Eastern hemlock top

Hyn Patty

Shohin
Messages
456
Reaction score
478
Location
NC mountains
USDA Zone
6
Being a ceramist myself, I totally get that! I don’t always want to follow the ‘rules’ too closely myself. Some deviations keep things fresh and original.

As our cabin is close to a high area of the Blue Ridge Parkway I have been collecting shots of hemlocks and other trees up high. They are stunted short and thick, and in many cases very old. They look far more like bonsai in the landscape than the tall feathery cousins growing lower.

I find them inspiring. I look forward to hiking around our mountain property and tagging a couple for collection. I would like to know your thoughts on what time of the year is most ideal for collecting and repotting. Some I have read say early spring and others late summer. At 4,000+ elevation, I’m not certain there will be much summer dormancy - it doesn’t get very hot nor hit much of a dry spell up in the Smokies.
 

ABCarve

Omono
Messages
1,150
Reaction score
2,053
Location
Girard, PA
USDA Zone
5a
As our cabin is close to a high area of the Blue Ridge Parkway I have been collecting shots of hemlocks and other trees up high. They are stunted short and thick, and in many cases very old. They look far more like bonsai in the landscape than the tall feathery cousins growing lower.

I find them inspiring. I look forward to hiking around our mountain property and tagging a couple for collection. I would like to know your thoughts on what time of the year is most ideal for collecting and repotting. Some I have read say early spring and others late summer. At 4,000+ elevation, I’m not certain there will be much summer dormancy - it doesn’t get very hot nor hit much of a dry spell up in the Smokies.
Take some photos of those higher altitude one.....would love to see them. I'm at 1200 ft. and always looking for inspiration!! As for collecting/repotting time I've always done it when buds begin to swell or shortly before that. I have killed one that the buds were starting to emerge with a little green on them. I don't know if that killed it or some other factor. I responded by doing it a little early as opposed to a little late. I don't have any experience with other times but they are conifers. Good hiking!!
 
Last edited:
Messages
1,244
Reaction score
547
Location
MD/DC
USDA Zone
7a
I guess the key words to your question are "development phase". What are you trying to develop? If you are trying to develop caliper, then let it grow. I you are trying to get ramification, go to post #55. You can see the photo there shows how few buds are developed by simply "letting it grow". Your apex will develop new buds as the season progress' if it is in good health. These trees are very apically dominant. If you want more budding there, go to post #55. Hope that helps.
Back-budding,without risking the existing structure, is my current developmental goal.. The other wrinkle is that there is still an apical sacrifice in place that I am hoping to air layer off next year.. so the apex isn't the true apex yet. It is healthy though, so I am hoping some inner budding will reveal itself yet.
 

ABCarve

Omono
Messages
1,150
Reaction score
2,053
Location
Girard, PA
USDA Zone
5a
Back-budding,without risking the existing structure, is my current developmental goal.. The other wrinkle is that there is still an apical sacrifice in place that I am hoping to air layer off next year.. so the apex isn't the true apex yet. It is healthy though, so I am hoping some inner budding will reveal itself yet.
If you're referring to back-budding on old wood it typically doesn't happen. As I said earlier in this thread "never say never". Good luck.
 
Messages
1,244
Reaction score
547
Location
MD/DC
USDA Zone
7a
If you're referring to back-budding on old wood it typically doesn't happen. As I said earlier in this thread "never say never". Good luck.
Back-budding onto older needles is what I was trying to encourage, with out risking cutting back to just old needles. I'm trying to bring in the structure as much as I can without grafting at this point. Although I know grafting is an option for later. Thanks for your help and the great thread. I'll try not to side-track it anymore.

I'm looking forward to seeing your tree and it's new home.
 

Hyn Patty

Shohin
Messages
456
Reaction score
478
Location
NC mountains
USDA Zone
6
Back-budding onto older needles is what I was trying to encourage, with out risking cutting back to just old needles. I'm trying to bring in the structure as much as I can without grafting at this point. Although I know grafting is an option for later. Thanks for your help and the great thread. I'll try not to side-track it anymore.

I'm looking forward to seeing your tree and it's new home.
You might try applying kekie paste in the crotches of older needles to see if you can stimulate the formation of buds.

Also fruit tree growers will slice the bark immediately above dormant bud areas to stimulate bud activity to cut off auxins without having to cut the branches back.

