What a Wild Tree

IMG_6622, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I’m not sure if this picture captures it properly, but this tree is flush against the house. I’ve never seen a tree like this before, despite my background in field botany… So what type of tree is this?

10 Comment

  • it’s a magnolia…not a great background in botany, eh?

  • Prince Of Petworth

    I may, perhaps, have been exaggerating my background in field botany…

  • Fantastic example of what looks like a crude attempt at the espalier technique of training a tree to grow flat against a wall. Nice!

  • Crude espalier, nothing. They nailed it! Usually the technique is applied to fruit trees, but I think magnolia makes a fine choice.

  • I’ve seen a magnolia trained like this at Hillwood (Marjorie Merriweather Post’s estate). I think it’s a great idea and this one seems quite lovely to me. Nice use of small urban garden space! Anyone know how long something like that would take?

  • yikes! i hope the roots aren’t eating into the mortar on the brickwork upon which that house stands. that can be pretty…. destabilizing.

  • PoP is a botanist?

  • Bogfrog, I suspect he may have some experienced with growing some.. hm… herbal plants? 😉 PoP?

  • experience, that is.

  • It is southern Magnolia.
    The smaller species is called Little Gem, which grows about 30 feet tall.
    Of course the regular one grows 70-80 feet tall.

    Looking at the picture, I would say it is a full grown Little Gem Southern Magnolia.
    However, the branches were pruned by and sprayed out to make it symmetric.

    Lot of people would use this technique on camellia flour plant and on fruiting pear tree.

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