Are They Camellias?

camelliaalan(7)April 30, 2011

2 years ago one of our large old camellias toppled over and eventually seemed to die. It was about 20 feet tall.

We're in N.C.

A few months later (last year), about 6 or 8 shoots developed from where the old roots are. The shoots are identical to each other, and are now about 3-4 feet tall.

I've compared their leaves to those of our other mature camellias, and they do look similar, but they are of course much smaller.

Is there a way I can tell at this stage if indeed they are camellias? It sure would be a heck of a coincidence if they were not camellias, but perhaps they are just some opportunistic trees.

Thanks much for any advice!


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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

My camellias have never grown that fast so maybe they are "oportunistics tress" as you said but.... I really hope they ARE camellias! Sometimes you have to wait like 5 years to see flowers from seedlings so grab a good book and wait. :0)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 8:00PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Well, if these are coming from the roots of the 20-foot tall camellia tree - a heck of an old and established camellia - it won't take that long. Depending upon what brought the tree down, that could be an extensive and very established root system. I say "depending" because I don't really understand what happened to the camellia. Do you know what caused the camellia to topple over? Not trying to sound judgmental - just want to understand - was there any attempt to correct/revive it, or was it left to eventually die? Could the root system still be alive, similar to tropicals in the south that freeze back every winter but come back from the roots every spring?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 12:03AM
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Thanks for the replies!

The camellia toppled over in a wind-storm about 2 years ago, and we had some landscape guys move it to a better spot (sunnier, with no competition). They made very effort to not damage the roots, but no doubt there was some shock in that move.

At that point the leaves began to brown and we feared the camellia had died, but these new plants have arose from that same root area within a month or so.

If they are just opportunistic "volunteers", it's sure a coincidence that 6 of them would sprout within a 10 foot or so area from that same root-ball area, but I guess we can't be sure for another few years...

Thanks again,


    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 8:33AM
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Is it possible for me to share some pix of the plants?

If yes, how?



    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 8:36AM
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_Camellia japonica_ is frequently grafted onto _Camellia sasanqua_ root stock. If that's true in your situation, the new growth may be _Camellia sasanqua_, which typically has much smaller leaves than _Camellia japonica_.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 3:36PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Become a member of a photo upload service like and upload your pictures to them. When you upload pictures, you can get a direct link to them if you hover the cursor above your uploaded picture & click on the http address shown to the right of "Direct Link".

The direct link is an http address to the picture. Once you get the direct link from photobucket, return back to GardenWeb and add the code shown below to your message.

Modify the code below such that (1) remove the space between "

If I change the code as I described, you would see this:

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 6:01AM
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