Cryptomeria j., 'Sekkan'

botann(z8 SEof Seattle)September 9, 2012

Co-dominant leaders seem to be a common problem with this tree. The species doesn't seem to suffer the same problem,... at least in my experience.

Last winter an ice storm did significant damage to my garden, even to the natives. The ice just ripped apart this Cryptomeria j., 'Sekkan. I should have maintained a single leader, but never got around to it.

I think the problem is that it's planted in soil that's too good for it, causing unusually fast and lush growth. The soil has been liberally amended with horse stable manure and woodchips over a period of 25 years with a winter water table three feet down.

Here's a picture of another 'Sekkan' that's planted in a higher, drier, less fertile place, just a few yards away. Multiple leaders are not much of a problem with it. Both trees receive no supplemental water from me.

If you look closely you will see a larger than normal branch, going up, that needs to be removed. If I can get off the computer, I will do it today. ;-)

Can soil be too good for some conifers?

I think so.

As Ken says, "You can love a plant to death".

Mike

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wisconsitom

Mike, what be the glaucus-looking tree to our R. of the Crypt. in pic. 2?

+oM

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 6:48PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Lawson cypress such as 'Oregon Blue'. The biggest or one of the biggest 'Sekkan' I have seen is in the parking lot area at Heronswood. It seems to be becoming significantly less yellow with age, as yellow conifer cultivars often do.

'Sekkan' may be most at home in a sunny sheltered glade, where it can look quite lovely. Forking, bushiness and discoloration I associate with exposure, although now that you mention it it may be true that this one usually has more going on inside the canopy than seedlings and consistently single-trunked cultivars. The resulting density could be seen as a desirable feature, preferable to the gauntness often seen among Cryptomeria with the typical habit.

I haven't seen this one breaking up, but maybe a year is coming where there will be a lot of failures - same as with all the falling open of fastigiate arborvitaes, junipers and yews some winters.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 7:37PM
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wisconsitom

Thanks BB. I still would like to plant a few of these things-blue-phase Lawson Cypress-up at my land just for fun. But all the pictures of the various cultivars show a plant with the exaggerated dense, conical growth form. I'm after something with more "normal" density associated with speices Chamaes, Thujas, etc. Not tight little cones. This one looks like it may have such a form.

+oM

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 10:08PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

+toM here is my 'Oregon Blue Weeping' - it has been in for about three years and was fairly decent-sized when I got it (a #15). The lawsonianas are reputed to do poorly here due to hot dry summers but so far so good. I have not pruned or shaped it in any way. Three years is not very long, however...I have had less success with 'Pelt's Blue'. My 'Sekkan Sugi' (is that the same as 'Sekkan'?) is growing about three times as fast as OBW, and has no structural defaults. I realize different genera but just for comparison.
Notes from Northern California, may not be applicable to where you are.
Sara

Here is a link that might be useful: Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Oregon Blue Weeping'

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 11:19PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Photo at link shows 'Oregon Blue'. The "Weeping" would be superfluous.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 11:36PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

I bought it as 'Oregon Blue Weeping'. Is the correct name simply 'Oregon Blue'? Thx,
Sara

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 11:59PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Somebody probably thought 'Oregon Blue' was a weeper, as in 'Oregon Blue' weeping Lawson cypress rather than 'Oregon Blue Weeping' Lawson cypress. Or some side-branches were grafted or rooted and put on the market as 'Oregon Blue Weeping', while these were still growing sideways, as branches - with a leader having been made later in the case of the one you ended up with.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 4:39PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

It is not very weepy! At least not compared to some weepers, such as Cupressus cashmeriana, which is my idea of a weeper. I am correcting, thx!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 9:12PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Form and Foliage,
the Japanese name for Cryptomeria is Sugi, so this cultivar is actually just 'Sekkan.'

Mike, I always enjoy seeing your gardens, and especially your Cryptomeria. We've had a hot
Summer, and my 'Sekkan' grows in the "badlands" of my yard out back....little water, full sun.
I've noticed that some of the oldest, lowest growth is dying off. I still intend to put a
drip-line or soaker-hose around this planting, but haven't gotten to it yet, unfortunately. I
bet I could coax a little more growth out of it.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 10:12AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Looks like it's time to make the mulched area quite a bit wider.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 10:55AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Probably is. The mulch only extends about a foot beyond the foliage, and that is where I'll
set the soaker-hose. At least the deer don't eat this one ;-)

Josh

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 12:54PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

I'm curious - what's the tallest Sekkan Sugi anyone has ever seen? (not using '', because this just means yellow cedar in Japanese, apparently)

I'm guessing botann's was rather large but webshots has gone haywire. NCSU has one that's 36', can't be that old since JC brought all that kind of stuff in around the late 70s-mid 80s. This page amusingly says 10' for mature height, while showing an obviously contradictory picture:

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.greatplantpicks.org/plantlists/view/469

This post was edited by davidrt28 on Sat, Feb 9, 13 at 21:44

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 9:40PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, David, in my area I've only seen young specimens.
The garden where I worked over the summer had a handful of 10-footers, which I was pleased to see.

As for the nomenclature, I'd thought this to be a proper cultivar, deserving of the single apostrophe
before and after - 'Sekkan'? If that's wrong, I'd like to know for my personal book-keeping.

Josh

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 1:39PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

It is a proper cultivar; I was confusing the issue. It just amuses me that the cultivar name is just an English transliteration of a Japanese common name.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 3:37PM
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