesterday, I posted about the metal walking path edging and before that, the many love letters to this Garden/park include: The chairs . These amazing vines/ivy that have been trained between posts and trees . These orangerie tree boxes . The fact that they use cocoa bean shell mulch in their beds . And how I copied the color pallete of one of their beds in our raised planter box . Today, I'm sharing this photo above that shows off the 'bottom' of the pleached row of Horse Chestnut trees. Pleaching is training/pruning trees that is kind of a close Cousin to espalier. More here . For a wider-view perspective on these Horse Chestnut Trees in Luxembourg Gardens, do a Google Image Search for [ Horse Chestnut Trees Luxembourg Gardens ]. Go there now and poke around. Or just look at this image here .
Four weeks ago, I posted a series of photos showing how I had pruned both of the Greenspire Linden trees that we have espaliered into a Horizontal Cordon . We went from four levels down to three and then restrung the wire to support a new fill-in fourth Cordon. When removing the top Cordon, I cut what is technically called the Apical Meristem in an attempt to redirect some of the growth this season to the existing Cordons with the goal of beefing them up and then thinking about how we might be able to turn the tips up into a Candelabra shape. (Scroll down in this post to see the different espalier shapes including a Candelabra .) A few things to call out though: First, in the photo above, you can see that we have one misaligned Cordon level. On the left, the limb is coming out about four or five inches higher than the limb on the right. I've trained the one on the right *up*, but there is currently this misalignment. Is it a deal-killer? I don't think so. Especia
Just a few days ago, I posted some of the steps on the espalier system that I put in our #newoldbackyard arboretum for a pair of Linden trees . A slight update here. I made more progress on both espalier systems. (or...do you say ' pleached '??) Here's a look at the Linden on the left in the two photos below. You'll see that I now have three courses of wire up and you can really get a sense for how much longer the lowest branches/limbs are than the ones that are higher up on the trunk. An overview of the way I'm thinking about this espalier project can be found here on the blog . And a look at how I rigged up my DIY espalier system can be found here . I am planning on one more run of wire across the top and will have a four-level espalier. You can also get a better look at the turnbuckles that I'm using. Also, on the right, you can see that I have the first course/level/wire up on the Linden on the right. These will end up matching. But won't
Back in May, I b ought two very small/young Greenspire Linden trees with designs on giving the art of espalier a shot with them in our #newoldbackyard. I initially trimmed/pruned them up to make them two-dimensional and they sat for a more than a month in the driveway in Elmhurst before we moved into Downers. Then back in July, I posted a few photos that showed these Lindens in their containers awaiting their final position as our new fence went in. Once the fence was in, I was able to plant them in their final locations, along the south property line, butted right up against the cedar fence - which in this part of the yard is 6'+ tall. There were additional steps including the installation of the posts for the espalier system back in the beginning of August . I s unk 3 steel posts in the ground in preparation of the wire system. And that leads me to this post and an update on the process. After a few trips to Menards and some thinking/cogitating, I was able