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arbutus marina

Posted by pacnwjudy z8 OR (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 19, 09 at 1:42

I'm trying to emphasize more evergreen plants in my yard. I bought an arbutus marina and will put it in part sun/shade area. I have a couple of questions though.

Will it sucker a lot? If it does, are the suckers hard to remove. (I had to take out a prunus incisa 'Snow Cloud' because dense, hard suckers were taking over half the yard).

Will roots be a problem is it's at least six feet away from the house and sidewalk?

Is it difficult to control size? I'd like to hold it to ten or fifteen feet.

Is litter from the tree a serious problem, with staining berries, etc.?

Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: arbutus marina

Arbutus marinas are gorgeous. But they are very hard to grow. They're related to Madrones.

I had 2. Ultra finicky, and both died. They don't like too much water but they also don't like to dry out in the hot sun either.

Roots and suckering aren't a problem. Keeping it alive is the problem. It's not a fast grower either. The berries are not a problem.

Good luck! This is one tree I really want but will never try again. Got them from Portland Nursery. Expensive failed effort. One of the prettiest trees in the world.


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RE: arbutus marina

Thank you so much for your helpful, informative response. Since I already have it (got it from 7-Dees) I'm going to give it a try. Like you, I live in the Portland area, but in N.E.

Right now it looks like a shrub. My plan is to train it into a multi-trunked tree. I hope there's no special trick to that other than pruning off lower leaves and restricting the branches to the number of trunks you want.


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RE: arbutus marina

"Tree" is a key word in this plan. This wants to grow into a good sized tree - 25-30' is common, but perhaps as much as 40' over time. Attempting to maintain it at less than half its normal height is not going to be an ideal situation. I would have chosen Arbutus unedo 'Compacta' for something similar that would remain in scale and not require frequent pruning to remain to desired size.

They're not all that more difficult to establish than Arbutus unedo.......I'd not call them particularly 'finicky'. Good drainage and adequate moisture when young, then they are quite drought tolerant once established. There is a street tree planting of them here in Seattle that gets no attention and the trees are doing fine. A full sun location will be much more to their liking than part shade, however.

And they are arguably somewhat less hardy than A. unedo. Several of the street trees were frozen back to the roots after a severe winter a number of years ago - haven't checked recently to see how they fared after this past December's frigidly cold weather, but even A. unedo will often display considerable foliage damage and some dieback after a cold winter.


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RE: arbutus marina

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 19, 09 at 11:40

If you're talking about the ones along 8th many of them have poor foliage color, presumably from the streetside soil conditions and are leaning over, presumably from being supplied rootbound by the grower. One of the earliest local plantings I was aware of seeing in my regular travels was the one in the Witt Winter Garden at the arboretum. It looked good for years but eventually leaned over. If you can find stock that is not rootbound and plant it in suitable well-drained soil in a warm location - and winters stay above the minimum temperature for this tree - good results can be had. A friend has had one for years next to his front walk north of Ballard, on an unbelievably droughty dust of a soil. It could probably stand to be a little greener and the close proximity to the walk has meant some nibbling at one side has occurred, in order to keep it out of the way. It is a low-branching specimen, not acquired as a standard with an elevated head and clear stem already present.

Other more or less successful plantings can be seen in the area. As with all trees the key is to match up the site with the tree, and plant healthy specimens.

All arbutus want warm sunny spots with well-aerated soil to do well here. Not for valley floor sites with poor air and soil drainage. Even where not freezing back periodically there can be chronic leaf spot if site conditions not optimal. I have seen a lot of this on A. unedo in this area, but maybe not so much on 'Marina' - perhaps it is even resistant.


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RE: arbutus marina

I have an arbutus unedo compacta which is doing great. Put it in a raised bed, sloped, rocks around it, almost full sun. It does have a little tip damage from ice. It's growing moderately, hasn't needing pruning in 3 years.

