Wisteria Question

alan8(8)November 28, 2007

Is there a special type of Wisteria that makes a little tree? I've seen these little "bushes" hanging with beautiful flowers and I want to get one. Each time I've tried to grow wisteria, it make roots running all over my yard and I end up having to dig it up and give up. Is there some method to this I'm missing? In other words, how can I get this plant under control?

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IanW Zone 5 Ont. Can.

The tree types of wisteria are different from the vine varieties.
Tree types are grafted on a trunk to reduce the suckering effect that vines display. Wisteria trees have to be pruned to keep their tree-like habit.


    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 12:36PM
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I have to disagree with you about the 'tree types' of wisteria. They are all strictly speaking vines. There are two main types...Chinese or Japanese. You can tell which type a vine is by the direction it naturally curls when it is twining up a support. A 'tree type' wisteria is a wisteria vine that has been carefully pruned to control the way it grows and to head back growth until the 'tree' has the shape that is desired. This pruning must take place several times during the growing season. Also to maintain the tree-like appearance, any new vines/runners that emerge from the base of the main trunk must be consistently removed or it will mar the appearance of the tree form that is desired.

This is how I started my 'wisteria tree'. I planted seeds from some wisteria found in the woods near my home. I got really good germination as they sprouted very quickly. In fact, they grew so robustly that in a week or two, I had to pot them up to a larger container. I let it grow as it wanted for the first year. I staked it (onto a 5 ft. stake) as soon as it got about 2 ft. of growth on it. Of course by this time is is in the ground in it's permanent position. Then I began the training. When the growth reached the top of the stake, I lopped the vine off at the top of the stake. After that point, I only allowed lateral shoots to grow along the top 5-7 inches of the vine under where I cut it off. (Any growth lower I mercilessly rubbed off to as to have a really nice trunk later on) I let the laterals grow to the length it wanted that summer. In the fall I also cut them off at about 4 ft. These laterals will be the 'branches' and main structure of your future tree. From that point on, when new growth appeared, I would stand back and look at my 'tree' and decide where I wanted to pinch out/cut back growth so as to give it a nice shape. If there was a space that needed filling in, then I would allow a sub-lateral to grow on that was in that area and then head it back. When the tree had been fully shaped as I wanted, then all new grown was pruned to 2 spurs/nodes to give fullness to it's look. To create a wisteria tree is truly a labor of love. You must be a dedicated soul, because wisteria is a most vigorous grower and must be constantly managed or it will quickly get away from you and end up in a tree. I can tell you, if you really love wisteria, it is really worth the effort. My wisteria tree is now about 9 years old and it is stunning when it is in bloom. It is a show stopper. If I had anything to do over, I would start from a cutting, instead of seeds. Seedlings take about 5-7 years to begin blooming. If one takes cutting from a plant already blooming, of course you get blooms early on the growing of it. I hope this helped you. I'm sorry, but I do not have a picture of my tree that I share with you.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 11:11PM
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