Shizem..Schiza..eh, Brazilian Fern Tree.

Discussion in 'BIG LEAF TROPICALS' started by Stan, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. Stan

    Stan Well-Known Member

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    502
    A seedling that germinated in June has done well. I imagine this big tree might grow TOO fast in Florida and Hawaii. Maybe an estate tree? The Sou California plants are nice size. In the bay area? Maybe a good looking big potted plant for a courtyard. IMG_1047.jpg
     
  2. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    These trees have their pros and cons. I have a few twenty five-year old trees in SoCal.

    Pros - immediately beautiful, and fast. Grow tall quickly, and require little or no pruning to make canopy. The flowers are a plus when they decide to make an appearance. Provide perfect shade during hot summer spells - allow enough light for understory plants.

    Cons - too fast if in the wrong spot. Brittle, break sometimes from their own weight. And the long midrib in the leaves are really messy in the Fall when the tree is large, but worth the time needed to manually clean them up once a year. Lose leaves early in winter, so not much winter protection underneath - but some.

    All in all, there isn't a tree that doesn't have some downsides. These are keepers in the right spot.
     
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  3. mwardlow

    mwardlow Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Huntington Beach CA Zone 10a
    Here are mine. I like them for their summer overhead protection but don't like the mess when they drop their leaves into all my bromeliads. Love hate relationship.
    Mike
     

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  4. Stan

    Stan Well-Known Member

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    wow- the trunk photo shows the true scale..and pretty big is the word. I like the green trunk too. About how old are they?
     
  5. mwardlow

    mwardlow Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Huntington Beach CA Zone 10a
    They were both about head high when I planted them. The one on the left 5 years the one on the right 4 years. I like the green trunk and how little room it takes up but wonder like Deans says if it will hold the weight as it gets bigger. Both are starting to branch now which will increase the overhead weight.
     
  6. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    Location:
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    The trunk will beef up. Mine in SoCal are easily 3 feet in diameter. What sometimes break are the branches that will grow in length quickly - especially when watered and fertilized regularly.
     
  7. Stan

    Stan Well-Known Member

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    502
    wow- 3'? I have two plants. Get them through the winter in pots,and maybe one can be planted somewhere. I don't have the room,but that fact never stopped me before.
     
  8. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Yes Stan - I wanted to warn you. These are a moderately large tree.
    Schizolobium-parahyba--roots.jpg 27084444.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2014
  9. mwardlow

    mwardlow Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Huntington Beach CA Zone 10a
    Dean, are those in Kona or Socal? I have never seen one that big in southern calif.
    Mike
     
  10. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Mike - those are just photos pulled off the web. The close up said it was in Hawaii, the street photo had no info attached. Mardy Darian has one that is almost as big as the second one. I have not seen buttressed roots to that extent in SoCal - but again, these are not friendly backyard trees for a small lot.

    Edit: On further thought - Mardy's big one is not this tree, it is an Enterolobium. Probably the biggest ones I know of are in Quail Gardens - Encinitas.
     
  11. mwardlow

    mwardlow Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Huntington Beach CA Zone 10a
    I have heard that if you cut off the head of the tree it will form a new branching head below the cut. Has anyone tried that? The reason I ask is both of mine are about 30 feet and have produced a large lopsided branch that looks very heavy and prone to breaking. I was thinking of cutting it off lower to make it more stable and hopefully produce another head. If that would work would it be best to do this now or in the spring?
    Thanks
    Mike
     
  12. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Mike - my opinion - and only and opinion, no guarantees. :)

    Definitely spring would be better, as these are highly seasonal, and go to sleep for winter in your area. Then bust out with growth in Spring.

    It should sprout new limbs if topped. But depending on the caliper of the trunk, how successfully, and where they will sprout should vary. The younger the tree, the more prone it will be to sprout out again from the top near the cut. But these are "funny" in that they really want to get tall before they begin to branch. So it may only sprout out a new leader if cut short.

