Again, another tree discussed with Peter Warren. This time it’s my Escallonia. I’ve been playing around with angles to pick a front and I asked Peter for his advice.
He suggested removing a branch at the front to show off some more of the character of the tree. I’m planning on some carving refinement on this tree this month and now I can actually get access 🙂
This was it sans leaf as Peter saw it.
And after branch removal.
I think I prefer a slight change of angle now with the branch away.
This is a virtual of it repotted but with the pot shrunk slightly!
The live vein at the front will probably shrink a little now that the branch has been removed. Escallonia are like Junipers in that they have a very defined route between a branch and it’s roots. I did leave a little shoot at the base of the removed branch to see if that is enough of a sap draw to keep the vein alive and see if the sap will transfer over into the main vein to it’s right.
This fellow seems to have taken up permanent residence in my big, recently collected, Escallonia. He buries himself in the sphagnum moss that I’ve used for top dressing and when I water, he climbs to the top of the tree for a shower. Great to have him about.
Of the two live branches, one is fading fast. I knew that by cutting a major root that was going under a concrete path, chances were that it would die. The good news is that the other branch is holding it’s own [kiss of death]
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.
The best thing about this dig today, my Dad has already dug it up. 🙂 He only recently decided to remove it and wanted to get a willow planted in it’s place. My Dad being my Dad, couldn’t wait until I lifted it so he went ahead and done it himself! Not bad for an 85 year old!! Hope I’m that fit if I make it to that age, in fact, he’s fitter than me now!!! 🙂 I’ll post photos of the tree tomorrow.
This is another Escallonia I have my eye on. Again, it’s in my Dad’s garden. Problem with this one is that he really likes it! Up until last Winter it was a big full colourful tree filling an awkward corner where little else would grow due to the wind. As well as having a yellow foliage it has a dark pink/purple flower. A big contrast to the green leaves and pink flowers you usually expect with Escallonia.
And then disaster struck, well for my Dad, not for me 🙂 The extreme and prolonged low temperatures of last Winter took it’s toll and much of the tree died back. My Dad is attempting to salvage it. As you can see below, he has cut it back hoping it’ll come back like the other two I have cut back in his garden. After a few months things aren’t looking much better. I think an offer of a new one of the same variety to replace it might just do the trick 🙂