Monday, May 24, 2010

Cryptomeria

Cryptomeria japonica ( Japanese Cryptomeria )

An extremely beautiful and increasingly popular evergreen conifer, the Cryptomeria is native to c & s China and Japan. It can live 2000 years ( estimates have gone as high as 3000 but trees over 1000 are rare ) and some trees in its native range have reached truly massive proportions ( 240 x 50 ft. with trunk diameter of 21 ft. recorded ). In fact even more massive trees, up to 26.5 feet in trunk diameter have been reported. It is also fast growing with trees already 80 feet tall growing in Baltimore and in Connecticut. Some recorded growth rates include: 4 ft. per year ( one nursery claims 5 feet on 'Radicans' ), 5 years - 17 feet, 10 years - 25 feet; 20 years - 66 x 27 feet with a trunk diameter of 10 inches; 40 years - trunk diameter of 3 feet; 100 years - 140 ft. tall with trunk diameter of 3 ft. The Cryptomeria grows over an extended season from late spring well into autumn.
Plant explorer E.H. Wilson in this travels reported a mile long road in China that was lined with 120 to 180 foot, 650 year old Cryptomeria. Must have been a spectacular sight!!! The Japanese Cryptomeria limbed up, is an excellent tree as is Juniperus virginiana for lining a long farm or mansion driveway, to line a property and as a large focal or even shade tree. It is superior to the Leyland Cypress on moist soils and did not sustain the severe damage that ruined many a Leyland during the blizzards of 2010 on the U.S. East Coast.
The foliage resembles the Giant Sequoia which it is related to, is bright green ( some trees turn bronzish color in winter ) and lasts 5 years. The orange red bark peeling in vertical strips is also very attractive and older trees are often limbed up to show off the bark. The Cryptomeria is an excellent tree for screens, along laneways and as an ornamental grove. It is often sold as Yoshino Cryptomeria which is essentially cultivar barely different than the species.
The Cryptomeria also having no pests and very few diseases is a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TREE!
The only disease worthy of note ( many cultivars are resistant ) is a fungal blight that causes much of the inner foliage to turn brown and unsightly. Best prevention is either choosing one of the cultivars below that are resistant or pruning out any such discolored foliage that may occour.
Hardy zones 6 to 10 ( worth testing some cultivars in 5 , enjoys hot summid summers and prefers deep, moist, rich, acidic to neutral soil in full sun.
Extremely wind tolerant ( sometimes even surviving strong hurricanes ) once established, in cooler parts of its range it is recommended to wrap these trees on open sites in burlap during the first few winters until the roots extend deep below the frost line in order to pull up moisture. The Japanese Cryptomeria should be trained to a single leader when young to develop a strong sturdy habit though this often occurs naturally.
Cultivars can be propagated from cuttings from fall to spring. The species is grown from seed which upon ripening is soaked for 12 hours in cold water then stored moist for 3 months in the refridgerater.
Small plants are easy to transplant; older plants should not be disturbed once they are established.

* photos taken @ U.S. National Arboretum on Feb 2009






* photos taken in Columbia, MD on Feb 2010



* photos taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum



* photos taken on October 17 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


* photo taken on Dec 15 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, Washington, DC

* photo taken on Feb 8 2015 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on Apr 24 2016 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Apr 10 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Apr 17 2016 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Nov 29 2016 in Columbia, MD

* historic archive photos

* videos found on Youtube




'Araucarioides'
Resembles the Chilean national tree - Araucaria araucana in habit, though personally I like the real thing better than this "ropey" tree. It can reach up to 14 x 10 feet in 10 years and the largest on record is 70 x 18 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 feet.
The very deep green foliage is short and pressed close to the branches that are "ropey" in appearance.

* photo taken on Mar 23 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken on Mar 18 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on Aug 5 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Bandai-Sugi'
Dwarf and rounded in habit reaching to 11 x 4 feet in 12 years and an eventual maximum size of 27 x 6.6 feet.
The deep green foliage is congested irregularly on the branches and turns reddish in the winter.

