Okay it's time to show tree dahlias growing or budding

Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

Mine won't bloom for another month but stems are starting to shorten between leaf axils and that's a sign down here in this climate that it's flowering time soon.

Here's a pic of Dahlia excelsa. The stems at this time are appoximately 3.5-4 inches in diameter and will soon get even thicker prior to them blooming. I'm not sure if this is a genetic proclivity to enable the plant to hold up the 100's of blooms it produces or if it's just a specific response to our unmerciful heat....lol. This particular specimen is about 13ft tall and has begun to shadow the Jacaranda tree I planted last season.

best to all,
don

Thumbnail by drdon
Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

Here is a pic of the area where I have all of my tree Dahlias planted. There are three Dahlia imperialis (my favorite tree-type) and two Dahlia excelsa. As you can see they are almost as tall as the oak tree.

Pay no attention to the dead tree in the foreground...lol, It is soon to become wrapped in a steel exoskeleton and will be a support for a Tillandsia garden. I picked and planted it dead because it has a very sculptural shape and ironically will soon be referred to as the 'tree of life' here at paradox gardens...lol.

Thumbnail by drdon
Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

DrDon,
How old are those dahlia trees?
They look great.
Can't wait to see them in bloom.
What color of blooms?
Wow!!!
Carol

Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

hiya daisyruffles,

Nice to see you!

This is their second full season in the ground in their current location. Both species were planted at the same time. Last year, at the height of their bloom, they were both attacked by a freak snowstorm in early November. It was a heartbreaker. The root cuttings were collected on a trip to Mexico in 2003. Last year, their first, they reached 10ft.

The blooms are several shades of a reddish pink to a violet-pink....pink being the common denominator...lol. The blooms vary from single to semi-double averaging 15-30 petals per flower. They can reach 6in across in this climate. (I think doss' might get larger with her climate) and are borne in a profusion of 100s of flowers. One plant may have as many as 50-75 blooms going at one time, and at peak bloom it is not uncommon for them to have well over a hundred flowers on a single plant. I grow them in the full sun here so they'll bloom heavier. The down side of it is the amount of water they're capable of sucking up with this exposure. With a bit of shade, the foliage is more beautifully open and deeper green. For me D. excelsa is a bit redder than D. imperialis. I just love species dahlias, and these two really break growth records from late June to mid August.

hope you are well, and the updated pics of your dahlias are gorgeous!
don

Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

Isn't it sweet Don to see the tree dahlias take off - and welcome back. Thanks for starting the thread. I'll take a photo tomorrow. I love your railing to your stairway though. It's a stunner.

Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

Hiya doss,

Great to see you! I hope you are well. Our trip up to your area earlier in the month was a wonderful respite from this unmerciful heat.

I know what you mean about the satisfaction a gardener gets from actually being able to see a plant grow...lol.

The railing is actually a fence I built last year. Thank you for the kind words regarding it.

check out these threads for a better view.

http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/487119/

http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/486813/

I can't wait to see your pics,
best,
don

Mount Angel, OR(Zone 8a)

I am amazed at the plants that you have, don, you must be quite the collector/botanist. My dahlia imperialis might be 10 feet tall but it highly unlikely I will see bloom but it is fun to grow nonetheless. Hey some of us are having a PNW roundup on the 3rd of September. Come join us. We are heading to Swan Island Dahlias and pick up doss on your way. LOL

Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

hiya Lenjo,

Thanks so much for the invite, but Pam and I have to save a few bucks for a horse-related trip to Texas.

The Dahlia side trip sounds like something I'd need to stay away from...lol. I own horses....I'm broke! is my learned mantra. I'm considering a bumper sticker that says "Will work for hay".

You guys will have a super time. I just lust after some of the dahlias that you have, and shouldn't be allowed near the area with any money in my pocket.

Is there not enough sun up there? I one blooming at Kew Gardens a few years back. I was outside, without any protection.

good to see you here,
don

Mount Angel, OR(Zone 8a)

We can start raining somewhere in October and not let up till late Spring. Hard frost isn't usually till November. But the wet stuff spoils it all.

My youngest daughter works at an Equestrian Center and just loves it. I am sure when she gets her pennies saved she'll be asking Dad to let her have a horse here.

Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

Well tell her to save a lot of pennies...lol. What types of riding does she do? If she gets really good, people will pay her to ride their horses. That's what dummies like us do...lol.

