Tree Peonies Showing Growth

graycrna4uFebruary 9, 2014

Several of my tree peonies are starting to show growth, ie the buds are opening and the leaves are forming and starting to grow. We are going to have snow this week. I also have buttercups, tulips popping through the ground, and herbaceous eyes popping up through the soil. All of our trees budded this week. All good signs that spring is not far away.

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KarenPA_6b

Thank you Graycrn4u. Where are you located? I can't wait for spring to come. Another cold blast is coming to my area by Tuesday. It will be at least a month before I see any activity in my garden.

This post was edited by kousa on Sun, Feb 9, 14 at 19:29

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 7:11PM
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lizbest1(5)

I'm right there with you, Kousa! It's nice to see some areas showing signs of spring already. I also have at least another month before seeing any green. Thanks for the peep into spring, graycrna4u!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 9:22PM
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graycrna4u

I am in the Piedmont area of North Carolina. Overall, I have about 5 tree peonies showing this kind of growth. Now, the true test. Will this week's winter weather damage them? Probably not because they survived the record colds recently without problems.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 4:20AM
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KarenPA_6b

What tree peonies do you have, graycrna4u? I don't think the cold will cause much harm to your plants according to Cricket Hill Garden blog that I read. Evidently, one year they got a late freeze with the tree peonies already at small bud stage. Although the plants drooped from the freeze, they perked right up when the normal spring weather returned and subsequently bloomed without any sign of damage.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 9:26PM
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graycrna4u

I was bitten by the tree peony bug last year. My parents bought a home that was handicapped accessible because my mother was having health issues. Her issues improved so they didn't need the home. It belonged to an old WWII vet. In the spring, there was a shrub by the front porch that was more beautiful than anything I had ever seen. After much research, I figured out it was a tree peony. I still haven't figured out the type and this spring I may put up a picture of it and ask for an ID. Anyway, last September, I dug it up and moved it to my home (a better situation). The root ball was about 4 feet by 4 feet. The plant is probably 50+ years old or more. It is doing great, has sprouted red buds all over and is one of the plants where the buds are beginning to open up. I had to trim out a lot of dead wood and one piece fell of the main bush (it had roots so I planted it also and it is doing well). I also took some root divisions of herbaceous peonies from the home. At the same time, a local nursery had several itohs for sale. I got Takara, Keiko, Misaka, and Yumi. All four were large enough to divide into multiples plants. I didn't divide them but will have to soon. As I looked around and read reviews on the tree peony vendors, I decided to go with Tree Peony Garden. I got Lan Bao Shi, Shishichifukujin, and a hybrid P. suffruticosa x P. rockii bred by them(5-6 years old). All the plants were huge with highly developed root systems. In November, Tree Peony Garden added a new tab of end of season specials. I bought Zi Yao Tai, Yu Lou Dian Cui, Gong Yang Zhuang, and Jin Zhang Fu Rong, and they threw in a bonus TP but I can't remember the name (all for $5 to $15 per plant). Again the plants were all large with well developed roots and much older than indicated on the web (all four/five were $93). In December I decided to give my mother a TP for Christmas (and also got one for myself). The one for me was Xue Ta. I ordered the December ones from Chateau Charmarron (they were the only ones still digging and selling bare root in December). Marcia was great to deal with, the plants were huge, and her prices are great. I would highly recommend both vendors. So, in one year, I have planted a huge number of both itoh and TPs and they are all doing great, showing buds, and I can't wait until spring. Hope that wasn't too long of a post. Where r u and what TPs do u have?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 7:12PM
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KarenPA_6b

I am in southeast PA near Philly. I too was bitten by the tree peony bug last year. The year before that I was bitten bad by the herbaceous peony and bought like some 30 herbaceous peony roots. Right now I have about 10 peony tree plants. Some of them are in peony beds and some of them are in grow bags. I ran out of room and had to plant some in grow bags. I am rather worried about them surviving this cold. I have them in my unheated garage and I do not know how they fared from the extreme colds that have been hitting my area. Tonight we are going down to a low of -4. I have a total of 4 Jap pink tree peonies: 2 that I do not know their names, a Yaezakua, and a Shimanishiki, 4 Rockii tree peonies: Lan Fu Rong Rockii, Joseph Rock Rockii, Hong Xian Nu Rockii, Hua Die Rockii, and 2 Lutea Hybrids, High Noon and Harvest . The only tree peony that I have seen in person is a lavender color tree peony grown near my house. I do not think I am going to see any flowers from my tree peonies this year as they are too young.

