while this is a shot of last year (in flower), it is fully leafed out as I write and am looking forward to even a more robust bloom this year. It is running up an 80' red oak.
That's fantastic! I planted one of these years ago on a giant cottonwood tree but had to move before it had a chance to do much of anything. Absolute gorgeous! Great job, thanks for sharing!
Question. Do you see anything negative about running this plant up a mature shade tree in your experience?(increasing insect activity that could weaken the oak)
Native vine on native tree = nature's way. I believe you will find reinforcement on this if you search, and surely others will come along and give their opinion as well, one way or the other. Only wish I had some experience of value to share as the grammar of the post virtually requires my response. Bouncing the ball "out there!"
Nothing native about climbing hydrangea :-) But growing climbing hydrangeas into and up trees is a very common practice. In my area they tend to be grown up into high limbed native conifers, as that's what abounds. I don't see why a shade tree would not work equally as well, provided it is of appropriate size to accomodate the climber (these can get huge with time) and the foliage of one doesn't interfer with the foliage of the other.
If the climber was evergreen, there would be more of a concern - the foliage would trap moisture against the tree trunk and limbs, increasing the potential for rot and fungal issues and the weight of the climber could be limiting as well. Since this hydrangea is deciduous, no worries there.
Thanks, GG! Somehow "OK to plant on a mature tree" morphed into "native" in my mind over the past decade. Thanks for the correction!
Birdsong, I showed my Mom this pic and now she wants one too. Funny, she wasn't enthusiastic when I planted one in OH - maybe because that was MY yard, not hers. LOL! If satellite images were a little clearer, I might be able to see it, probably a big, mature thing like yours now...