Talked to the wise man at Portland Nursery about the marinas last year -- like madrones, they are hard to establish. Good luck to anybody who tries! Would love to see pictures of successful marinas in Portland. Have seen pictures of beautiful ones in California. Don't know how they are faring in this drought.

At the Marylhurst campus there are many dwarf strawberry trees doing very well, established decades. They are kept pruned and are between 4 and 9 feet tall. Some have been made into hedges.

The marina, in the California pictures I've seen, is a magnificent tree with rosy blushing blooms and luscious fruits and full canopy. If I ever find the secret to its success here and get more property I would love to have them. Already know they won't grow in this swampy yard, even in a raised bed.

I was told madrones like slopes and their roots are happy growing in crevices. They like their roots to get wet but then have that water drain off quickly. The PacNW used to have abundance of native madrones.

Judy, the marina is worth any effort to grow; it is spectacularly lovely.


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RE: arbutus marina

These trees are only distantly related to our native Pacific madrones and therefore comparisons between the two are risky. They should be no more difficult to establish.....and there's enough visible evidence to support this.......than Arbutus unedo, to which they are assumedly related (exact parentage is somewhat uncertain). Not sure what info the "wiseman" at Portland Nursery is privy to that others aren't, but there's a lot of these trees around :-) OTOH, Pacific madrones, Arbutus menziesii, are notorioulsy difficult to establish in a cultivated setting, primarily because they resent urban pollution, root disturbance and soil compaction, and any kind of regular fertilization or irrigation that tends to be common to most garden settings. They are also plagued by a rather large number fungal problems, including several cankers that are decimating a lot of native populations.

Very few species of Arbutus tend to grow in any kind of straight erect, upright form, so leaning and/or curving trunks or major branches are not all that uncommon and not necessarily the result of circling or girdled roots. In fact, I can't think offhand of many clearly upright specimens I've seen at all, unless staked to be trained so. Although to be honest, root issues ARE very common in container grown Arbutus, as bboy points out. The leaning of the trees along 8th NW is more likely due to their natural growth habit and the wind tunnel effect of this street, as these trees were very small seedlings when initially planted in 97 and unlikely to have been subject to root issues.

'Marina' also tends to be very drought tolerant once established - suspected parentage from Turkey, Greece, Mediterranean area/Canary Islands - so easily able to handle coastal California dryness.

There's also a significant planting of A. 'Marina' along Ruston Way in Tacoma that's doing well. Or was last time I saw them.


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RE: arbutus marina

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 19, 09 at 13:59

Since stock of 'Marina' trained into tree shapes, with all the weight of the foliage at the top of a clear stem and sent from California is badly rootbound and heavily staked in the containers, and falls right over while still in the pot or box when the ties fail, I see no reason to think those specimens having the same crown structure and making it into the ground here, then also falling over are doing this because of some other phenomenon.

The hybrid parentage of 'Marina' is not known, but it has characteristics of Mediterranean species - same genus as madrona, but from a different part of the world. While all species in the small genus Arbutus are native to comparatively mild winter climates and might share other similarities the fact that 'Marina' is being mass produced and sold by garden centers in climates thought suitable shows that it is more tractable than madrona. Madrona can be and is grown by nurseries and planted in gardens, but there are very definite limitations. One friend who grows it from seed, grows it on in containers has lots of mortality. Salal can also be a bear in pots, in a nursery setting. Dry climate/soil heath family species like these are quite prone to blights and root rot.

It is believed what eventually became the 'Marina' cultivar was probably imported from Europe to San Francisco 1917, after which it was propagated by a nursery in the Marina district. After some time off the market it was given the name 'Marina' and reintroduced by the Saratoga Hort. Foundation 1984.

One in a San Francisco garden was over 46' tall and 45' across in 1994, with a trunk over 8' around. It was planted before or during 1942.


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RE: arbutus marina

Thanks for the comments from everyone!

