Advice please re Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Vintage Gold'

rosiewMay 20, 2012

A friend from the GA Gardening forum here gifted me with three of these today. He removed because they weren't getting enough sun. I just planted in my native clay soil in a spot with tons of sun. My question is how can I encourage them toward more fullness. They are each about 4' ht. x 4' w. and just a bit wonky, straggly looking.

I posted earlier to the shrubs forum - first responder telling me these are not shrubs. Stupid me. Wonder if there are dormant buds that can be encouraged. Wonder also if I should tepee then with shadecloth for a few weeks.

I'll really appreciate your thoughts.

TIA, Rosie, Sugar Hill, GA

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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

The first thing I am thinking is it's a little late to be transplanting this conifer. It should have been done late fall or early spring. If dug and replanted correctly I give them a 50/50 chance of survival.

Since we are to late for that give them a light feeding with Osmocote. Let the soil dry between waterings. Insert finger down in soil 2-3". If dry then water deeply and then repeat the process until acclimated.

You can give them a LIGHT shearing.. Just an inch or two at the most. Don't get into the hardwood of the branch. This will encourage thicker growth.

Don't expect any over night miracles. A minimum of 2-3 years for results if they live.

Forget the shade cloth...they need sun.

Good luck


    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 8:08PM
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Dave, will feed with Osmocote today. I knew it was more than a little late to transplant, but the friend who gave them would have composted otherwise.

Although I've planted them, do you think the chances for survival would be increased if I move these into nursery containers, probably five gallon ones? Then replant in the fall?

Have planted right in the front of the house. The 'look' is great, gives me a filtered view of the bleak house across the cul-de-sac from here. Full afernoon sun.

Thanks again, Rosie

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 7:10AM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)


I would not move them again. In my opinion this would further diminish their chances of survival.

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Vintage Gold' are the very best for good year around color with the gold/yellow foliage presentation very vibrant through the winter months.

If yours don't make it go buy some nice potted ones 1-3 gal. You won't be disappointed.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 8:16AM
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An update and a question please. Planted these 6 weeks ago. ONE small branch died. I have had to gently stake them - guess they'd been leaning to get sun. And I have new growth sprouting on many branches. Thrilled!

I did not fertilize. Tossed some Milorganite around them June 29. Will that be adequate? Or should I put them on a fert schedule. Know nothing about conifers, really appreciate your learned help.

Rosie, Sugar Hill, GA

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 9:28AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

IMHO.. trees.. which conifers are.. do NOT need to be fed ... unless a soil test indicates something is lacking in your soil..

and if you have a garden otherwise... and it does just fine..

i see no need to treat your conifers any differently ...

below is a pic on my vintage gold.. it looks nothing like dave's .. its on the left margin.. not the pungens in the middle ... its about 10 years old ...

and if you can see the top.. its one of those that is never upright .. and you wonder how it ever grows UPWARD.. lol ... but it does.. all by itself ... though that doesnt mean a babe might not benefit from a stake ...


    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 9:39AM
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ken, I see a really large plant in your picture. My reading says average height of Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Vintage Gold' is 3 - 4'.

Your place is beautiful.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 10:43AM
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ritmatt(GA 7b)

Wow, Ken, your place is gorgeous! Love your conifers.

Rosie, I live close to you, in Suwanee. I found this thread while searching for Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Golden Charm', which I just brought home from the nursery yesterday. How is your 'Vintage Gold' doing?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 4:28PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

thx to both of you ...

rosie.. i have no clue why your tag.. is so much different than my plant ...

either my plant is wrong.. or your tag is wrong ... and i lean toward your tag ...


    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 5:51PM
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Ritmatt, timely post from you. I've been meaning to ask the experts on this forum if my plants are dying. Look it - lots of discoloration and brown tips. Darn it. It could be because of them being dug/transplanted in late May. I did water them but may have skipped doing so at a critical time.

Where did you buy your new ones, rit? Also, I'd love to invite you to another gardener's home in Suwanee - he's done a fabulous job in his gardens. Let me know, k?


    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 5:59PM
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ken, I never saw the tag, but the friend who gave them to me keeps good records. He could have been sold mislabeled plants.

Will probably be coming back soon asking for more ideas. I NEED to block my view of house across the street.

Second rit's compliments - gorgeous, gorgeous.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 6:03PM
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ritmatt(GA 7b)

The Golden Charms came from Family Tree nursery in Snellville. It's a bit of a haul to go there, but its one of my favorites.

Rosie, I'd love to see a local garden and to meet some folks with similar interests. I'll shoot you an email to see about connecting. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 8:52PM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Vintage Gold'.

About same color in Winter.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 11:23PM
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dcsteg, what an impressive display!

My plants will be dug up and left at the curb very soon. If they were in a fairly obscure spot, I might pray over them, but that's not the case.

Time to visit a favorite nursery and find some plants for my soon to be bare spot.

Many thanks, Rosie

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 6:10PM
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I just Google this plant and on the first 2 pages MOBOT had it listed as a height of 5-7 ft - most of the rest were in the 36 inch range. I've had one for a number of years and have move it once which slowed down it's growth. Looked a lot like Dave's at first, but once the roots got re-established, it took off and is now similar to what Ken's plant looks like. Dave's plant looks to me like it may have had some early on shearing to get that shape and I would think it would be easy enough to keep that shape with some annual attention. I find the plant very adaptable, but needs some moisture to tolerate drought conditions. My color is the same year round.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 9:29PM
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