    Note that while I have grown several of these, I have never done what you are contemplating, nor have I seen the results of anyone else doing it. If you do it, please report back with your results.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  13. mwardlow

    mwardlow Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Huntington Beach CA Zone 10a
    I will wait until spring and do a little more research while I wait. When I do it I will post some pictures to document what happens. Hopefully it will produce a shorter and more robust tree.
    Thanks for the input.
    Mike
     
  14. Stan

    Stan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    502
    You would be unique- pollarding you might say. If all you want is foliage,and the big juvenile leafs then cutting back would do it. Not something to be done every year. BUT,if your tree is on the verge of being blooming size,a big pruning would end that for who knows how long.
     
  15. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Stan - try to con a neighbor into letting you plant it. Push the issue that it is a wonderful street side shade tree. Place where you can observe it growing. That's what I did with my Rainbow Eucalyptus.
     
  16. mwardlow

    mwardlow Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Huntington Beach CA Zone 10a
    90 days after pollarding and here are the results. The one in more sun has 11 heads and is more compact and the one in more shade has 16 heads and is more stretched and is forming leafs already. It will be interesting to see how they both progress.
    2015 tower tree 044.JPG 2015 tower tree 040.JPG
     

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  17. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    Location:
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    You will be amazed at how different those trees will look at the end summer.
     
  18. mwardlow

    mwardlow Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Huntington Beach CA Zone 10a
    I thought it would be just the opposite with the one in more sun growing faster. Its hard to see from the pictures but the one in the shade has branches twice as long with leaves forming already. I will post an update as the plants progress.
     
  19. mwardlow

    mwardlow Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Huntington Beach CA Zone 10a
    Here is a 30 day update on the growth. The one in the sun went from 11 heads to 6 but all show lots of growth. Tower Tree 30 days 010.JPG Tower Tree 30 days 013.JPG
     
  20. Stan

    Stan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    502
    I have to plant mine this week. The largest is leafless.. a big snail ate every leaf (lucky it didn't eat the green stem) and its been very slow to regrow. The other has slowed also. I think too,the peaty potting soils don't agree with them. A warning to those want to keep them potted forever.
     
  21. mwardlow

    mwardlow Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Huntington Beach CA Zone 10a
    60 day update. I think I have created a monster. The one I am keeping has shed all but 5 branches but they are growing very fast. The one I am removing I pollard Tower Tree3 003.JPG Tower Tree3 005.JPG Tower Tree3 009.JPG Tower Tree3 006.JPG Tower Tree3 011.JPG it again just to see what would happen and it has already sprouted out new branches from the ones I cut off. I cut them all off at different lengths just to see what would happen. These tree are survivors.
     
  22. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Sometimes we want things that grow fast. And then when we get them, we wish they didn't grow that fast.

    A classic case of "be careful what you wish for."
     
  23. Stan

    Stan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    502
    They aren't good container tree's. The one I posted died- the other seems to be doing ok.
    "M" are you going for a shorter rounded by pruning crown? Dean's photo on the immense Hawaiin tree seems to show the true form- rounded. So,I can see large Bonsai techniques being used to get the look on 20' or so tree's.
    I've seen photos of Delonix in Mexico flowering at 8'. Pruned back hard as a narrow street planting by the village. Mine in a pot look very amendable to that. The flowering part is not likely here- ever. Maybe..lol..

    Nice P.vetchii M. You should post your Platyceriums. Is that a P.elephontis near the lower right?
     
  24. mwardlow

    mwardlow Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Huntington Beach CA Zone 10a
    Here is a December update before it drops it's leaves. Down to four very large branches but looking very balanced. DSCN2181.JPG DSCN2182.JPG DSCN2183.JPG DSCN2192.JPG
    Also one of my favorite Platyceriums.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2015
  25. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Thanks for the update. No question these trees want to "get up there." BTW - your P. superbum looks fantastic.
     

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