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Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Prunus padus, Styrax, Laburnum, Davidia, Ornamental conifers, Ribes, Larix, Chamaecyparis, Picea, Tsuga, Cedrus, Fagus, Betula, Flowering trees, Pinus, Ericaceae (Heath family)

Are there any lists of shrubs/small trees that are best viewed from below, such as Styrax or Halesia?

Answer:

While there are no lists of shrubs/small trees best viewed from below, there is a list of trees with weeping habits in The Pacific Northwest Gardener's Book of Lists (Ray and Jan McNeilan, 1997). Many genera of conifers - Cedrus (cedar), Chamaecyparis (cypress), Larix (larch), Picea (spruce), Pinus (pine), and Tsuga (hemlock) - have weeping forms, often indicated by a variety name 'Pendula' or 'Pendulum'. There are weeping birches (Betula), beeches (Fagus), and cherries (Prunus), too.

You are correct about Styrax and Halesia. Additionally, I ran across a few individual species that may be of interest to you as I researched this question:
--Davidia involucrata
--Laburnum anagyroides
--flowering currants, Ribes spp.
--flowering cherry trees, particularly Prunus padus
--various plants in the Ericaceae family have bell-shaped flowers that hang on the underside of the stem.

I would add that any tree which has a naturally graceful branching pattern and/or delicately shaped foliage (such as Japanese maples) would be pleasant to view from below, as well as from other angles.

Date 2016-12-07
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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Styrax, Woody plant propagation

Could you tell me how I would propagate Styrax?

Answer:

All the propagation information I found in our reference books indicates that Styrax is best propagated by softwood cuttings in June to early July (cuttings are easy to root and overwinter easily), or by fresh seed as soon as ripe, kept at 50 degrees for 3 months and then moved to the refrigerator for 3 months.

If you wish to try grafting Styrax, this link to general grafting information from North Carolina State University's Extension Service may be of use.

Date 2016-12-07
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April 11 2017 13:50:16