Sunday, 25 April 2010

WIPs: Pseudocydonia and a Malus

Well... if you could see them, these are a couple of trees that TOH has been working on for years.  Both of them sit side by side in front of our patio doors and are protected somewhat from the worst of the weather.  Not that we think they particularly need the protection.  It's more a case of finding enough space to fit them, as they both have quite a spread when they are in leaf (and flower, as we just found out).  As it is, the trees don't look like much but their flowers do, so that's what you're getting.

The Pseudocydonia sinensis has been a Work In Progress for at least 10 years and last spring was only the second time it was re-potted since we've had it.  The first time, it was planted into neat akadama, I think this time some black (Fuji) grit was added into the mix.  It must have liked the root intervention work because it's never flowered so profusely before.  Either that or it was thinking of flowering big time this year anyway and the root work just shocked it into doing something.  Either way there are about 15 flower buds in various stages of opening.  This picture was taken a week ago and the warm weather has caused it to move on a bit since then.
It's actually a rather large tree (nearly 3 ft / 91 cm) from the base of the pot so you can understand why I didn't lift it out of its space to take the photo.  When the branch work is looking better (which could take years so don't hold your breath) I probably will, as there is an interesting hollowed-out feature in the trunk.  TOH discovered that when it was first repotted about 10 years ago, and finding tons of rotted trunk was not the best surprise at the time.  We don't know much about the habits of Chinese Quince and this guy has sort of been our guinea pig for the species. 

I can't say Pseudocydonia is the Speedy Gonzales of flowering trees but it does seem to be a fairly forgiving tree in terms of neglect (i.e. tough as old boots).  The flowers take weeks to open, so you do get a fairly long display season.  Getting good ramification is still a bit of a challenge for us, so I can only imagine how long it's taken for the guys who get to show off their Chinese Quinces at the Kokofu-ten, for example.

This Malus has been with us for about seven or eight years.  It's possibly a halliana or something similar and is also what I would call a butt-ugly tree at the moment, so it could be a WIP for a looooonnng time.  You can see the Chinese Quince's bright blue pot just behind it, and the legs of a couple of chairs as well, through the patio doors :D
As usual, we've lost the label so positive ID is a bit of a challenge.  Similar to its neighbour, this is the first year since we've had it that it's flowered as heavily and the flowers are rather pretty (which is why we got the tree in the first place) and a slightly stronger pink than the photo would suggest.  If only I could focus my phone properly.

I don't recall ever re-potting this tree, and it is in a rather boring unglazed dark brown pot which will get changed at the first opportunity as far as I'm concerned.  Our focus for the past two years has been to get it as healthy as we possibly could, so I've been more cautious with the watering and it also got fed heavily (like way heavy) last year.

Apparently the flowers are scented as well, so I guess I can't focus my nose either.  Hurrr.

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