Heptacodiumn - Is it a tree or a shrub?

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by Treelover, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. Treelover

    Treelover Active Member

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    Hello, all,

    I have limited space at the side of my house and want to plant a Heptacodium - tree form. Some say it is a tree and some say it is a shrub. I need to know what it is because tree roots grow out in all directions and shrub roots grow down into the soil. My growing area is about 10X18 so a shrub would do well but a tree might not have enough root space to spread out in this location. What do you think?

    I'd appreciate any information you can provide.
    - Treelover
     
  2. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    As far as I know, it's got the general habits of a shrub but can form up into small trees, while keeping the shrubby root system.

    I hope you've got full sun for it!
     
  3. Treelover

    Treelover Active Member

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    Thanks, Lorax. That's just the information I was looking for as to the root system.

    As far as full sun goes, I've got morning sun only - until the sun goes over my house to the west. Do you think that would be alright? Thanks.
     
  4. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    It won't hurt the plant - it just won't grow quite so fast as it would in full sun.
     
  5. Treelover

    Treelover Active Member

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    Well, the growth rate is not a major issue with me. I was more concerned that it might not flower as well or possibly, not flower twice like it says it does. Even though I don't have money to burn, I really love the shrub and will probably try it.
    Thanks so much for your input.
    - Treelover
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I haven't seen any indications of it flowering twice. The flowers come on the ends of new growth in late summer. The second "bloom" you have heard about may be the fruits. These become reddish and have seven lobes - these are the seven sons.
     
  7. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Contributor 10 Years

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    Heptacodium grow pretty quickly. Not quite sure I agree with your comments above,about the way trees and shrub roots grow. Shrubs can develop huge, wide spreading root systems too. Roots serve the same purpose of supporting and feeding, be it a tree or shrub.
    Our one was planted in 2003 as a small shrub, it is now big ,on a single trunk. Agree with Ron B's comments that it only flowers once. However, there is a second season of interest with the red persistent sepals.
    It is a lovely plant.
     

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  8. Treelover

    Treelover Active Member

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    Thanks, Luddite, for your thoughts. I was just worried that if Heptacodium was a tree, with the roots going out and being mostly under the first eight inches or so of soil, that I would wind up with a potential cement path and/or house foundation problem. I already had one cement pathway pop up due to a neighbor's silver maple. I agree Heptacocium is a very beautiful tree and, of course, the later flush of color is the red sepals. I will consider all every one of you have advised. Thanks for your input.
    - Treelover
     
  9. kerria

    kerria Member

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    Hi Treelover,

    At an arboretum nearby there are both Heptacodium trees and shrubs. The plants grow into shrubs that grow up into beautiful, amazing trees- and when they're about forty years old they have the really cool looking exfoliating bark as the photo in the previous post shows. I think the trees there are about 30 or 40 feet tall, still understory trees when fully grown. They aren't very uniform - have unique and unusual growth habits. I love Heptacodium also and planted it this year in my perennial garden. Did you end up deciding to plant it?

    Best wishes,
    kerria
     

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