A leaner

One of two ‘Silver Cloud’ redbuds that overhang the small greenhouse leans at an extreme angle. It has nearly fallen over, though its roots remain intact and the tree shows no sign of ill health. Both redbuds have leaned to a lesser degree towards the sun for years (decades) as they are backed up to a large holly and the pendulous branched beech, but this one leaned more and it’s getting worse.

From the front the more extreme of the leaning redbuds looks only low branched while the tree is fully clothed with variegated leaves, but as I’ve cleared debris between the redbuds and beech to create more planting area the problem was discovered. I think that in the past year the leaning has worsened, though branches now brace against the ground so I’m uncertain how it could go further. It’s possible the recent ice storm took it down another few notches, and without leaves the severe angle is much more evident.

I now debate if the redbud should be removed, with my inclination being not yet. No one but me will ever go into this planting area behind the redbuds, and with judicious pruning it will continue to look good from the garden side, so why bother? And, what would fill the gap?

In fact, the redbud is partially braced against a hinoki cypress, possibly one that is gold needled though I’m uncertain since the tall evergreen has been shaded for so long. Of course, the cypress is loosely branched with the redbud hanging over its shoulder for so many years, but it would be acceptable if the redbud was removed, and after a few years it would likely fill in. A space would be opened for an additional tree if I was inclined to jam another one in, which is always a probability. If I decide yes, the redbud must go, I will consider replacing it with one of the Japanese maples (‘Orange Dream’ Japanese maple, below) growing in pots on the patios, intended precisely for this circumstance.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Jeane says:

    the photo detail of your ‘orange dream’ japanese maple is beautiful

    1. Dave says:

      Orange Dream deserves a spot at the front where its coloring can be observed close up. If the redbud comes down this will be behind several layers, but I must take any opportunity to get this maple out of a pot and into the ground.

  2. Anne Kelly says:

    Thank you Dave so much for this post and each of your gardening blogs! My red bud also leans at about a 45° angle towards the sun. It was planted about 15 years ago. It’s a privacy feature for us and a lovely part of the yard so we sure hope it can stay in place where it is. If not, a new opportunity beckons. 🙂 Thank you Dave.

    1. Dave says:

      After thirty-two years of planting it is inevitable that storms or passing time will necessitate changes. While distressing to lose an old friend, I look forward to opportunities to experience new plants that there was no space for.

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