How to tell how much a Chamaecyparis grew last year?

wannabeGardnr(7 Maryland)March 20, 2014

I know how to tell the growth rate of Piceas and Pinus, but how do you identify how much a Chamaecyparis obtusa or pisifera type tree grew in the previous year? The leaf/needle structure is totally different from spruces and pines, so how can I tell?

Secondary question. How do these types of trees grow? There are no clearly visible buds. Do they sprout from all along the stem, anywhere like deciduous shrubs?

Deer or something else chewed on my Chamaecyparis pisifera, so I would like to know more about its growth habits.

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pineresin

Other than marking a position on a shoot, there's no way of telling where the new growth starts each year, as they don't have buds, just carry on with shoot growth paused over the winter.

Resin

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 5:30PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if you study the bark ... you can get some ideas ...

at the tips.. it will be green ... if you track back.. half green.. half brown ... and further..all brown ...

apparently resin suggests that is not yearly ... but it sure give you an indication of what has matured.. what is on its way to maturity ... and what is basically fresh growth ..

please take pix of how your responds to the deer .... and show us what it does ...

a pic now.. might get you comment on whether its worth the effort and wait...

do not expect conifers... to respond like faster growing perennials..etc ... it might take a year or 3 for this thing to look good again .. at which point i usually ask ... is it in a spot.. where it will drive you crazy for 3 years... or would you be inclined to be happy ... watching its slow motion response???? ... that definition of your personality type.. will define whether it has to go.. sooner.. rather than later ....

ken

ps: they simply extend from the tips... not really having the type of buds you are thinking about ... and if you are down to bare wooden stubs ... you might have to add another year or two... to the recovery period ...

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 5:47PM
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wannabeGardnr(7 Maryland)

It's not too bad from how it was before. There's a lot of deer pressure, and rabbits, and last year some groundhogs moved in too. The plant's still there, and looks like a plant, so I'm happy. I'll post pictures of its progress so we can learn the growth habit. Just for fun.
Prickly blue star juniper got a bite taken out too.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 6:06PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Yes: you can tell fairly well by looking at the stem color, once you know what to look for.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 6:09PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

sooooooo ... you wannabe a gardener...

how about a very short lesson ...

conifers are trees ...

almost all plants have leaders ... vertical.. and horizontal [branch tips] ... pushing the lexicon here a bit ...

when you ... or a deer ... cuts off a leader ... one or more of the branches or buds.. below the cut/chew ... will trigger to become the new leader ...

if it were only one ... we would all be happy ... the plant will retain its shape ...

but usually it is two or more ... and that is where pruning come into being ...

after giving the plant a YEAR OR THREE ... to get its act back together... we would go in there.. and start reshaping it by removing excessive leaders ... or branch growth ..

it is always better to wait longer ... to be able to actually see what is going on ... in your case .. at a min this fall.. and next fall might even be better ... i always like to say... i can come back and cut more off later.. next year.. but i cant glue or staple them back on ... however.. once you get 10 or 20 years experience.. you can be much more proactive ... and it is definitely an ART ... rather than a science ....

anyway.. it will all come to you.. with our help ...

but you are going to have to solve your base issue.. and it isnt this plant... its the deer ... i wish you luck with that ...

ken

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 8:08AM
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wannabeGardnr(7 Maryland)

I will take all the luck you can throw at me. Thank you!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 10:41AM
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wannabeGardnr(7 Maryland)

Found 1 before picture from this fall. It's on the top left corner. More of the brown inner stems have been exposed because the green has been eaten.
I think I can sort of see the growth in this picture. It starts light green, then gets darker, and finally brown bare stems.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 12:30AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you are getting there ...

for lack of science terms.. this is the type of plant.. that simply heaps upon itself.. as the years roll by ...

never give it a haircut ... on top or sides ...

when something begins to irritate you ... track the offending piece.. back into the plant.. and remove it far enough back.. so that you wont have to come back for a few years ...

any spaces left will fill in ... sooner or later ...

and if you are interested.. these types of plants can be rooted .. with a few tricks..