It's a shame about D. imperialis up there, but they are a marvel to watch grow for sure. Maybe you'll get some color from them just because your a good gardener....A reward from nature.

best always,
don

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Hi Dr Don,

I am still trying to get over the 3.5-4 inch diam. stems! MANEATER!
You are encouraged to post photos of those trees as they go on to bloom, please.

Love the idea of the bare tree housing a tillandsia group. If I recall, those are the little air ferns? No rooting, no soil needed right?
What a creative gardener you are. Keep us posted on the progress there behind the most wonderful fence I've seen ever.
Annie/Pooch

Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

hiya Poochella,

very nice to meet you!

Your dahlias are fabulous!

Yes Tillandsias are indeed epiphytes and do not require soil. I had one in college that i glued to my refrigerator door and it took.....lol. The are members of the Bromeliad family and not so distantly related to pineapples.

Updates on tree dahlias will be fun, and I can't wait to see doss', she's one heck of a gardener, and her climate is just perfect for them.

be well,
don

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Pssst....any chance some of your D. excelsa images might mosey on over to this entry? (And some comments/notes would be extra-nice ;o)

http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/110816/index.html

Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

hiya Terry,
done

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Dr Don, with ears perked, I was happy to hear there is about a 15 ft tree dahlia within about ten miles from here. I will go investigate and see how such a creature might be faring in our soggy climate.

Is yours deciduous like a tree going dormant in the winter or does it at least have leaves year round?

Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

Hiya Poochella,

We get cold enough for it to go completely dormant. It dies off all the way to the ground. We leave some stumps about 12-18in long to assist in supporting new spring growth and then cut the old stems down when the new ones are sturdy enough to fend for themselves.

I first got my exposure to these plants in their habitat in Mexico. The summer rains there are at least as heavy as Washington state, it's the dry winter that keeps them from rotting. They handle snow, frost, unearthly heat (down here), and keep on growing.

Here's a pic of stems taken today. The diameter of the stems is around 5in and this one is about 13ft tall. D. exelsa seems to grow a couple of feet taller than D. imperialis for us down here. I've got a friend in Vancouver, BC that gets flowers from his D. imperialis every year.

thank you for sharing all of your amazing flowers with us.
don

Thumbnail by drdon
Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

Woohooo!

BUDS!

I was assessing the damage our large doggie Tobiwan did to a few Salvias while attempting to steal cooking meat off of the barbeque when I noticed that D. imperialis is beginning to show buds! I'll take pics tomorrow when the light is better because they are still quite small. This is a very exciting time.

best to all,
don

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Hi Dr. Don,
I was just last night pondering whether to prompt an update here or not, wondering what the dahlia imperialis was up to. Poof, here you are with buds!

And while you're getting a shot of them, why not include a picture of Tobiwan the carnivorous BBQ thief. What a great name!

Eagerly awaiting the buds on this monster.
Pooch

Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

I don't have an evening pic of the D. imperialis, but here's a pic of Tobiwan. He showed up here one day and never left...lol. When his vet asked what breed he was, my wife responded "Temecula winehound"....we live in wine country. It's kind of a joke now at the vet's office.

Here's Tobi, 110lbs of love, but a real danger to herbaceous plants...lol.

best to you,
don

Thumbnail by drdon
Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

My gosh do you use a Sonic Care on his teeth? Tobiwan is star material! Looks like a total love- lucky he found you. Even at 110 lbs, I doubt he can hurt the mighty stalks of the dahlia tree. Anything less robust will have to contend with his exhuberance like here.

Here's neighbor dog Sophie, we call her Sofa due to her bulky size. She has the demeanor of cotton ball. A cotton ball that wants to be petted, alot. And we comply. She and her step brother live thru the woods and when she was young her working owners would leave her free all day. Now she breaks out just to visit. I'd be out in the garden and pay serious attention as something came crashing through the adjacent brush and woods- never a thing to take lightly here. Lo and behold, from the thick greenery would appear a younger version of Neighbor Puppy Sophie who would then stay all day and "help" me garden.
She is one of a herd of 4 neighboring dogs that visit regularly, two new ones recently arrived and I'm sure they'll be over in good time. Combined weights of approximately 350 lbs plus one new puppy! He will soon learn the perimeters and pathways of the dahlia beds. I hope.