What I'm understanding from this is that the arbutus Marina is beautiful, needs to be in sun, and my greatest hazards are either its death or wild success, the latter given the size of my city lot. Back to the drawing board. That's happened so many times in my 15-year gardening "career." I guess I should do all this research BEFORE buying rather than after the fact. Ah, well.

In my Hardy Plant Society newsletter I see that Sean Hogan is the keynote speaker at the annual meeting at the end of March, with the subject being his book "Trees for All Seasons: Broad-leafed Evergreens for Temperate Climates." Sounds like just what the doctor ordered for me right now.

A year ago at Portland Nursery I got a magnolia 'Little Gem' on the recommendation of the nurseryman there at the advice counter. I meant to put it in the front yard, which isn't all that wide, from house to sidewalk, which I told him. He said that it was listed as an approved street tree. After I brought it home, I was reading that the roots are quite shallow and will disrupt concrete - sidewalks, etc. Now I have that in a large pot. I need something for the ground. ;-)


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RE: arbutus marina

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 19, 09 at 21:06

'Marina' will not explode into a huge specimen overnight. Possible serious frost injury during a hard winter might be the main issue in parts of the Willamette Valley.

'Little Gem' is not going to be likely to lift sidewalks. It starts off bushy and then morphs gradually into a small narrowish tree. It may, however, develop foliage mildew and become gaunt (a common appearance here) or get burnt in a hard winter (multiple otherwise nice ones near me now fried after the recent Arctic weather). Callaway, THE WORLD OF MAGNOLIAS (Timber Press) says it's just about the most tender southern magnolia cultivar.

Other specimens not far from the spoiled ones near here are not obviously damaged, and I have noticed the same variation in Seattle also (this overplanted tree is everywhere here now, providing plenty of opportunity to observe its limitations).

In those occasional spots where it has done well here it is certainly handsome.


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I Left Out

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 19, 09 at 21:14

That one of the drawbacks to 'Little Gem' is susceptibility to breakage under wet snow. This may be more of a problem after it grows out of the bushy phase, at which time it may be snapped in half in a horizontal line right across the middle. Many other southern magnolias may also break under the weight of slush in this climate. A friend's young 'Edith Bogue' (propagated and dispersed for taking cold winters) broke all apart under wet snow during the last episode prior to this most recent one.

All the side branches came off, leaving it standing there like the armless statue of Venus.


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RE: arbutus marina

Magnolia 'Little Gem' is an approved street tree here in Seattle as well. One of the requirements of an approved street tree, in addition to being size appropriate and not producing copious litter, is that they DON'T disrupt sidewalks and lift concrete. Magnolias do tend to have a lot of far reaching surface roots, but they are seldom problematic with regards to lifting pavement.

Personally, give bboy's valid qualifiers on its success and appearance, I'd go ahead and plant it where you like. Although it does make a decent container tree....at least for a few years.

And I'd be very surprised if Sean doesn't discuss both of these trees in a very positive light.


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RE: arbutus marina

gardengal48 -

I listened to bboy's advice and today planted the magnolia 'Little Gem' out in the garden (no more in the pot). It did lose some leaves this winter, but this is its first year, we had a hard winter, and it was, after all, in the pot which is colder for it. So we'll see how it does. It could be that where it is now is a more sheltered spot for it.

I also planted the arbutus Marina. There's really only one place I have for it, and I have to think about that site for awhile. (I had a gas furnace installed a year ago and didn't decommission my oil tank -- letting sleeping dogs lie, I guess. I don't really have to decommission it unless I'm selling or there's a problem.)

But the arbutus is now in that general area. Maybe the roots would pose a danger to the tank. I'm just going to ponder that one for awhile since nothing will happen in the next few months, I'm sure.

I also reserved Sean Hogan's book, "Trees for all Seasons," about temperate trees, at the library. Everyone here is probably familiar with Sean Hogan, but here's info just in case: http://www.timberpress.com/authors/id.cfm/1128

It's always a pleasant summer drive to visit his Cistus Nursery on Sauvie Island and also to see Joy Creek Nursery a little further up the highway, perched up there on the hill overlooking the countryside.

