Espaliered camellias?

vmr423(Zone 8b, SC)March 25, 2014

Has anyone here ever espaliered a camellia? I would love to see photos or hear about how you did it, if so.

I have a 'Tama-no-ura' that looks like it really wants to be espaliered. I don't think I have a good location for training a camellia like that, and yet I keep thinking of it every time I look at that plant...

Here is a link that might be useful: This Old House espalier slideshow

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Here are some photos (not mine):

http://photobucket.com/images/Camellia+sasanqua+espalier/?page=1

People like to espalier sasanquas because they are more pliable but you can use japonicas too. However, sasanquas can handle more sun so you can try them in places where japonicas would not do as well. Japonicas might be harder to force in the proper direction but people like their double blooms more.

Try doing a find a search on "espalier" in the forum to find others who have done this already and send them a GW Mail. I cannot think of a reason why you should not try with Tama-no-ura! Well, yeah, as you said, "not having a good location" could be a sliver of a problem... :o)

I too have been thinking about doing an espalier but originally with fruit tress. I ended buying a dwarf non-espaliered tree though.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 6:06PM
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vmr423(Zone 8b, SC)

Thanks for the link- very nice! I've been told that 'Kanjiro' is especially good for an espalier.

I wouldn't have thought of trying it except this japonica has long, pliable branches for some reason. I should prune it back unless... well, there is a spot at the back of the house that might work. Hmmm.

What sort of fruit tree did you get? Sadly, I don't really have enough sun for much by way of fruits and veggies. I do have several blueberry bushes, and a young 'Negronne' fig taking up space in a couple of the sunnier spots. Maybe I'll get a few figs before the birds figure out that I now have a fig tree. Who says pigs can't fly?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 12:53AM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

I decided on a peach tree but either squirrels or my poocches have been eating the peaches. I considered a 3-fruit (or maybe it was a 4-fruit) tree but decided against it. It would have been a regular fruit tree and I was not thrilled about maintaining the various fruits at about 1/4 of the canopy's area. If it had been a dwarf then maybe.

I have seen people compliment these camellias for espaliers: Snow, Setsugekka, Mine-no-Yuki, Kanjiro, Hana-Jiman, Elegans aka Chandleri Elegans, Daikagura, Cotton Candy and Mathotiana.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 12:23PM
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vmr423(Zone 8b, SC)

Is your tree already as tall as it will get? Am wondering if it will still grow out of reach of your dogs?

Squirrels, of course, are evil, and will take one bite out of something just to ruin it. The gray devils have dug up and eaten many of my camellia seeds, and uprooted/broken seedlings that were already growing just so they could plant their acorns. Or maybe just out of spite. Ai caramba! I am pretty hopeless with the slingshot, but my other half is improving his aim every day...

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 1:11AM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

No, the tree is not out of the danger zone yet. I bide my time as a result and hope they will forget about the tree from one season to the next. The squirrels may be another problem. I caught them checking the prices of helicopter rides the other day. Eeeek! Pure evil, hu? I ran into an acorn last Spring that looked planted by a gray devil... I was going to show it to my nephews but forgot until it got too late. I think they do not do much planting because I leave the dogs loose and yes, they can steal some bird food but digging to hide acorn is incredibly more risky with three pooches. Knowing how slow camellias can grow, I would have had a coneption fit if I had found damaged seedlings! :o)) How are you going to protect the seedlings going forward now?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 6:29AM
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vmr423(Zone 8b, SC)

Once the camellias get to be a certain size, the squirrels pretty much leave 'em alone. At the time I planted most of the seeds (mostly japonicas), I guess they had plenty of acorns to occupy them. Or perhaps, it just took them a while to figure out there were tasty camellia seeds in them thar pots.

The first batch really didn't have any protection, and I left them outside all winter, although they did get shifted to the porch during those really cold spells. None died from cold- squirrels are more deadly.

Though I really hate to admit it, they may have done me a favor since I'm thinking 60+ seedlings just might be enough to keep track of. I had very few sasanquas come up, though- at least, so far. They got planted later since their seed ripens later, and maybe some will still show up that weren't squirrel snacks, but again- I probably have enough for now.

I'm now starting to plant some seeds to try and grow native woodland plants. (Did I mention we have a large shady yard?)

I asked my crafty guy if he'd build me a small cage for the small pots until the seeds were safely germinated, and I got instead a rather large cage made of pvc pipe and hardware cloth. It will work just fine, and he had fun making it, so all is well... Now I'm just impatient for those newly planted seeds to poke their heads up.

If I plant more camellia seeds this fall, the pots will go under the cage.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 1:52PM
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