i see the sidewalk?? ... and the light.. so i presume there is a driveway to the left ... you will have to learn all about pruning.. is you want it to stay within those presumed boundaries ...

finally ... looking at your pic ... at 9 oclock... i see what looks like at least ..with no scale.. 6 to 9 inch leader growth .... this will be.. a fairly aggressive plant ... if you have a bigger spot for it.. you might want to think about moving it.. this early spring.. or in fall ....

if you have a full latin name.. google it.. and find out this plants potential... and decide if it is properly sited .... i have pis's that have both huge annual growth potential.... and much lesser ... [and they are usually planted in the wrong spot.. lol.. the lesser in the large spot.. and the greater growth rate.. in the smaller ... lol ... so dont think you are alone in this conundrum ..]

ken

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 9:21AM
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wannabeGardnr(7 Maryland)

Ken, what you are saying sounds like good news to me - fills up, grows fast. It means I don't have to worry that much about the deer. I'll have something to look at every year since I am positive the plant will get an annual haircut from them. This is a difficult spot to grow also because of root competition from large tree, and it gets part shade because of just one overhanging branch of that tree. I have no clue what it is. I found it growing under another shrub to the left of the picture and transplanted it. It did get yellow tips when it was getting more sun in the Fall, so I was thinking something like Lemon Lime Lace, but really, no clue.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 9:37AM
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wannabeGardnr(7 Maryland)

Okay, here is today's picture.

This post was edited by wannabeGardnr on Mon, Mar 24, 14 at 16:20

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 5:17PM
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pinetree30(Sierra Westside)

Fast growing shoots ("whips") consist of lengths of stem with widely spaced pairs or trios of scale leaves. If growth was slower, the scales would be more closely jammed together. If growth was minuscule, the scales would be so jammed at the tips that they would terminate in a few tiny scales that barely seemed to grow over the years. Most of the foliage is in these little "clubs". Peel back almost any scale and you will find that it may have a tiny dome of cells on the upper side of where the scale joins the stem bearing it. These domes ("apical meristems") are potential new shoots, a shoot being a stem with leaves on it. In "cupressophylls" the tip-scales remain green, so they don't look like buds; but buds are also groups of compressed scale leaves packed together at the shoot tip. In pine-family conifers those bud scales are brown and non-photosynthetic and elongate all at once in the spring.
The whips have green epidermis, turning yellowish-reddish-brownish over the growing season. By late fall bark has formed that matches the brown of the previous years' shoots. So usually only the latest year's growth can be identified by its (greenish) color.
Pretty wordy, I admit, and only true of some of the many many cupressophylls.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 3:56PM
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pinetree30(Sierra Westside)

Fast growing shoots ("whips") consist of lengths of stem with widely spaced pairs or trios of scale leaves. If growth was slower, the scales would be more closely jammed together. If growth was minuscule, the scales would be so jammed at the tips that they would terminate in a few tiny scales that barely seemed to grow over the years. Most of the foliage is in these little "clubs". Peel back almost any scale and you will find that it may have a tiny dome of cells on the upper side of where the scale joins the stem bearing it. These domes ("apical meristems") are potential new shoots, a shoot being a stem with leaves on it. In "cupressophylls" the tip-scales remain green, so they don't look like buds; but buds are also groups of compressed scale leaves packed together at the shoot tip. In pine-family conifers those bud scales are brown and non-photosynthetic and elongate all at once in the spring.
The whips have green epidermis, turning yellowish-reddish-brownish over the growing season. By late fall bark has formed that matches the brown of the previous years' shoots. So usually only the latest year's growth can be identified by its (greenish) color.
Pretty wordy, I admit, and only true of some of the many many cupressophylls.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 3:57PM
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wannabeGardnr(7 Maryland)

That's very helpful thank you. It answers my question about growth rate. Now I have to go out and look at some 'leaves' carefully. It also means all the green/yellow I see are this year's growth, if I interpreted correctly. That means my plant is a very fast grower, and likely to recover from the chewing.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 4:25PM
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taxo_man

J

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 7:05PM
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wannabeGardnr(7 Maryland)

Thank you taxo-man!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 11:29AM
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