How were you able to haul a 4X4 ft peony root by yourself? It must be really heavy. I bet you are going to get some nice flowers from this tree this spring. You did it a great deal of good pruning off the dead and weak branches. Please post photo of this tree peony in bloom this spring. I would love to see it.

Boy aren't you lucky to find the Monrovia itoh peonies at your garden centers and on sale! I have been trying to acquire Misaka and Yumi for the last 2 years and I could not find any of these plants for sale in my local garden centers. I hope that I would get better luck this spring. I would love to add these two peonies to my garden this year, (even if it requires me to convert more lawn.) Wow, you got a really great deal with the Tree Peony Garden, 5 trees for under $100 is an incredibly good deal. Do you expect any flowers from your new tree peonies this spring?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 8:41PM
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graycrna4u

Getting the 4x4 root ball of the TP out of the ground and to my house was an all day task. I used a pitch fork and slowly loosened the roots all the way around the plant (I used the growth margin of the limbs and leaves to demark how much I needed to dig up). It took hours after loosening the roots to actually pull it out of the ground. I immediately put it on a tarp, wrapped it up and placed it in the trunk of my car. It barely fit with some pushing and prodding. Once I got it home, I used a waterhose to get all the dirt off of the roots so I could look at it. I have never seen so much root mass, not even in pictures. The hard part was digging a hole deep enough and wide enough to replant it.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 5:43AM
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KarenPA_6b

I hope that you get a lot of blooms from the tree peony as a reward for your hard work in transplanting it. I wonder if it is over 50 years old. I hope my peonies are ok and not rotting because it has been an extremely wet winter. My area just got another feet of snow. Best of luck with all your plants. Please post photos of their blooms this spring.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 5:54PM
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graycrna4u

Here is a picture of the same plant today under 10 to 12 inches of snow and ice. I'll report back how it handles the weather.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 7:13PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Until I saw the snow in your last photo I had assumed the 10 in your name was your planting zone. Congratulations on your moving a fifty year old peony, many are unwilling to tackle a job requiring so much digging to prevent breaking the brittle root mass. Al

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 12:14PM
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graycrna4u

Actually, I am in 7b and the picture is of a new TP that I planted this fall that is already leafing out. The old TP has about 12 large stems coming out of the ground some probably four feet up. I was fortunate in that the root mass stayed together coming out of the ground and during replanting. I realize now, though, I could have divided it into several different plants. It is at least 50 years old. Probably older (belonged to a WW II vet) who is now deceased. I will post pictures this spring to see if I can get an ID.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 6:58PM
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graycrna4u

Same plant one week after Snowmageddon 2014

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 8:13PM
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lizbest1(5)

Just looked out the window at my largest tree peony; still a dry, brown skeleton! Glad yours made it though the crazy weather.....

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 1:04PM
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stevelau1911

That is quite a bit of growth, but peonies or tree peonies will tend to make progress when temperatures are above freezing, even by a little bit.

Up here in upstate NY, it has been frozen for many months without much of any breaks, and brutally cold so the peonies have stayed completely dormant, but they may have grown a bit underneath the tarps which I won't be able to see until after the snow cover finally disappears.