'Ben Franklin'
Vigorous and rapid growing with dense rich-green foliage that stays lush green in the winter. It is fungus resistant and lacks the dead inner foliage often found on regular Cryptomeria japonica. It is wind and salt spray tolerant.

* photos taken on July 7 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Black Dragon'
Slow to medium growing and densely pyramidal, typically reaching up to 10 x 7 ( rarely over 6 ) feet in 10 years ( records include: growth rate - 2 feet ( 6 inches is average ); largest recorded - 20 x 10 feet ). Has twisted branches and bright green new foliage that later turns dark to black- green. Excellent choice as an architectural plant ( using 1 or 3 )) along bare light colored walls.
Hardy north to zone 6

* photos taken on April 15 2010 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on October 14 2010 in Crownsville, MD


* photo taken on May 4 2013 in Monkton, MD

* photo taken on Nov 2 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Mar 25 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 24 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on June 25 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 17 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 3 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Compressa'
Dwarf, dense and rounded in habit, reaching up to 26 inches x 2 feet in 10 years. Foliage turns to reddish purple in the winter.

'Cristata'
A fast growing, upright, conical tree with stiff ascending branches that can reach up to 15 x 10 feet in 10 years ( maximum mature size - 80 x 40 feet with trunk diameter of 33 inches ). The branches are often twisted. Some of the branchlets form crested flattened sprays. The foliage is bright green turning brownish in the winter. Very ornamental.

'Egmont'
A very rapid establishing and ultra fast growing clone originating in New Zealand that is also extremely tough, wind tolerant and disease resistant. It can be used in a similar way to Leyland Cypress and Green Giant Arborvitae and has been planted in large numbers in New Zealand.
The foliage is rich-green.

'Elegans' ( Plume Cryptomeria )
Very dense and conical in habit, heavily foliaged to the ground. It grows fast when young. Some records include: 20 years - 60 x 17 feet; 91 years - 140 x 27 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet. The eventual maximum size is unknown as this tree can live for centuries.
The soft, feathery, always juvenile needle like deep blue-green foliage turns deep plum purple in the winter.

* historical archive photo


'Elegans Aurea'
Similar to 'Elegans' except that the bright green soft foliage turns to yellow in the winter. The tips of the branchlets are weeping.
Fast growing, reaching up to 8 x 4.5 feet in just 5 years.

'Elegans Compacta'
Similar to 'Elegans' but dwarf with curly, very soft, glossy deep green juvenile foliage. The foliage also turns to purple in the winter. It can reach up to 6.6 x 5 feet in 10 years and the largest on record is 17 x 10 feet.

'Elegans Nana'
Rounded and graceful reaching up to 4 x 5 feet in 10 years & 7 x 7 feet in 15 years. The largest on record is 8 x 10 feet.
The deep green, stiff, juvenile foliage turns reddish during the winter.



* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD
* photos taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photos taken on Feb 8 2015 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Apr 24 2016 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Jan 18 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 24 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Globosa Nana'
A compact, dense and dome-shaped shrub; it can reach up to 3.5 x 5 ( rarely over 3 x 3 ) feet in 10 years or 8 x 10 feet in 20 years. Some records include: largest on record - 17 x 23 feet.
The needle like foliage is mid-green turning bluish in the winter.
Hardy north to zone 6

* photo taken @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C. on Feb 2009

* photo of unknown source on internet

* photo taken on March 28 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Aug 25 2014 @ U.S. Botanical Gardens, Washington, DC

* photos taken on Feb 8 2015 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Aug 5 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 31 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 1 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Sep 3 2017 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


'Gyokuryu'
Fast growing and densely pyramidal, reaching up to 18 x 8 feet in 10 years, eventually growing large.
The foliage is deep green.

