Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sea Buckthorn

Hippophae rhamnoides ( Sea Buckthorn )
A spiny, deciduous, suckering large shrub or small tree that is native to coastal northern Europe, central Asia into western & central Mongolia and western China ( though is also naturalized over much of western and southeastern Europe ). Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; 5 years - 11 x 12 feet ( Alberta ); 30 years - 47 feet with a trunk diameter of 1 foot; largest on record - 47 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 feet. It is great both as a screen or as a sheared hedge. Sea Buckthorn is edible landscaping at its finest.
The smooth-edged, linear leaves, up to 3.5 x 0.5 inches in size, are silvery-gray above, silvery beneath.
The small yellow-green flowers are borne in small racemes during mid-spring before the foliage emerges.
The abundant, small orange berries, up to 0.33 inches, ripen in September and often persist into February. The berries are borne in dense clusters on female plants only. To obtain fruit, as many as 6 female plants can be planted for one male. A single plant can produce up to 30 pounds of fruit per year. The fruit are 7 times as rich in Vitamin C as Lemons as well as Vitamin A and E. They make delicious juice if sweetened. To make juice use 1/3 juice to 2/3 water to dilute the very strong taste. There are 92 000 hectares under Hippophae in China.
The vertically fissured, rough bark is grayish-brown to black.
Hardy zones 2 to 7 in full sun on sandy well drained soil ( with deep moisture ). It can tolerate temperatures as low as - 60 F ( thrives even in Alberta ); yearly precipitation from 8 to 36 inches as well as soil PH as high as 9.5. It is extremely drought tolerant due to its deep roots. Male and female plants should be planted together for good fruiting. In dry climates they do tolerate clay soils however poorly drained wet clay is a definate no. Sea Buckthorn also tolerates salty sea breezes and soil. Insect pest and disease problems are rare.
Propagation is from seed sown outdoors during autumn. As for cultivars, they can be reproduced from hardwood cuttings taken in winter or semi-ripe cuttings taken during summer.
Pulled out suckers can also be used as a method of reproduction.
As for pruning, they can either be retained as a shrub or pruned as a tree.
To train as a tree, prune young plants to a single leader and feather.

* photo taken on August 3 2010 @ University of Guelph Arboretum, Ontario

* photo of unknown internet source

* photo taken on Dec 11 2013 in Columbia, MD

* USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database. North Dakota tree handbook

* photo of unknown internet source

* videos found on Youtube

Attractive with upright growth habit. Fruit produce very sweet juice.

Profusly fruiting female plant.

'Orange Delight'
Abundant flavorful orange-red fruits with twice the Vitamin C as other varieties.

The male pollinator for 'Leikora'

A dwarf male form that is dense in habit, reaching up to 5 feet, that is grown for its attractive, silvery foliage.

subsp procera
Vigorous tree native to western China, reaching much larger size with the largest on record being 60 x 40 feet. The leaves are green above, white beneath.
The stems bear sparse stout thorns.
Hardy zones 3 to 8

* historic archive photo

'Russian Orange'
Attractive and vigorous with unusually lush, striking gray-green foliage which compliments the heavy crops of very large flavorful deep orange berries.

A dense, compact dwarf form, reaching a maximum size of 6 x 5 feet. Some records include: 3 years - 15 inches x 3 feet. It resembles Rosemary in appearance and makes an excellent low hedge that is essentially deer resistant.
The attractive foliage is silvery-green.
It is a male form that does not produce fruit.

* photo taken on Aug 4 2012 in Goderich, Ontario

Delicious sweet fruit is even good eaten fresh.

Attractive long dark green leaves compliment heavy crops of very large, bright orange berries.

Hippophae salicifolia ( Willowleaf Sea Buckthorn )
A fast growing, small tree similar to H. rhamnoides but less spiny with graceful drooping branches, that is native to the southern Himalayas. Some records include: 10 years - 27 feet; largest on record - 60 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 4.8 feet.
The narrow, oblong leaves, up to 4 inches in length, are dull green above, silvery-gray beneath.
The edible fruits, up to 0.3 inches wide, are yellow.
The stems are less spiny than Hippophae rhamnoides.
Hardy zones 7 to 9

Hippophae sinensis ( Chinese Sea Buckthorn )
A fast growing, deciduous tree native from northwestern to central China. Some records include: largest on record - 60 x 40 ( rarely over 40 ) feet.
It is very similar to H. rhamnoides, producing abundant fruits in autumn that are high in Vitamin C. The narrow lance-shaped leaves, up to 2.3 x 0.3 inches in size, are deep green above, silvery-white beneath. The rough bark is dark brown. The stems are somewhat less spiny than H. rhamnoides.
Hardy zones 3 to 6 ( est ).

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