Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Training Clematis on a Tree Trunk

Clematis 'Perle d'Azur' blooming on our mature maple tree in the Shade Path Garden.
Clematis 'Perle 'd'Azur' blooming on our mature maple tree in the Shade Path Garden.
I have had a lot of positive comments about the Clematis that we have trained to grow on our mature maple tree at the front of the Shade Path garden, so I thought I would give it its own moment of glory.

Around the same time that I planted the climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris) near our maple tree, I also planted Clematis 'Perle d'Azur' thinking that it climb the tree using the hydrangea vine for support. Clematis climb by wrapping their wrists around small twigs or fishing line, so other vines are also wonderfully helpful to their climbing success. By planting it on the shady side of the tree trunk and adding compost, I was able to give its roots the shade they need to start well. 
Maple tree with Clematis 'Perle d'Azur'climbing right up and in bloom with the yellow foxgloves (Digitalis grandiflora).
Maple tree with Clematis 'Perle d'Azur' climbing right up and in bloom with the yellow foxgloves (Digitalis grandiflora).


Clematis 'Perle d'Azur' trained up our mature maple tree.
Clematis 'Perle d'Azur'  trained up our mature maple tree.
It soon out grew the hydrangea, which is a slow starter, and we began helping the Clematis along by occasionally tucking its loose new growth into the rough bark of the maple. It has turned out beautifully! I especially like the dreamy blue of Clematis 'Perle d'Azur' when viewed on the tree trunk against the blue sky.

Clematis 'Perle d'Azur' has been blooming for about a month already in our zone 5..
Clematis 'Perle d'Azur' has been blooming for about a month already in our zone 5.
Clematis 'Perle d'Azur' droop down a bit to show their faces.
Clematis 'Perle d'Azur' droop down a bit to show their faces.
Clematis 'Perle d'Azur' up, up the tree trunk.
Up, up and away.
Clematis 'Perle d'Azur' trained on the tree
Clematis 'Perle d'Azur'
Clematis 'Perle d'Azur'
Clematis 'Perle d'Azur'
For more clematis this month in zone 5 read GBBD June.

17 comments:

  1. Beautiful! I've just planted 'Perle d Azur' this year..hoping it will take off next spring. I have many large pine trees on my property and planted several clematis this spring to hopefully climb up like yours...just lovely!

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  2. I absolutely adore how this clematis has grown around your tree. I have one that is slow to start but I am not giving up on getting it to grow around a tree. One of my clematis took it upon itself to grow up and through a red twig dogwood that is towering over 6 feet now. It is stunning how it has woven itself throughout the bush and through to reach the sun. I couldn't have created it if I had tried...got to love nature. I hope to show it in an upcoming post.

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  3. Your Acer looks lovely with its garland of clematis! Such a good idea growing them up trees. We have a C. montana gowing 50ft up an old oak tree, but I will now go and look at a few of our smaller trees with aview to adding a clematis or two. Do you prune yours down in the autumn or are you leaving it to grow up into the crown?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Pauline! I am not decided yet, though it would need to grow 50 ft to reach into the top of this tree. I would love to see yours :)
      ~Julie

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  4. Julie, I love your idea to plant clematis near the acer.I've not acer but think the old apple tree will suit for my clematis!

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  5. Very nice! It looks happy and healthy. How nice that there is plenty of bare trunk on your tall tree so the clematis flowers aren't hidden behind maple leaves.

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    1. Yes, no danger of being hidden... this is one tall tree!
      ~julie

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  6. Beautiful planting, Julie. Clematis are often planted on trellis or worse on a solid fence in an attempt to hide it, planting in this naturalistic way is so, so much better. how I wish I could grow Clematis here, only Armandii survives the heat. Christina

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  7. Tree trunks can be a little plain and grey, so this is a great way to give them a dash of bright color.

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  8. That is really, really beautiful and I'm not in the least surprised that you've had comments about it - lovely. It would be beautiful plant even were it not behaving so beautifully up the trunk, but it is something else like that. And the colour is gorgeous... sigh....

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  9. What a lovely idea...the clematis is a beautiful contrast to the rough texture of the maple. Really lovely.

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  10. Absolutely gorgeous! I'd like to try that on my fruitless mulberry in my backyard. Do you know if clematis will grow in the Central Valley of California? It would have shade pretty much all day.

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    1. It looks like you are somewhere in zone 7 to 9... you can find out exactly by reading this post and seeing the map: http://wifemothergardener.blogspot.com/2011/10/what-is-my-plant-hardiness-zone.html

      Many clematis are hardy to zone 11, so you should be able to find some that work for you! I hope you get one growing soon!
      ~Julie

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  11. I have a question... I had to move my climates because it wasn't getting enough sun . Does this variety not need a lot of sun ? And when planting it were there roots from the tree that it was hard to plant ?

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    1. Brockey,
      Most clematis need shade for their roots and some sun for flowers. Most seem to do best in dappled light, not full shade. I would look for a spot that gets between 4 and 8 hours of sunshine.

      I had already cultivated a lot of the area around this tree, so it was not difficult. If it is, then amend the soil with mushroom compost, being sure not to cover the trunk of the tree by leaving the mulch at least 3 inches away from it. A sharp shovel does a great job of getting through a few smaller roots. (You can have yours sharpened at most hardware stores.)

      Hope that helps!
      ~Juile

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  12. so I have a smallish mature tree in my yard. Not sure what kind we just moved in the house. Seems like it was the first to lose leaves and looks like will be the last to bloom again. I planted a Clematis near it so it can grow up the tree. It is not a big tree my any means but it is big and round enough I believe for a clematis to climb.

    It wont kill the tree will it?

    I wanted to attach a picture from the tree but cant.


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  13. so I have a smallish mature tree in my yard. Not sure what kind we just moved in the house. Seems like it was the first to lose leaves and looks like will be the last to bloom again. I planted a Clematis near it so it can grow up the tree. It is not a big tree my any means but it is big and round enough I believe for a clematis to climb.

    It wont kill the tree will it?

    I wanted to attach a picture from the tree but cant.


    ReplyDelete

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