Louis Raymond experiments in his own gardens like

a mad scientist, searching out plants that most people have

never seen before & figuring out how to make them perform.- The Boston Globe

…Louis Raymond ensures that trees can grow in Brooklyn…

or just about any other place where concrete consumes

the dirt and skyscrapers shield the sunshine.- USA Today

 
 

NEW Trips to Take!

Myrtle's easy when the conditions are right.

 
 
 
 

NEW Plants to Try!

Louis tries to capture the exact words to describe the fleeting but deep pleasures to be found in these Summer-into-Autumn incredibles.

 
 
 
 

New Gardening to Do!

Allergic to bees? You can still have an exciting garden, full of flowers and color and wildlife.

 
 
 
 

Plant Profiles

Pollarding the Golden Scots Elm

As usual, the foliar display of the golden Scots elm is so vigorous, so bright, that to call it exuberant or, even, eyepopping seems like understatement. Ulmus glabra 'Aurea' tree provides the most reliable season-long display of colorful foliage of any woody plant hardy colder than Zone 7.

 

Ulmus glabra Aurea wide 061818 915

 

But even after several years of growth since the last pollarding, the branches were still not mature enough to flower well. Elm flowers are produced only on mature wood; because annual pollarding removes all the stems that formed the previous season—which were still juvenile at best—mature wood and, hence, flowers don't have time to develop. Perhaps if I waited a year or two—or three—before resuming pollarding, flowering maturity would have finally arrived.

 

Surely the branches you see here—three years old and fifteen feet long in late June—were mature enough to have flowered this past April.

 

Ulmus glabra Aurea narrow 061818 915.jpg

 

Alas, they were not. If I were to wait still another year in hopes of flowering, these branches might have become almost twenty feet long. They would have been dangerously uncontrollable as they fell to the ground during the pollarding. But without pollarding, this still-compact tree would soon transform into a free-range monster that would completely overwhelm its compact garden.

 

Pollarding just every three or four years, then, is the outer limit of practicality for this golden Scots elm, even though that interval is apparently too brief to permit the wood maturation necessary for flowering. Fine. This pollarded tree will be non-flowering forever, because the pollarding can't wait another season.

 

An hour later, the deed was done and, mercifully, without mishap. The difference is shocking, and the neighboring house—charming, so true—is now fully revealed.

 

Ulmus glabra Aurea overall 062018 closer 915 

 

I sawed most of the limbs back only to their lowest leaves not, as normal, down to their very base as in previous pollards. Simply, I was concerned about leaving the tree entirely defoliated, and am betting that, even if lower stems are reluctant to emerge this late in spring, the remaining older growth will carry the tree through.

 

Ulmus glabra Aurea overall 062018 closer still 915

 

You'll see an update this summer on Instagram.  

 

 

Here's how to grow golden Scots elm.

Here's how lengthy and vigorous the first-year growth of a pollarded Scots elm is.

Here's how the canopy of this pollarded Scots elm looked in late February of 2017, giving no clue as to whether or not any stems were bearing flower buds.

Here's a close look at golden's Scots elm's intriguing flowers & the seed clusters that follow them.

Here's a close look at the profuse seed clusters of an august weeping Scots elm.

 

 
 
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