And one for me

I can’t help myself. I’m traveling through the mountains of North Carolina, shopping for evergreens and trees for the nurseries (my day job), but always with an eye watching for something, anything of interest to add to the garden. Without question, there is no room for another tree, but here’s one I must have.

This is a redbud in a large planting of yellow leafed ‘Rising Sun’ redbuds (Cercis canadensis ‘Rising Sun’, above), a marvelous tree, and a splendid addition to any garden, though not one that I would clear a space in the garden for. After thirty years of planting there is little open ground, and certainly not for a tree, even a small tree. I must be very discriminating about additions, particularly larger ones, so clearing a space means something, or things, must go, and this is done rarely and reluctantly.

There are just as many ‘Rising Sun’ redbuds in this full sun field in the mountains of North Carolina as it appears (hundreds). This group is ready to harvest this autumn and spring

But, the tree that’s caught my attention is an oddball in this field of yellow (above). Yes, there are yellow leaves, but they are green splashed with yellow (below). Some are half and half, yellow and green, and I’m intrigued that this could slip into this planting of yellow leafed clones. Older leaves have faded to green, but the new growth is unique.

The newfound redbud shares the distinctive apricot colored new growth of ‘Rising Sun’, but leaves mature to varied degrees of yelllow and green before turning fully to green. This tree is in a field of yellow leafed redbuds in full sun, so a slightly shadier circumstance could retain the leaf color.

Trees such as ‘Rising Sun’ are propagated by cuttings (rooted or grafted), so that all are genetically identical. Except this one, that grows with more vigor (with more green chlorophyll) and with different foliage coloring. Though not necessarily an improvement, and how could it possibly improve on ‘Rising Sun’, how could I resist a tree that is one of a kind? Which, I assume it is. I can only guess how this tree came to be, but most likely it is a sport (a mutation) from ‘Rising Sun’. On occasion, mutations are temporary, quickly reverting, but this tree has not in two years. The grower noticed only the unusually vigorous growth, but I saw the varied leaf coloring.

After several minutes discussion, the deal was done, and sometime later in autumn the tree will be planted in my garden. I think I’ve got the perfect spot. A few unfortunate lesser desirables will be lost, but this will showcase this new found treasure, that is not likely to be of value to anyone but me.

This native azalea (Rhododendron arborescens) is flowering in July in a bit more sun than its native habitat, I propose to remedy that, and to add t few more buddies close by.

Already, I’ve ordered a few spider azaleas (Rhododendron stenopetalum ‘Linearifolium’) for this area that has become a collection of native and deciduous azaleas (above), though the center of the planting area is a bit sunny in late afternoon. Azaleas have not been a particular favorite, but I notice my affection for the brightly colored, fragrant, late blooming deciduous types has increased in recent years. The new redbud should provide just enough shade, but not too much, to allow this collection to grow. Of course, the center of attention will be this splendid, one-of-a-kind redbud.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Linus says:

    Hopefully you can graft this special cercis.

    1. Dave says:

      I’ve told the grower he can take cuttings anytime, but he is a grower who depends on others for tree liners.

  2. Monique Wilson says:

    I’ve noticed those Rising Sun redbuds on Rt. 15 near Oatlands. They are very attractive. I take it the flowers are the same as with other types of redbuds? Like you we have no room for more trees but it doesn’t stop me from looking. We have a 24 yo Forest Pansy which I love. Unfortunately it split in two. One side dead and removed but I still have the other side. It will be replaced with another.

    1. Dave says:

      Rising Sun has the typical redbud flower. Redbuds tend to lean and split branches in their old age. Two Silver Cloud redbuds in the garden were one sided, growing toward the sun, so the trunks are bent to a severe angle.

  3. tonytomeo says:

    It is good to see that someone else appreciates ‘Rising Sun’ redbud. I have not experienced it yet, so have only read about it in catalogs. I get rather bored with ‘Forest Pansy’. I never was impressed with it, and am even less impressed now that it has become so trendy. However, I think it would look nice in the same garden with ‘Rising Sun’.

    1. Dave says:

      Long ago I planted the yellow leafed Hearts of Gold, which hardly compares to Rising Sun, but it is now buried behind too many others. I should have purchased a home on three acres instead of an acre and a quarter, though I could not hope to easily find a property with forest to one edge and sun to the other.

      1. tonytomeo says:

        It hardly compares? I am not familiar with either, but I was impressed by their descriptions and pictures.

  4. Brendan says:

    Any chance you’d sell some scions off that tree? It’s gorgeous.

    1. Dave says:

      If all goes well, the redbud will be at my place in early November, just after leaves have fallen. I will verify with the grower that he doesn’t have plans to propagate it.

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