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RE: Clematis in tree (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: leslie197 on 06.20.2007 at 11:36 pm in Clematis Forum

Most of my clematis live on my 4 foot tall metal fence. I've sort of used up all the taller options and have had to get a bit creative, so I've worked out a way to spread them horizonitally along the fenceline.

I also have Clematis planted into a small Purple Sandcherry tree, a dwarf Crusader Hawthorn tree, a large Viburnum, and rather unexpectantly into two Physocarpus Diablo shrubs that are about 10 feet tall. I also have a clemmie in a large rambler rose New Dawn which has a woody base as large as a lot of trees.

I have used a couple of methods to get them into the trees or large shrubs. What I have found most effective is to pocket plant the clematis about 3 feet from the base of the tree or large shrub and then create a ramp to the host with those small plastic, metal or wood trellises that many vines come attached to. I can link several of these together with fine wire if needed. The ramp inclines slightly to the bottom branches of a low-branched shrub and a bit steeper to a tree trunk. Once the vine finds the host plant it takes care of the climbing part pretty much without my help, although I may tuck it in here and there. Shade from the trees does not seem a problem as the clemmies seem quite capable of finding their way to the sun. I usually grow hostas or lady's mantle at the base of the host tree/shrub and that tends to hide any rigging and shades the clemmie roots.

Issues: the Sandcherry is such a weak-limbed loose open grower that the clematis (Comtesse de Bouchard) drags down some of the limbs, but makes a very pretty color combo.

Both the viburnum and the Hawthorn are impervious to the clematis. It's kind of neat to see a viburnum sprout flowers in the summer, well after its own bloomtime. The Hawthorn is pretty stout & I've had people stare at it wondering...I have to explain that there is a clematis that is the blooming part. :!)

So far I have used only group 3s with live hosts and as Flowerfan does I only prune back to where the vine connects to the shrub/tree.

The clematis (Lady Betty Balfour) growing in TWO very large Diablos was a surprise. I planted her along my fence between the two (then quite small) shrubs and as they grew closer together she hopped up & over the fence and is now growing in both ninebarks. The new growth on the ninebarks is kind of floppy, so she's pulling those down just like Comtesse is doing to the Purple Sandcherry and again the color combo is quite lovely.

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clipped on: 09.01.2007 at 10:13 am    last updated on: 09.01.2007 at 10:13 am

Training Clematis up a tree?

posted by: cyberianblonde on 06.26.2006 at 05:23 pm in Clematis Forum

Hi Gang!
I've been lurking here for a while now and you have enticed me to want to grow some beautiful clematis.
I have a couple questions tho.
I'm hoping some of you lovely clematis gardeners can help me out.
I have some VERY tall trees in my back yard (50-70'tall)
So you know they are old and will support the weight of a vine.
Where I'm looking to plant will get morning sun and afternoon shade.
But my real concern is the tree roots.
First I'm hoping I'll actually be able to dig a hole large and deep enough as I understand this is crucial to clematis. I mean do you think I'll be able to dig around these roots?
My second concern is, will the clematis be able to get enough water and nutrients from the soil if I grow them up such large trees?
I've really tried to find the answers to my questions but have read conflicting opinions.
I would really appreciate any help any of you could give me.
Thank you so very much in advance.
Becky

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clipped on: 09.01.2007 at 10:11 am    last updated on: 09.01.2007 at 10:12 am