I suppose another solution to the dilemma of wanting broad-leaf evergreen trees but that are also hardy is to use limbed up hardy shrubs. I do have a photinia fraseri in a huge pot in the patio that blocks my neighbor's views of my patio to some degree.


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RE: arbutus marina

Judy, in your search for a hardy broadleaf evergreen tree you might want to include an Azara somewhere in your garden. Although it may be a stretch to consider Azara microphylla a 'broadleaved' evergreen - the foliage is tiny :-) But it is profuse and it is evergreen and quite hardy in our area. And one of its best features is very early (February or March) yellow flowers that have a wonderful white chocolate aroma.

Mine is budded now and I'm awaiting that fragrant bloom!

Here is a link that might be useful: GPP - Azara microphylla


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RE: arbutus marina

gardengal - I looked at your link and then started doing some Internet research for the azara. I ran into this discussion from a couple of years ago from this forum. It was certainly interesting in regard to the azara as well as bboy's info regarding reasons for the difference in the climates of Seattle and Portland that affect plant/tree hardiness: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/nwest/msg090449123492.html


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RE: arbutus marina

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 21, 09 at 14:54

There are very few large and old azaras here as these are not "quite hardy in our area". Most seen now are comparatively young. The somewhat battered big old veteran in the UW Friendship Grove is exceptional.

One I planted to form a silhouette against a floor-to-ceiling height window - which presumably would provide some protection from heat escaping through the glass - on an estate in Everett froze out only a year or so later.

The ones I planted on Camano Island last year are now burnt.

A list of trees (including Azara) determined to be "Tender, semi-hardy here: prone to winter damage (or even death) or, simply touchy when young or when in less than ideal locations" can be found on page 436 of A.L. Jacobson's book TREES OF SEATTLE - SECOND EDITION.

Elsewhere in the book Azara microphylla is described (in part) as

"A cold-tender, shrubby tree of fine texture"

If anyone's interested a saw a few one gallon 'Marina' for sale in the River Rock nursery booth at the flower show yesterday. These may not be potbound or at least possible to be corrected at planting, unlike the larger plants sent up from California with terrible circling roots right at the bases of their trunks.


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RE: arbutus marina

bboy, according to you, dang near everything is not fully hardy. If everything were quite as risky and conditions as dire as you make them out to be, few of us would be able to grow any kind of distinctive plant or evergreen in our gardens and that is simply not the case. All the plants selected by Great Plant Picks have been trialed for both suitability to the climate AND hardiness in this area. And since the consulting horticulturists and nurserypeople that make up the selection committee are located in Oregon as well as here in Washington, I think one should be able to assume a reasonable degree of accuracy from the information and the recommendations they present. They shouldn't prove to be any less hardy than either of the other two trees discussed in this thread. I'm sorry if I do not take Jacobson's word as the gospel as you seem to do but both OSU and Xera Plants (also on Portland) in addition to GPP recommend them for this area.

Mine is going on 20 years old and is in pristine condition after this past December - not even any leaf drop. But since it's 'not quite hardy' here, I guess I should expect it to croak any day now.


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RE: arbutus marina

Azara alpina ought to be hardy here. It's certainly hardier than most of the other ones. A lot of Chilean trees vary somewhat in hardiness according to the provenance in much the same way that eucalypts do. So that is likely to be the difference between success and failure in marginal microclimates in cold winters.

I was just noticing more damage around Sequim today... apparently dead Cistus landanifers and Magnolia 'Little Gem' or similar.

Can't say I'm really a fan of 'Great Plant Picks' though. I like the concept but there should be some kind of disclaimer about some plants being rather high maintenance, especially when it comes to watering.


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RE: arbutus marina

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 21, 09 at 23:00

Especially in this age of internet others can easily find out what the facts are for themselves. If someone is unable to differentiate good information from bad, that really cannot be helped from afar.


