another trip report - interesting trees at Udel, summer edition

davidrt28 (zone 7)
July 24, 2017
last modified: July 24, 2017

I realized it's been many years since I've visited this garden in summer. Because I don't like walking around in our steam bath any more than necessary, and because more of the things I find interesting to see (camellias, holly berries, winter damage!) are active in early spring.

Most of the plants are sheltered by twin east facing building alcoves.

First of all, their Quercus myrsinifolia, which has grown a lot since I first visited this garden in 2006 or 2007.

They removed some polar vortex dieback on their live oak, but it basically looks ok:

It's closer to the edge of the courtyard so probably doesn't get as much wind protection, but the polar winters showed that Quercus myrsinifolia is clearly hardier. It had no injury while the live oak was severely burnt.

I'd forgotten how tropical this particularly rare Chinese ornamental looks, and it was newly planted so it took me by surprise. Let's make the ID a contest. In fairness to everyone else, I prohibit embothrium from participating in the first 24 hours LOL.

I was charmed by this variegated Magnolia virginiana 'Mardi Gras'; although I seem to recall it stressed out looking in my post-polar vortex visits. Maybe having a bit of the 'boiled cabbage' look, without really being severely injured, but still making the foliage less appealing. It's nice in mid-summer! The plant shape could be better, but that's probably cultural.

I was surprised back in early spring to see this Magnolia maudiae with a couple flowers. I only had the vaguest familiarity with the species, and didn't know it bloomed so early with such big flowers. It's really quite strange to see such tropical looking flowers at that time of year. I'd have trouble finding as sheltered a spot for it...but, "ME WANT IT" as the cookie monster would say. I remember it being injured by the polar winters but obviously not insurmountably so. They used to have a big patch of South American Cassia corymbosa around here, but maybe the winters finished it off or it just died off...some of those temperennial Fabaceae seem to be short-lived, more because of our moisture and heavy soil than specific injury in winter.

Here's a nice weeping Katsura tree:

And finally some generally healthy looking Cryptomerias:

Less than a mile away some cryptos on the main campus have classic east-coast "mangy cryptomeria disease" which just seems the result of some combination of bad siting, bad soil, and bad luck. Those are right next to the library, west side, so they might have had soil that was 100% junky clay backfill and reflected building heat all afternoon.

Oh I almost forgot, their Schima wallichii, on a south facing wall sheltered by a huge Persea borbonia but still...a bit far north (over here, PNWers!) for this species, that I think some old references used to rate z9. They have a S. argentea, not on a wall, that was more injured by the PVs. I have yet to see either one in bloom though.

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