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Gardening sheet cercocarpus montanus


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Gardening sheet cercocarpus montanus

  1. 1. Island & Birchleaf Mountain-mahogany – Cercocarpus betuloides vars blancheae, betuloides (SIR-co-CARP-us bet-you-LOW-i-dees ) Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family) Native to: Var. blancheae from Channel Isl. and Santa Monica Mountains; var. glaber West coast from OR to AZ, Baja; dry slopes, hills, ridges, mesas, desert foothills, and rocky outcrops, usually on N-facing slopes. Chaparral, pine/oak woodland, coniferous forest below 6000 ft. elevation. Growth characteristics: woody shrub/small tree mature height: 8-12 ft. mature width: 4-8 ft. Evergreen/semi-evergreen (drought deciduous) large woody shrub with open habit. Shape either erect or vase-like. Var. blancheae is the more erect & narrow. Bark grayish, while young branches are dark red (hence the name ‘Mountain-mahogany’). Leaves small, leathery, dark green, sawtoothed (similar to a Birch) and white-wooly beneath in var. blancheae. Slow growth; long-lived. Blooms/fruits: Blooms are small and not particularly noticeable but sweet-scented. Flowers in Mar-May in western L.A. County. Showy seeds, that look like feathery plumes, from July-Nov.; give the plant a decorative silvery look in Fall. Seeds are wind-borne. Uses in the garden: Commonly used as an accent or yard tree in dry southwestern gardens. Can be hedged and makes a nice hedge, windbreak or narrow screen. Can be combined with other shrubs for a hedgerow. Great for seaside or hot gardens. Good on slopes, along roadways. Can even be espaliered along a wall or trellis. Very tough, easy-to-grow plant. May self-seed. Sensible substitute for: Non-native shrubs like Cotoneaster. Attracts: Excellent bird habitat: provides cover and seeds & leaves for food. Many animals, including deer, browse on the foliage. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Full sun to light shade. Soil Well-drained soils are best, but does fine in rocky, clay, or sandy soils; pH 5-8. Water Zone 1-2 (very occasional; will be drought deciduous) to Zone 2 (deep water when soil becomes dry). Drought tolerant when established. Don’t over-water. Fertilizer None needed. Other Var. blancheae is particularly suited to dry garden conditions Management: Does fine with neglect, but can be shaped, pruned and hedged. Prune/hedge in Spring/ summer. Remove suckers soon. Can be coppiced to rejuvenate old plant in late fall/winter. Propagation: from seed: long cold-wet treatment by cuttings: semi-soft in fall Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): v. blancheae: 6; v. glaber: 1, 3, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 20, 21, 24 12/19/14 © Project SOUND