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Weeping tree beauty

February 16, 2018
By H. I. Jean Shields (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

A weeping tree that is fast growing, matures at 15 feet and blooms heavily in the spring, the Weeping Bottlebrush, Callistemon viminalis, is the tree for you.

The full green branches cascade from the crown of the tree as far down as you want it to. They will reach the ground, even without the bright red blooms hanging downward among the mass of feathery green branches this tree would be an attention-getter.

The long dangling blooms do look just like the bottlebrush you have in the kitchen, except they are a delicate red and are made up like long loose stamens. You need to trim and feed in the spring and you get to decide how long you want the dangling branches to hang.

The tree will bloom off and on throughout the season. The blooms can also be entered in your local flower show as a single specimen, placed in a small vase. Fun way to earn a blue ribbon.

There will be a flower show during the last week in April, more about that later.

The tree is evergreen and does well in sun or light shade. A good soil that is not too alkaline, or too wet. A sprinkler system running once a week always kept mine happy. The regular spring summer and fall fertilizer is good. I usually did not fertilize in the summer but did add some bone meal in the spring, to help with blooming.

The tree will attract butterflies and also bees and hummingbirds if any happen to be around.

Space for this tree is important, full grown it will be 3 to 5 feet wide and I think it is much prettier as an accent tree or maybe two that are not placed close together. It will be good as a screen if you want to hide your pool from neighbors and want a pretty view for yourself. Do not plant close to a pool wall or driveway. You will need to be able to walk around tree and prune and keep the soil correct.

As a young tree, it will be good to stake it to keep it straight and in the case of a hurricane, it might be wise to stake it, depending where it is planted. Charley did not damage mine but it was not growing right out in the open either.

I think this tree should be grown more often, even though it is not native. We need plant diversity, just like people. Right plant, right place is not meant to allow segregation, but to integrate mindfully.

Happy gardening till we meet again.

H. I. Jean Shields is Past President of the Garden Club of Cape Coral.

 
 
 

 

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