I have no idea if either of these might work with hemlocks but may be worth attempting.
 

ABCarve

Omono
Messages
1,150
Reaction score
2,053
Location
Girard, PA
USDA Zone
5a
Back-budding onto older needles is what I was trying to encourage, with out risking cutting back to just old needles. I'm trying to bring in the structure as much as I can without grafting at this point. Although I know grafting is an option for later. Thanks for your help and the great thread. I'll try not to side-track it anymore.
I saw this today and thought it would be a good example for your concerns on back-budding to old needles. This photo is from the smaller hemlock I showed in development. All of the spurs were cut back in early spring before bud-break. They were cut to a few "healthy" sets of needles with no spring buds left to sprout. Over this growing season they will develop and maybe even grow at some point this year.
 

Attachments

ABCarve

Omono
Messages
1,150
Reaction score
2,053
Location
Girard, PA
USDA Zone
5a
I like the new pot its in. I was surprised at how few roots there were when I repotted. It had been 5 growing seasons and I was expecting to pry it out. It wasn't a problem fitting it into the pot which is an 1-1/2" shallower. Style -wise......I can't chase back the width anymore, so I think it could use a little more height for better proportions.
 

Attachments

ABCarve

Omono
Messages
1,150
Reaction score
2,053
Location
Girard, PA
USDA Zone
5a
This tree and pot look even better in person, stunning tree.
Thanks Aaron,
BTW .....I put my American Beech in the compost heap. It still growing but not near my other beech. Maybe I'll do a post on that beech leaf disease.
 

Attachments

Aeast

Shohin
Messages
261
Reaction score
335
Location
Central, OH
USDA Zone
5b
Did you really? I'll try to find some more info on it next time I see one of the experts. Hopefully they have some more insight as to what is causing it. I do know that so far it's only found up in your area, along the lake.
 

Hyn Patty

Shohin
Messages
456
Reaction score
478
Location
NC mountains
USDA Zone
6
I am so bad. I meant to post photos of the stunted, short, thick hemlocks up on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Here is one photo I could find but I think this is actually a Red Spruce rather than a Hemlock. Now the Parkway is opening back up in the warmer weather I'll make a point of hunting down some of those Hemlocks for photos! Some of them were really short, thick and stumpy and hardly much taller than myself, especially up around Mount Pisgah. I need to wash my motorcycle, shine it up and turn over the oil anyway. ;) I can't remember how tall this one was but I think it was not more than 15 feet or less tall.

RedSpruceBlue Ridge Parkway.jpg
 

Wilson

Masterpiece
Messages
2,061
Reaction score
3,566
Location
Eastern townships, Quebec
USDA Zone
4
How has spring 2019 been for your hemlocks? Up here they have enjoyed the wet cool start to the season, but the heat is here now.
 

Aeast

Shohin
Messages
261
Reaction score
335
Location
Central, OH
USDA Zone
5b
Mine personally are doing well, but they seem to do well no matter what the weather is.
 

ABCarve

Omono
Messages
1,150
Reaction score
2,053
Location
Girard, PA
USDA Zone
5a
Some were early and some were late. In general it’s been a very odd spring.
 

ABCarve

Omono
Messages
1,150
Reaction score
2,053
Location
Girard, PA
USDA Zone
5a
After revisiting this thread, I think I like the looks of this tree better in its early development as seen in post #34. Much more sparse.
 

Attachments

Messages
1,244
Reaction score
547
Location
MD/DC
USDA Zone
7a
Time for a harder cutback then? I’m sure the health of the tree can handle it.
 

Wilson

Masterpiece
Messages
2,061
Reaction score
3,566
Location
Eastern townships, Quebec
USDA Zone
4
After revisiting this thread, I think I like the looks of this tree better in its early development as seen in post #34. Much more sparse.
I find both look incredible, and I tip my hat to you for having such success with a relatively unused species. It is great motivation to be on the look out for good material.
 

ABCarve

Omono
Messages
1,150
Reaction score
2,053
Location
Girard, PA
USDA Zone
5a
Time for a harder cutback then? I’m sure the health of the tree can handle it.
That's possible, however much of the tree has chunked up and other branches have been removed since then. I was considering doing some grafting next spring and a hard cutback would give me the scions to do so. Never did that kind of graft before but how hard can it be........ ;)
 

Similar threads


Top Bottom