Anyways, one thing that may be worrisome about that particular tree peony is the absence of any shoots from the soil which sometimes indicates that the tree peony may not have produced it's own roots yet, or any crown tissue which is required for them to thrive in the long term.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 11:04PM
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graycrna4u

This particular TP has only been in the ground since late October of 2013. At what point should I begin to see shoots emerge from the ground? It is only 2 years old.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 5:28AM
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stevelau1911

I think if it has enough tree peony part under ground, there should be callus formation, roots and generate shoots next spring. Just make sure there's enough soil mounded around to keep that point moist.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 10:17PM
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graycrna4u

I planted about 10 other TPs at the same time. I went out and looked at all of them and surprisingly, they all have new shoots coming up out of the ground except the one in the picture. Interesting. It has the most growth at this point above ground but no new shoots.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 7:23PM
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stevelau1911

It got up to 54F today which is the warmest it has been in 3 months and it is definitely starting to cause some of my tree peonies to wake up. Here's a pretty good picture to show how dormancy has been broken. I'm a bit impressed at how many shoots are coming out of some of these clumps. Perhaps I'll get a dozen flowers or more if some of these shoots can produce multiple flowers.

Of course it will likely be covered by 1-2 feet of snow tomorrow.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 9:42PM
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graycrna4u

We had an ice storm on this past Friday (1/2 inch with lots of tree limbs and entire trees down). The five days since have all been sunny and in the 60's and mid 70's. The trees have popped their buds and are showing leaves, some of my herbaceous peonies are up, my itohs' buds are elongating and popping up, and all my tree peonies have shown incredible growth. Tomorrow, it is back to 40's in the daytime and 20's at night. Gotta love mother nature!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 4:23AM
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KarenPA_6b

Tree peonies in grow bags are starting to leaf out in my garage.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 3:40PM
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KarenPA_6b

This one is Hua Die Rockii Peony that I bought on Ebay last fall.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 3:43PM
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lizbest1(5)

What are the names of your other new tree peonies, Kousa?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 12:37AM
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KarenPA_6b

The other 4 are: Yaezakura, ShimaNishiki, Hong Xian Nu, and Lan Fu Rong. The Lan Fu Rong which was purchased in 2012 and planted in poor drainage location, struggled last year. I dug it up in the fall and discovered that all the herbaceous root on which it was grafted had rotted away There were some feeder roots so I moved it into the grow bag. It looks like it is doing ok now.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 12:20PM
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lizbest1(5)

Glad you were able to rescue Hua Die Rockii Peony from the damp! How are your others that you were concerned about with all of the moisture?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 3:29PM
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lizbest1(5)

Not a tree peony but the first sign of peony life in my garden...

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 12:37PM
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KarenPA_6b

That is great, Liz! I cannot contain my excitement for this spring. I hope we all do not have crazy weather that affects the blooms of the peonies. Last year, a member on another forum lost all her peonies blooms due to a severe late freeze. It was the sudden freeze and quick warm up that killed all the flower buds. It was heartbroken to hear about it. She lived in Kansas.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 3:06PM
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lizbest1(5)

We had snows and freezing weather after Mother's Day last year, too. My bloom season was absolutely impacted, I had just a tiny amount compared to the previous year so I feel her pain. Here's hoping we all have a good spring this year! At least we can be thankful that peonies are hardy enough to come back after that kind of season!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 3:27PM
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stevelau1911

They will generally grow any time the soil temperature is above freezing so after April in upstate NY, they should be consistently getting further in their progress.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 5:14PM
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graycrna4u

You will be glad to know that the TP shown in the original picture, now has new chutes emerging from the ground.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 8:16PM
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KarenPA_6b

Can I see a picture of the new chutes from the ground? I planted some tree peonies last year but all the stems came with the root, nothing new. If my tree peonies do not have new chutes come out, what does that mean? Will they live?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 10:36AM
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stevelau1911

1 year old grafts shouldn't have any. The one I have in my picture happens to be 3 years old, and well established.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 12:33PM
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graycrna4u

A chute is just a new TP limb (or scion) as it emerges from the ground. If you look to the left of the large limb of the TP, the smaller limb is a new chute that has emerged since I planted the TP in October. Just to the front of the smaller limb and just behind the larger limb you can see a reddish tint in the mulch. Those are also new chutes emerging. This TP arrived with 3 large scions. My labrador stepped on it chasing a squirrel and broke 2 of the 3 scions off. I have taken the two scions and mated them with two herbaceous roots. We will see what happens with them in the spring. But, the new chutes are scions as they emerge from the TP roots. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 8:37PM
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KarenPA_6b

Thanks Gary and Steve. My plants are too small to have new grow chutes.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 7:57PM
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