Taxodium distichum “Peve Minaret”

 

I wrote a profile of this plant a year and 1/2 ago, but it’s grown so much since then and all I posted then was a single shot, so I thought I’d do a pictorial journey thru this plant’s life here in our garden. We planted it in early April 2011 so it’s only been growing for 3 years and a bit. It grows pretty fast for a dwarf. This is a cultivar from Holland of the Swamp Cypress that grows all over the Southeast of the US and is endemic to the swamps and wet places of the region.

As a tree it gets quite big, but this little dwarf will only get to some 10 feet by 3-4 feet , or so they say. It’s already that wide or wider but only about 6-7 feet tall so far, tho it’ll be taller in a couple of months as the top grows. I’ve noticed an interesting thing about this tree, and several other conifers, that intrigues me. It starts to put on growth at the bottom of the tree first and then works its way up to the top after several weeks of growth. It’s in that stage now where it’ll put on a new top, and it should put on a foot of growth there if it does what it did last year, which is no definite indication but hopefully it will do so. It also tends to put on several tops and then reduce them to just one. I’d heard that you had to prune the extra ones out, but that’s not true. The trees know what to do I’ve noticed so I just let them do it. Sometimes it’s best Not to prune…

I did a lot of research on this tree, as I outlined in my previous post I did on it here: https://gardeningingreenwood.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/the-persistence-of-greenery/. I’ll try not to repeat too much of that post but I want to talk about it a bit. It’s a unique plant in that it’s one of only a few conifers that lose their leaves in the fall and renew them in spring. The others are the Larix, or Larch, the Metasequoia, or Dawn Redwood, and the Ginkgo, or Maidenhair tree. There’s some debate about whether or not the Ginkgo is really a conifer right now but I like i that way so I’ll include it anyway. I have a Metasequoia and the Ginkgo in the garden as dwarfs but no Larix, yet… I haven’t found a dwarf of it and I wouldn’t have space to put it anyway so it may not be in my agenda. But we’ll see.

This plant loves wet places to grow as I mentioned and that’s the primary reason I planted it here. This is a really wet spot in this peat bog we garden in, and we lost a few other nice plants here before I did the research to find this one that loves having its feet wet. It’s thriving where it is so I think I made the right choice. I also planted a creek dogwood and a choke cherry along this fence line as they also love the wet soil, as do the dwarf Cryptomerias along the edge of the bed. The only original plant I put in here that survived is the Inverleith Scotch Pine and I’ve read that Scotch pine like it a bit wet too so that makes sense. It’s doing great too and it is now over 10 feet tall, it’s supposed height, tho some say it gets much bigger. I assume it will.

This plant is one of my “pettable” trees because it has such gloriously soft foliage and is so nice to touch and stroke. The others are the Metasequoia and the Cryptomeria elegans that both have very soft foliage and don’t feel like most conifers at all. I’m fond of touching the plants I grow just to get a”feel” of them and so I notice little things like soft foliage on conifers. It’s a treat to feel them. I have a few really prickly plants too, like the Oregon grape and Mahonia charity and even the Osmanthus goshiki, so it’s nice to have others that you can actually touch, tho the others are so soft when they put on their new growth it’s hard to imagine how tough they will become.

I’ve arranged these pictures in chronological order so you can get a sense of how fast this tree really does grow. I’m really amazed by this and it’s good for me as I’m pretty impatient at times and it’s hard to wait to watch plants grow slowly when you want them to get big fast. It’s a trap of course and it’s a joy to watch the Chamaecyparis obtusa Nana only putting on about a 1/16″ of growth a year. You can just see it on the tips of the branches. The same is true of many other dwarf confers, like the Cryptomerias Tansu, Pygmaea and Vilmoriana. They all just barely let you know they’re growing and it’s so cool to know they are and yet don’t show it much. Slow has it’s place just as fast does.

So I hope you found this enjoyable to see how this lovely tree grows so nicely and fills out so well as time goes on. If it does grow this much in only 3 years it’ll become a larger tree in time I think, despite the things they tell you on various websites when you look them up. I’d love it if it did get bigger than its supposed 10 feet but if it doesn’t do that I’ll be happy too of course. I just have to keep the creek dogwood next to it away from its top so it can get there. I have to do a bit of pruning to keep all the plants in their spaces and be cool with one another in their growth habits. It’s a nice challenge to grow this garden and I’m so glad you stopped by to see some of it.

Good growing to you!

Steve

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12 responses to this post.

  1. Love it! You should join Lucy at looseandleafy in following a tree!

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  2. aww…steve it is just like your little child! I had no idea that there was one that would lose it’s leaves..interesting + soft to the touch:-), Or I guess it could be a pet that you can walk out in the yard and pet-lol.
    I find it works when you research a plant and get just the right plant for the right place,. I have put the wrong plant, in the wrong place, too many times, so now I do my research. It truly does work! Your picture time line reminds me of a proud parent marking off the childs height on the wall-tee hee:-) Happy Gardening-robbie:-)

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    • You’re right Robbie, in saying that the plants are like my children. I don’t have any kids and so plants have always taken that role for me. I have made many mistakes in planting things that won’t work and I still do it despite my research. It’s a difficult thing to get right sometimes but I still try. I guess it is like I’m showing off the pictures of my little kid in its growth cycles isn’t it? I am proud of this small tree and how well it’s grown here in its watery space. And it is so “pettable” it’s lovely to touch and be near. I’ve seen pictures of them getting up to 20 feet tall so I wonder what this one will be in time. Maybe it’ll get much bigger than I thought. That’d be a treat!
      Happy gardening to you too, and thanks for visiting..!
      Steve

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  3. What a beautiful tree! You sure did pick a great spot for it, Steve. I didn’t realize there was a dwarf variety. I’ve seen the taller ones in public gardens in South Carolina and they are really something. The “knees” on the trees are fascinating.

    You have the neatest plants! Love the pic timeline.

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    • Thank you Annie. As you can tell, I’m very fond of this unique little tree. I’ve done more reading on it and found that it may get up to 20 feet tall. That’d be really cool. We have the full size ones in the water at the edge of the Arboretum here and they have great knees. Maybe mine will get some someday too! That’d be nice. I’ve tried to collect some interesting plants and this one is a prize to me. I like doing the timelines so people, including myself, can see their progress and how well they grow. It’s amazing to see isn’t it?
      All the best to you, 🙂
      Steve

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