Thumbnail by Poochella
Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Don,
I CAN'T wait to see the blooms!
How exciting to see buds.
I can see why a 110# dog could do some good damage to your plants, lol.
Let him loose and he will run thru it all, I bet.
He looks like a very happy dog tho.
Later, Carol

Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

Good morning all!

Here's a pic of the new buds starting to unfurl. I know the pic is a little far away, but without a ladder or a hot-air balloon I can't seem to get close enough to show a pic of them as of yet.

Poochella, Sophie is lovely, and hopefully more respectful of plants than Tobi...lol.

Carol, great to see you! Tobi is indeed happy, but he's a one-dog wrecking crew...lol.

dmail me about your Salvias. I'm ready to send them.

best to you both,
don

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Come back, Don! Where's the photo?

Willamette Valley, OR(Zone 8a)

Boy, that tree is hard to photo.....it's REALLY far away! LOL ;-)

Waiting on the edge of my seat......

Mendy

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Yep, me too. Can't wait to see it!!!!
But, darn it, where is it!!!! hehe
Absent minded professor, I see. lol

Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

oh boy!, as Bugs Bunny would say......"What a Maroon".

Here's the pic.........lol.

Thumbnail by drdon
Willamette Valley, OR(Zone 8a)

Thanks for the pic, Don. Hmmmm....where's a hot air balloon when you need one? LOL Wish I could see it in for real.

Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

I know!

I want so badly to share the beginning of bloom season, but alas, I'm a short man surrounded by very tall dahlias..lol.

Will update pic when they're a little more visible or I grow a couple of feet.

best,
don

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Dr. Don- Stand on that fence with your camera at the ready! You can do it, Don. I can see nothing in the way of buds, but so see some really impressive branches and alot of foliage. And to think it goes dormant is just incredible. I hope to see blooms when I return from vacation.

Good luck to the dahlia tree buds.

Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

I'm afraid of heights....lol, Not really, I am, however to old and clumsy to stand on a 4in wide board on the top of a fence at the top of a slope.

Have a super vacation and I promise better pics by then. I feel so silly.

best to you,
don

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Hey, Don, don't feel silly. That tree is huge!!!

Hey, Annie, where are you heading???

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Oh brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr: you know that big snowstorm that's going to drop a foot of snow on North Dakota? Well I'm heading to northern MN Thursday and my fondest wish is that that big mass of cold is well beyond MN offering Grannymarsh her first taste of winter in Michigan by then.
There is very little heat where I'm staying so I hope we catch a weather break for the big annual Fall family get together at the lake. One year it rained the whole time: absolute misery- no where to dry out clothes, nothing to do outside for very long. Normally it is a splendid farewell to autumn with full glory Fall colors, walks in the woods, kayak trips around the lake, eagles, deer, beaver, bonfires and tons of food! So here's to hoping Mother Nature cooperates again...

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Well, hope the weather holds out for you.
The weather here in the NW isn't so great but no snow yet, hehe.
All that sounds so nice with the bonfire, food, etc.
Have a good, safe trip tho and come back and dig my dahlias soon, lol.
Carol

Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

hiya all,

Okay, no more crying 'wolf'....lol.

Here they are! It's so exciting to see these monsters putting on buds. Soon there will be color...wooohooo!

Thumbnail by drdon
Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

a close up of a terminal bud swelling with flowers for the near future.

Thumbnail by drdon
Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

kind of a neat cluster of color in the autumn morning sun.

I hope everyone is well,
don

Thumbnail by drdon
Willamette Valley, OR(Zone 8a)

I can see them, I can see them!! Very cool, DrDon! Did a hot air balloon float by? ;-)

Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

hiya mgh,

Nope I just braved a ladder climb. I was beginning to second guess myself and feeling a little guilty for not showing clearer pictures of the budding. Just a few more weeks and woohoo!

Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

Both of those are fabulous! And they are getting so big. Don, do you ever divide yours or do you just let it continue growing?

Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

hiya doss,

great to see you!

This is their second full year in the ground and I will have to divide them this year and clean them up a bit. I figure I'll probably get five or six new plants which I really don't need. The space where I have them can only accomodate the five plants I have. So this winter I'll be dividing both D. excelsa and D.imperialis. I'm hoping to get a white this year (It's on my wishlist at Annie's).

How is your's doing?

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