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RE: arbutus marina

Maybe a discalimer isn't needed. Maybe what constitutes a 'great' plant is simply too subjective for the program to work, with such a large committee.


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RE: arbutus marina

It's a bit of a crapshoot playing with plants on the edge of their hardiness range. The hebes I put in last year are "not with us any more" after this winter's cold snap. Except for my Margarets which have narrower leaves than the ones I lost, the Amys and Patty's Purples, two of each.

One year I lost four 6-foot purple phormiums. Sure, they may have regrown had I permitted it, but I would have had to wait for a long time to get the 6-foot presence these had. So nowadays I'm trying to be a bit more cautious regarding hardiness, the hebes notwithstanding. They were definitely an experiment.

But if there's something you just truly love -- my edgeworthia chrysantha for instance -- you take a chance. It's been doing fine for the many years since I put it in. But in the year I bought it we had a previous two-week-long winter ice storm that wreaked havoc on plants. The nurseryman warned me that edgeworthias in the city had died right and left, but I went ahead and got one anyway. So what I'm saying is that I'm trying to pick and choose my risks.

The most recent Sunset Western Gardening book lists the hardiness zones of the azara microphylla as 5-9 and 14-24. Sunset calls Portland a zone 6, using their own classification methods. Sunset tends to be on the conservative side when it comes to plant hardiness so if Portland is a 6 by their classification, the azara might have a good chance to survive if they say that it should even survive to zone 5. Lots of times Sunset will say that a plant is borderline hardy, but it is so "choice" it's worth the risk -- like, for instance, my pittosporum tobira, 'Wheeler's Dwarf.' I originally got three; two didn't thrive, but not because of cold, I think, and I eventually removed them. The third, however, flourishes.

If I like the look of the azara in person, I think I'll get it. I hear in gardengal's writing a passion for the plant that I think I have for my edgeworthia. She's excited about it, the look of the plant, the flowers, the fragrance, and I'm guessing her azara's long survival, despite some odds against it, is part of the mystique.

I do hate to lose plants that have presence and give height to the garden because that can take a long time to achieve: for instance, my prunus incisa was 15 feet high and my garden looked sort of squat after I took it down. The same was true of losing those four purple phormiums. But where the azara would be planted wouldn't have such a tremendous effect on the garden should it run into conditions too hard for it to handle.

Zonal denial. Who was the devil who put that thought in our minds? It was Thomas Hobbs from Vancouver, B.C. (said in the book "The Jewel Box Garden"). At least he's taking credit for it -- or blame, as the case may be.

For what it's worth, I did notice at Xera Plants' website that they have a tree form azara that is hardier than the regular azara by about five degrees, which could, of course, make all the difference in survival or no survival. It's "azara cold hardy form, 0 - 5 degrees." Xera - http://xeraplants.com/Xera_Plants_Inc/Trees.html It has a more upright habit, and I don't know if that's a detriment or what.


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RE: arbutus marina

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 22, 09 at 5:30

Upright branching is common with A. microphylla. As with many other trees there is a narrowish youthful phase followed by a more spreading mature period. Specimens not growing vigorously or varying for other reasons - such as my 'Variegata' which is stunted by proximity to paper birch trees - will be mostly arching even when comparatively young.

After this last winter my 'Variegata' is also partly bald.


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Azara

I feel I should say something here. Though for the most part you might consider this anecdotal, I have never seen an Azara cut to the ground or heavily damaged, with the exception of the 1990 freeze. If we all gardened by that winter as a guide, our city would look like Anchorage Alaska. I too, like gardengal have grown Azara for a long time, and not only have I never had a damaged leaf, I have never experienced damage to the flower buds or flowers.

I have recommended this plant to many who have experienced the fragrance of the one in my yard, and not once have I heard of a death or a damaged plant.

