Thorsens weeping hemlock

tcharles26(usa texas)September 6, 2006

I must be crazy. As far as I know no one in this part of the county (South Central Texas - North SA to be exact) tries hemlock trees. Most of your confiers around here are juniper, bald cypress, some thuja, occasionally a pine tree. But I saw a picture of a thorsens weeping hemlock and I had to give one a shot.

I plan to keep it as a container plant, I would like to stake it several feet then let it weep. Im going for the "Cousin It" look. I have an area picked out with morning sun and shade in the hottest part of the day.

Any chance this thing can survive the Texas heat? Any advice?

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I think this one may be a western hemlock cultivar, in which case it is probably even less likely to live there than Canadian or Carolina. At any rate you would be much better off using a locally adapted plant with a weeping habit instead of bringing in and killing an unsuitable one based on the assumption that it was the only kind that produced that effect. Print a photo of the hemlock and ask some local nursery people or garden staff what else may be around that looks like that.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 2:21AM
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I've seen several different selections of juniperus horizontalis trained for the same type of effect

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 8:53AM
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Another option - check out Juniperus flaccida (Weeping Juniper). It comes from northeastern Mexico so the Mexican nursery employees may well be familiar with it, ask for tláscal or enebro liso.


    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 10:42AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

There's more regional variables affecting growing plants than climate. There's soil conditions, mineral content of irrigation water, pests and diseases.

Tsuga heterophylla is so unsuitable for eastern conditions the Sunset NATIONAL GARDEN BOOK doesn't even mention it. However, it DOES have one of the zones (Sunset 33) indicated for the two eastern species falling over Texas in a wedge centered rougly around Dallas-Fort Worth. At a nursery here recently I saw the 'Thorsen Weeping' displayed with a weeping T. canadensis cultivar that was very similar. The narrow habit is achieved with staking, same as with weeping laceleaf maples.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 10:03PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

'Tool bag', for my "worthless non-advice."

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 10:19PM
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O.K. I'm in the mood to stick my neck out. Tcharles26, one of your questions was "Any chance this thing can survive the Texas heat?" Bboy answered your question with his honest opinion. It may not have been the answer you wanted or with as much diplomacy as you would have liked, but he did answer that question. (In his opinion, its unlikely to survive). I'm not saying that I never been offended to an answer to a post I have placed, nor am I saying that I have never tested the limits of my zone. In fact, I do it on a regular basis and consider myself fairly "optimistic" as far as plants go. My opinion is, since you've already bought the plant go for it and good luck. Having said this, I feel that name calling and personal attacks to answers to your posts that you don't agree with is inappropriate. Just my opinion, hope I don't get called a "Toolbag" for expressing it. Dan

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 11:28PM
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tcharles26(usa texas)

Sorry to start a controversy, and sorry if I came across as belligerent. And sorry for calling you a 'tool bag' B-boy.

Having said that, I will stand by my assertion that the 'advice' in question was worthless in light of the fact that I belive my question was, in essence, "what should I do with this weird Hemlock tree I bought on a whim?" And B-boy's answer was essentially "you should have bought something else and here is the method I reccomend for buying it...."

But then again, he's right. And of course I knew that when I asked about this and even when I bought it. But I overreacted a little and he was a good sport about it.

As for the junipers, sure the effect may be similar if you stake a prostrate juniper, but I know of no juniper that has foliage anything like a Hemlock. And I've seen a lot of juniper. I live in the Texas hill country and regard the native species as ugly, woody, invasive weeds. Even deer hate them for crying out loud. Some of the cultivated garden varities (of non-native junipers) are nice but here that is way too prosaic for me. In other words, everyone does that, and I'm way too cool to do what everyone else does.

I followed that link and thought those pictures were great. Those are the types of conifers I think are cool. Of course those dont do as well here. Maybe its a matter of the "grass always being greener" somewhere else. Maybe some of you in cooler zones would like to have citrus trees, or tropical hibiscus in your yard. Me, Im moving to Oregon so I can have weird obscure conifers and 20 different japanese maples.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 12:40AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

You didn't, in fact state specifically in your original post that you had already bought the tree and thus wanted to know how you might keep it alive there now. I read it that you had seen a picture and wanted to know if it might do there, after being ordered in from somewhere else. The small ones I had seen here recently were 60 dollars. Add current shipping and handling rates to that and you might be looking at an initial outlay alone of 100 dollars or more--for an item that probably doesn't stand a chance of persisting there. Here, in its native habitat it seems to have been gradually dying out of developed lowland areas for some time, as though just the lowering of humidity and increase in sun exposure brought about when the stands of native trees are opened up for housing and other projects is too much for it. The woolly adelgids now coating many of them, including one outside my front window probably don't help much, either. Canadian hemlock is being wiped out by it in its native area. And lately we are being told the local climate is warming significantly, as it is elsewhere.

Try the coolest possible location and, if you have high mineral content in the water maybe watering with distilled water only. Might be best to keep it in a tub of special potting mix.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 3:32PM
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Good luck Tcharles!



P.s. I certainly agree that that is a beautiful tree. Always wanted one myself and maybe will try one as well (someday) here in the midwest. Yeah baby - good ole Illinois! Later.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 5:58PM
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I need some advise on a good evergreen screening plant. I live in North Texas and i have a location quite shaded where I would like to add screening at least 10 feet in height. Will Canadian Hemlocks survive this area? what else is recommended for this area and in a shade location?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 3:23PM
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