tree collards

brownthumb_gardenerMay 7, 2009

He fellow gardeners,

I am new to this web site but I'm so excited I found it. I've been searching for someone who has tree collards and is willing share or sale me a few cutting. Of course I'll pay for the postage. I live in Houston Texas and this wonderful perenial is relatively unknown here. The nurseries that sale them (all in Cali) do not mail order so thats a dead end. So please have sympathy on this ole Texas gal and share with me; I'd do it for you. Thanks guys.

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Have you tried ebay or even googling for a seed company.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 3:26PM
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This subject was a thread in this (or another?) forum last year sometime.

It seems there is a lot of confusion about this plant, and worse, a lot of people trying to take advantage of others.

There's a lot of people selling "tree collards" including amateurs and some small mailorder nurseries (I found at least one outside of California). gobluedjm has good advice.

Shop around and beware of the BS.

Personally, I'm not sure what the hype is all about.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 4:08PM
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musaboru(Inland Calif.)

Is this a tree collard? My mom grew them from cuttings and this one is about a year old or so.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 10:00PM
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Hi Joe,
Have you seen musaboru's pictures of tree collards? You'd have to love collard greens and know how to cook them to understand. The nutritional value and good taste is an added bonus. Basically, a tree collard will keep on growing a branching giving you a supply of collard green leaves from several branches from the time it's a small plant. Plus it lives and produces for several years.
A collard plant on the other hand, only grows a couple of feet high, does not branch out(all leaves grow from one main stem) and it only gives you so many leaves before it dies which is usually one season. So every year, you have to dig up the dead stalks and replant from seeds. You can get from one collard tree what it'll take to get from several collard plants. People that plant collards must plant a garden full of them just to get what southerners call " a mess of greens". I hope this helps you understand what all the hype is about.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 7:26PM
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Hiya brownthumb.

I know collards well. I used to live in South Carolina and when I was with Park Seed, we grew dozens of varieties of collards.

The oldtimers around the area grew collards just about all year and some had plants easily 2 to 4 feet across and probably more than 2 feet high. And they didn't have a "garden full of them". With a small good block of plants, they were harvesting "a mess of greens" a couple of times a week simply by harvesting the outer leaves of the maturing plants.

Those that harvested young plants (the way I think they should be eaten) simply did successive sowings every few weeks so that they'd always have a young crop coming along. It was just an easy extension of vegetable gardening. Seed sowing is easy.

I get a feeling that tree collards don't shoot up to more than 4 feet in short order. And although I haven't tasted tree collards (I have tasted dozens of varieties of regular collards), I don't know if they taste any better, same as or not quite as good as regular smaller collards.

So you see, someone's going to have to convince me that this tree collards concept is more than just novelty.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 11:04PM
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Hi Joe,
I'm glad you're familiar with collards. I guess I initially got the impression that you weren't. Anyway, I'm not about convincing anyone of anything. I'll leave that job for someone else.
Personally, I think it's just a matter of preference and I prefer not to spend a lot of time digging up, replanting and caring for several plants when I can just take care of one or two and get the same results.
By the way, the tree collard variety that I'm seeking gets a purple hue to the leaves and veins in the winter. They have a milder sweet taste to them but I guess you'll never know, not until you're convinced anyway. Then again, maybe some of the varieties that you're familiar with have this characteristic and flavor and if so, you're not missing out. To you it can remain a novelty.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 1:42AM
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One site refers to them as "Walking Stick Kale," which may be one reason for the confusion. This also may be what Ken Fern at Plants for a Future lists as "Perpetual Kale."

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 8:16AM
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If anyone is still looking, I saw tree collard plants for sale at Berkeley Horticulture in Berkeley this week.
: )

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 12:58AM
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