Here is a picture of the Azara that was frozen to the ground in 1990 (pic taken 1/24/09 . I would say it's almost too successful, and this is in a frost pocket with very wet soil. In the winter of 1990 all Mahonia 'Arthur Menzies' were frozen to the ground here as well.


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RE: arbutus marina

bboy - I've seen pictures of the azara variegata and it is just gorgeous and I've heard somewhat less hardy than the regular azara.

homernoy - That's certain a beautiful azara picture. The leaves are a more blue-ish green than I expected. And the foliage goes all the way to the ground, which I suppose is a matter of choice -- that it's sometimes limbed up (the way it's shown in the illustration in the Sunset Western Garden Book). But the to-the-ground look is lovely. It looks so lush and dense. Several of the azaras I saw on Google Images were sort of scraggly looking. Maybe those were grown where water was in too short supply.

An apology to Thomas Hobbs: Maybe it was actually the tropicalismo rage that he said he started, and by extension I subconsciously interpreted that as zonal denial: one tends to lead to the other.


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RE: arbutus marina

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 22, 09 at 14:43

Leaf damage to Mahonia x media can be seen some places this year also.


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RE: arbutus marina

Hi Judy. I was not at all clear in the above post as to the location of that Azara. That tree grows in the Winter Garden at the U.W. Arboretum. The specimen was killed to the ground in the 1990 winter and came back to what it is today. Love the fragrance of Azara. I think it smells like some delicious chocolate, while my wife thinks more on the lines of a rich vanilla.

If the one in my yard ever froze out, I would simply plant another, as it is my wifes favorite fragrant plant and they seem to bloom well, even when purchased as a 2 gallon plant. It would have to be a lot worse than the winter we just had though, as mine has started to bloom as of last week, and seems unfazed by any cold weather.

-Brian


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RE: arbutus marina

Hi Ron. Yup, it was pretty cold, and for a long stretch with daytime highs at or below the freezing mark. I have seen some damage to all of these plants: Mahonia x media, Vibernum davidii and tinus, Rhododendron species, some Photinia showed foliar damage, Arbutus unedo showed damage in some areas as well. Nandina even lookes a little beaten up in some places.

One thing, though. I don't think you're going to find anyone calling these plants 'tender' or 'not very hardy'. I guess it's all up to what the growers perception is, as to what constitutes a plant being hardy in the PNW. I mean, some winters things are just going to get damaged. That's just part of gardening, no matter where you live (outside of the tropics).


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RE: arbutus marina

Azara looks pretty nice if it's growing well. I've seen frost damage this year on A. m. 'Variegata' and a little bit on A. lanceolata. I'm still wondering about the hardiness of A. integrifolia and A. petiolaris, which apparently are rarer.


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RE: arbutus marina

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 22, 09 at 18:34

A. microphylla will be flowering soon in the Carl English Botanical Garden at the government locks in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. Look under the prominent Himalayan pine at the SW corner of the visitor center building.

'Variegata' grew like a weed in Cisco's back yard and may be the tallest in town. The old typical green one in the Friendship Grove surpasses all others known in Seattle probably both in longevity and definitely in size - it was 40' tall a few years ago. See TREES OF SEATTLE - SECOND EDITION for location details of these and others.


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Azara m. 'Variegata'

Does anyone know where to find one of these when the nurseries get up and going? I know it might be a temporary plant, but I think I have a cool spot for one, right where I am removing a sick Japanese Maple.


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RE: arbutus marina

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 23, 09 at 0:02

The green or the variegated? The green I have seen in recent years at big local walk-in places like Molbak's, Swanson's and Wells-Medina. I also remember the variegated being at the last place in particular.

Colvos Creek nursery has grown and sold the green for probably many years. Don't know current supply.

If the maple is being attacked by verticillium or there is another problem with the spot it is of course possible the replacement shrub will also be affected.


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Colvos Creek

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 23, 09 at 0:04

Think I've seen the variegated there within the past couple years as well.


