Rare and somewhat obscure evergreen tree that belongs in the Hamamelis family. Graceful medium green tapered leaves fold neatly over each other in a pendant habit. The branching structure itself is graceful as well. To 18′ tall with a columnar habit at first and then spreading a bit with time. In winter curious flowers look like little red brushes and occur profusely. Nice looking cold hardy, shade tolerant and extremely drought adapted small tree. WE love this tree and have been incredibly impressed with how tough but beautiful it is. Accepts regular water in summer as well. Ideal sized tree for small gardens, or the space in-between the new close together construction. Not an oppressive evergreen but rather light. Moderately fast growing.
Plant Type: Tree
Trees are a gardeners gift to the next generation and they are among the most satisfying things that you will ever plant. The trees that we grow fit several perameters: They are suited to small gardens. More and more gardeners are faced with lack of space. They have at least several outstanding attributes- flowers, bark, fall color, evergreen, graceful habit among more. From Crape Myrtles to truly cold hardy Eucalyptus as well as our own natives take a moment to peruse our trees and dream of your own arboretum.
Trees require forethought
Trees are not difficult to grow in our climate (see timber industry) and the majority of street trees for the entire nation find their start in the Willamette Valley. So, we’ve decided to be more pragmatic with our selection. Most are somewhat difficult to find. That is generally because they are either rare or difficult to grow in containers. Also, notice that each tree has its own particular needs and those should be met. That means that you should consider that the douglas fir you are about to plant 10′ away from a Madrone will be quite a different dynamic in half a generation. Therefore, plan ahead.
Climate adapted small trees
If you can visit a full grown specimen of your prospective tree that is the best of all worlds. We’ve grown all of them for the past 20 years and we’ve developed a fondness for trees. We are increasing our collection of native trees. As our climate warms summer drought will begin earlier and end later in the year. A long dry season. We focus on trees that are native to the Willamette Valley floor. Those are the most drought adapted.
Care leads to success
Its imperative that you take care of ANY TREE for at least one season. That means you mulch the tree heavily (keeping mulch away from the trunk) and water it deeply and frequently. This inundation of water usually leads to years worth of growth and a deeper less problematic root system.
Water trees consistently for the first three years
Develop a moat around each tree and fill it with water at least once per week. There is no need to fertilize in our climate and its important that you understand the trees natural adaptation. An example is gardening under Oregon white oak- (Quercus garryana var. garryana ) you should never irrigate heavily in summer. These trees prefer a dry break. We offer a lot of plants for growing under native oaks and trees in general.
Many shrubs can morph into trees over time
Remember that many plants grown as shrubs are actually trees down the road. Osmanthus, Leptospermum, Arctostaphylos, Ceanothus, even Lagerstroemia can be planted as shrubs as long as you understand they will not stop growing and in time will become arborescent.
Unusual trees can be difficult to find of good size
Note that many rare trees are not available in tree sizes. That is because the do not sell particularly fast and we avoid holding container stock. If you can’t find the tree anywhere else, there is probably a reason. Have fun.
Climate Adapted Plants for Gardeners in the PNW
We have been so impressed with the performance of this small evergreen tree species that when we saw this charming narrow leaved form we snagged it. An upright growing but not wide tree to 18′ tall. The thin leaves are 4mm wide but up to 6cm long and are thinly produced so that the tree has a fine texture and is even better to view the late winter and early spring red brushy, flowers. Moderately fast growing it is also very drought tolerant. Water to establish and in summer or to speed growth otherwise it can get by on natural rainfall. Very neat and tidy and cold hardy to -5ºF. This tree is a good candidate for areas affected by subfreezing east wind- its exceptionally tolerant of that for a broad leaved evergreen. Full sun to high overhead shade ( with less of the red flowers). In time the cut branches can be brought inside and forced into bloom for arrangements. Not deer food, but i’m not as familiar with this form. Unusual, tough and beautiful. Narrow leaved Sycopsis. Tolerates many soil types including heavy soils in upland situations. SW China
A classic palm in the PNW. Windmill Palm or Trachys as they are also known are extremely popular. And they should be. Moderately fast growing palm to about 18′ tall in 10 years. The trunk is covered in fur and this acts almost like insulation to protect the interior meristem from cold. Very cold hardy to near short dips to 0ºF- many venerable and ancient Windmill Palms can be found in old neighborhoods having gone through the very worst winters of the last 50 or more years. The fronds usually have drooping filifers on the species but that can vary. Male and female and requires one of each for viable fruit set. Following huge aromatic cream colored flower structures pollinated berries drop and will often germinate in open ground. Full sun to full shade. Drought tolerant but regular irrigation in rich soil will speed growth. Excellent performance in tight spaces. Occasionally young palms become nitrogen starved and turn yellowish. To correct simply feed with all organic fertilizer and mulch and water well through summer.
Trachycarpus fortunei var. wagnerianus
Waggies! Our fave hardy palm at Xera. The fronds on this slower growing tree are stiff and tidy and have none of the drooping filaments on the branch tips that the species T. fortunei possesses. To 12′ tall in 7 years. A very clean and tidy looking palm with a distinct asian look. The fronds are even finely outlined in white hairs…more definition for this stately plant. Grows about 2′-3′ a year if well watered. You really can’t water Trachycarpus too much in the ground, it just makes them grow faster. Same wooly trunk as the species. Waggies are recommended for windy cold areas as they are not affected by those conditions. Fantastic cold hardiness not suffering damage until temps dip below about 5ºF. This is a great palm for colder gardens and tolerates quite a bit of shade. Always looks it’s clean best.
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