Touch and Go

I think it’s going to be touch and go with this Golden variety of Escallonia. I collected it yesterday from my Dad’s garden. He had dug it up a few days before and moved it to another spot until I was ready to collect. His reason for digged it up was the massive damage caused last Winter. It only had 3 live branches on the whole tree and one little shoot appearing at the base.

This is how I found it yesterday.

 I cut back a few of the heavy branches that had no foliage on them. All of them were dead. One of the branches was very tall and I was going to have to cut it off it fit it in the car. This branch however had a live bit at the top. When I sawed through the branch, this is what I found in the heart wood.

You can clearly see that the branch isn’t alive the whole way around the circumference. Escallonia is very similar to juniper in that they have a very defined live vein system in their growth structure. Specific branches correspond with specific roots, cut either off and you loose the other. This left me with two live branches on the tree and one little shoot at the base. Totry and ensure survival, I had to leave both live branches uncut on the tree. As it sits now neither of these branches is usable in any future design but by leaving them I hope to see a bit of back budding lower down the trunk.

I got it home and potted it up. I used a mix of SP Cat Litter, grit and bark. I decided to use bark to add a little more organic material to the mix and aid moisture retention within the pot. This is the bark I used.

and the mix

I selected a pot that would be a reasonably tight fit.

I potted the tree up in the poly tunnel where it will stay until it either dies or shows strong signs of growth next year.

Now I play the waiting game….

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