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RE: arbutus marina

Swanson's had at least a dozen Azara microphylla 'Variegata' as of today (2/23/09)...
Mine continues to struggle, and loses foliage every winter, it seems.
My A. petiolaris is going gangbusters, however...


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RE: arbutus marina

I'll have both (A. microphylla variegated and not) later in the season. In fact the plain green one will be ready pretty soon.


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RE: arbutus marina

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 24, 09 at 3:18

And so we see the variegated one is around. Try phoning near your place and then moving out from there, if you don't want to order through the mail.


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RE: arbutus marina

I wanted to add this azara microphylla description from the Joy Creek Nursery catalog. Joy Creek which is closed except by appointment November through February, opens again with its regular hours on March 1.

Here it is:

"The small, rounded, somewhat glossy leaves are evergreen and create a lace-like pattern against the sky on this narrow upright small tree. Ours is now about 22 feet tall. It is fully tolerant of either sun or shade. The mature bark has patches of gray on brown. On sunny days early in the season, our lavender path smells like a bakery when the tiny yellow flowers emerge and give off their vanilla fragrance in the warming air."

Spring. 30 ft. x 12 ft.

Yellow flowers

Sun, Shade Zone 8-10


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RE: arbutus marina

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 24, 09 at 14:02

The one on Camano looks completely dead. It is about 2' tall. The Osmanthus x heterophyllus behind it look fine. That one stood out for being able to take the 1990 winter as well, unlike other Osmanthus and a host of other broad-leaved evergreens that were singed or even killed in western WA (including Seattle).

When you see few, if any large, old examples of a plant that has been on the general market for a long time that is a hint.


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large examples

"When you see few, if any large, old examples of a plant that has been on the general market for a long time that is a hint"

Yes, but with this plant and the Eucryphia............I would call this a hint, since I have grown seed from this tree sown outside and they are gettin big, without cold damage???


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RE: arbutus marina

Wow, Brian, is that Acacia baileyana? An amazing specimen, for sure.
I wish I had a warm wall on which to grow one. Or even a semi-protected spot. I'm shy on both, but I'm a sucker for acacias...


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RE: arbutus marina

Sedum gal. That is an Acacia dealbata. I was kind of joking with Ron about this tree, but it came off sounding a bit snotty. Sorry about that. I sure have seen a lot of damaged Arbutus 'marina' around Queen Anne and Magnolia. Come to think of it, I don't think I have seen one that doesn't have some damage to growth tips. There used to be fairly nice one growing next to the Azara at the UW Arboretum, but was removed sometime after being winter damaged, but I am unsure if that was the ultimate reason it was taken out.


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RE: arbutus marina

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 28, 09 at 14:12

The Bremerton acacia shows signs of having frozen to the ground in the past and is of interest precisely because it is just about the only persisting one of much size known in the area. It is exceptional, like the azara in the UW Friendship Grove and the 50' eucryphia near Brian's place in Bremerton. Many others will have been planted elsewhere and frozen out in time.

The late J. Witt of the Washington Park Arboretum once told me that there used to be a 50' eucryphia in a garden next door in the Broadmoor Golf and Country Club (most likely planted in the D. Graham garden) but it died in the awful 1955 freeze. An obvious difference between the two sites would be that the Broadmoor location is some miles from salt water, whereas the Bremerton site is quite close. If you are close to the beach the salt water keeps your minimum temperatures higher enough than even areas father inland but close by to make a difference in what you can overwinter.

A cottage on Vashon just behind the Seattle/Bainbridge ferry dock has had a tall conspicuous abutilon for years. Even though this is a north exposure, apparently the salt water is keeping it from freezing out. I think I noticed it was still there during a recent visit even after this last winter, although the proof will of course be if it is seen blooming and full again this summer.

One of the better embothriums I've seen was growing right behind the beach along a quite inlet west of Tacoma. It was the first bit of plant life behind the cobbles and sand, and was leaning towards the water as though responding to its proximity.


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