Jindai Sugi'
Dense and pyramidal in habit, reaching up to 20 + x 15 feet with great age. Some recorded sizes: fastest recorded growth rate - 30 inches ( typical < 10 ); 10 years - 8 x 6 feet.
The soft foliage is typical for a Cryptomeria and is light green all year.

'Lobbii'
A tree up to 15 x 6.6 feet in 10 years; 30 x 17 feet in 20 years; with a maximum size of 150 feet in height. It is dense in habit with longer branches than regular Cryptomeria japonica.
Foliage stays deep green in winter.

* photo taken on Nov 29 2016 in Columbia, MD


'Monstrosa'
Very vigorous with irregular shape. It can reach up to 35 feet in height with a trunk diameter of 10 inches in 15 years; eventually much larger.
The foliage is luxuriant mid-green.
Hardy north to zone 6

'Nana'
A dwarf form reaching up to 8 x 10 feet in 15 years; the largest on record is 16 x 23 feet.
The needle-like foliage is medium green.

'Pyramidata'
Narrowly columnar reaching up to 32 x 7 feet with a trunk diameter of 14 inches in 20 years. Mature height is unknown but it makes an excellent conifer for confined areas where height is needed. The foliage is blue green at first later maturing to deep green.

'Radicans'
Supposedly the fastest growing of all cultivars but generally similar to Cryptomeria japonica. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 5 feet; 5 years - 16 feet; 16 years - 32 feet with a trunk diameter of 10 inches.
The foliage is deep blue-green.
It is resistant to tip blight.

* photo taken on June 28 2013 in Washington, DC

* photos taken on Nov 13 2016 in Harford Co., MD

* photos taken on Dec 20 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Mar 9 2017 in Harford Co., MD


'Sekkan Sugi'
Broadly-pyramidal to eventually rounded in habit; this cultivar has semi-pendulous branches. Rapid growing up to 3 ( average is 1 to 2 ) feet per year reaching up to 20 x 10 feet in 10 years ; 33 x 15 in 20 years, with an eventual maximum size of 80 x 20 feet. It often does not have a central leader though may be trained to one.
The foliage is slender and needle like. The new growth is bright creamy-yellow later turning to deep green.
Hardy north to zone 6 and needs sun.

* photo taken on Mar 19 2012 in Burtonsville, MD

* photo taken on Aug 5 2013 in Elkridge, MD

* photo taken on Nov 12 2016 in Howard Co., MD

* photo taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA


'Spiralis'
Slow growing and dense, reaching around 17 x 6.6 feet in 10 years; eventual maximum size - 97 x 17 feet with a trunk diameter of 32 inches. The bright green foliage is spiraled and twisted around the stems giving it a natural bonsai-like appearance.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

* photos taken on Feb 8 2015 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Apr 24 2016 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


'Tansu'
Dwarf, dense, upright, broad-conical form, reaching up to 5 x 4 feet in 10 years, eventually up to 6.5 feet, with bright green foliage that turns to bronze during winter.

'Tarwheel Blue'
A medium size tree with very attractive bright blue foliage. Reaches up to 50 x 30 feet in 25 years.

'Vilmoriniana'
A miniature form only growing to 4 inches per year. Some recorded sizes: 10 years - 20 x 24 inches. Largest recorded - 4 x 5.3 feet. Foliage is bright green, turning bronze during winter.

'Yoshino'
Foliage stays lush blue-green to medium green even in the winter. Fungus resistant with little or no dead inner foliage. Cold hardy tolerating temperatures as low as -20 F. Based on its rapid growth rate; I would expect it to mature to the same size as regular Cryptomeria japonica.

* photos taken on October 17 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.




* photos taken on Aug 25 2011 @ Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore, PA


* photo taken on Feb 15 2011 in Columbia, MD




* photos taken on Mar 26 in Columbia, MD




* photos taken on Sep 19 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 23 2012 in Harford Co., MD

* photo taken on Apr 11 2015 @ Belmont Mansion, Elkridge, MD

* photo taken on May 18 2015 in Columbia, MD

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