Bay tree on N. Vancouver Island?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by tula, Apr 1, 2007.

  1. tula

    tula Member

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    I'll be retiring to an island off the northeast coast of Vancouver island where I started gardening as a child. I would like to grow a bay tree in my herb garden but suspect that it would be marginally hardy. I'd appreciate advice on placement, soil, etc. that would increase my chances of success. I've seen several growing quite happily here in the Lower Mainland.
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    No problem, it should be fully hardy there.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    These burn periodically in Seattle area, so will not be fully hardy in Vancouver and part of Vancouver Island that get as cold or colder than Vancouver. All plants have a minimum temperature and whenever it falls below that they are damaged. Some Laurus nobilis I have been growing here on Camano Island are now quite dehydrated after this past, not especially cold winter. 16F was observed on the porch. At the Edmonds garden and other Seattle area locations there was no problem.
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I would think northern Vancouver Island is less prone to severe cold than Vancouver City or Seattle - the Coast Range mountains east of northern Vancouver Island are higher, making it less easy for arctic Canadian air to reach there. Vancouver and Seattle are much more in the firing line of cold air pouring down the Fraser Valley.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I've stood in stands of Pacific silver fir and Nootka cypress on the BC mainland well south of the northeast coast of Vancouver Island and looked down at the Strait of Georgia, seemingly at our feet.

    We're not in the "firing line" of the Fraser outflow down here:

    "Northeasters roar down the Fraser River Valley, spilling over Bellingham and the San Juan Islands all the way to Sequim and dropping temperatures 20 degrees in a few hours, which can kill otherwise hardy plants."

    --Sunset WESTERN GARDEN BOOK
     
  6. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  7. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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    I live in the full blast of the Fraser Valley winds, and have an old bay tree planted on the south wall of my sunroom. Yes, there is definitely leaf burn this year, but it is already pushing new buds (and I needed to cut it down a bit, anyway). Being against a south facing sunroom creates a bit of a microclimate, and the house shields it from the worst of the NE winds, but even if you have to replant every 15 years or so, it is worth it to have fresh bay leaves for cooking.
     
  8. tula

    tula Member

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    Thanks for all the advice and encouragement. I realized after posting that I can probably grow it in a container and put it in my unheated greenhouse in the winter, mainly to protect it from the very severe winter winds we get. I know that we don't get any colder than the LowerMainland and read that it is hardy to -7 Celsius which surprised me.
     
  9. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I've seen them come through -12°C with no damage other than a few scorched leaf edges.
     
  10. tula

    tula Member

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    Michael, thanks. I feel confident about planting it outside. I have SW exposure for my garden so will get sun when there is sun; after all, I am on the "Wet" Coast of Canada.
     
  11. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    The only problems mine encounters is summer drought. If it goes un-noticed browning develops on the leaves.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  12. tula

    tula Member

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    Thanks, LPN. We've had summer droughts recently haven't we--even the north island was very dry last summer.
     
  13. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I'm surprised if it suffers from drought - after all, it is native to the Mediterranean, where it gets 4-5 months or more with guaranteed no rain.
     
  14. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Yes: drought problems on established plants in local climate unexpected. Maybe soil for that one is more droughty (coarse) than species is adapted to.

    Seattle has specimens approaching or exceeding 50 ft. Despite implication of thriving this contains repeat episodes of frost burning, even dieback part of their history. Has been said to be subject to damage even in native area, as is coast silktassel (Garrya elliptica).

    Seedlings may vary in hardiness, as do gum (Eucalyptus) seedlings. I wouldn't count on one or two of the rather low minimums claimed here being dependable expectations for other specimens.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2007
  15. angilbas

    angilbas Active Member

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    Winters may not be too troublesome for bay on northeastern Vancouver Island, but the summers might be too cool and cloudy. Places such as Port Hardy and Sointula get much less sunshine and fewer hot spells than populated areas farther south.


    -Tony
     
  16. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Hi Tony,

    It doesn't have a very high summer heat requirement - growth is very good in northern Britain where summers are even cooler.
     

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