Return to the Trees Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 21, 13 at 22:30

This doesn't seem to be the most readily available tree nor do I see many folks talking about it.

From what I've found it should be a solid zone 5, but I've seen some sources state zone 4 and even one said zone 3.

They can adapt to alkaline soils and exhibit exceptional drought tolerance and fall color. A well behaved habit with a non invasive root system. Nice foliage and bark to boot.

Multiple cultivars exist of different habits and foliage shades like 'Lamplighter', 'Kew's Weeping', 'Vanessa', 'Burgundy' and 'Persian Lace'.

Am I missing something here or this tree really as good as what is called out online?

I had a really nice 'Vanessa' that croaked last year from all the freezes but have a new one on the way finally.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

A Parrotia was the first thing I planted at our just built home in 1999. I had wanted one badly and sought out a place to get one long before the house was finished. I had the perfect place for it and did everything by the book to keep it happy. Each growing season it flourished. But each winter it suffered severe die back. It coudn't take my zone 5 winter! Finally In 2007 I gave up and sadly pulled it from the ground.

I replaced it with another of my "have to have it", hard to find beautiful trees. A Paper Bark Maple, and it is very happy. Me too!


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 22, 13 at 8:04

I was trying to find additional info if this plant wants a sheltered location and couldn't find anything of the sort.

I found one source that stated it can suffer dieback if your soil remains wet in winter as it HATES wet feet.


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 22, 13 at 8:07

Thats too bad, thats quite a bit of patience on your end!

I was trying to find additional info if this plant wants a sheltered location and couldn't find anything of the sort.

I found one source that stated it can suffer dieback if your soil remains wet in winter as it HATES wet feet. Paperbark is a plant that suffers from dieback occasionally in zone 5 as well. So wonder if winter moisture as anything to do with the lackluster performance?


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

Mine was not in a sheltered location. It was about 20 feet in front of the house facing east. The yard slopes downward slightly away from the house and tree site toward the road about 150 feet out. I have never had any reason to think that it's planting spot was too wet in winter. There is a fair amount of clay in the soil here, but It was well ammended to compensate and everything else that has been planted there has done well including some perennials that "don't like wet feet"


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

whaas,
Not at all common in my area, but have seen some in nurseries. Frankly, I wasn't impressed with them or their fall color at least locally in the nursery. I doubt very many people know what they are. Much like Paperbark Maples are slow sellers in many locations as relatively few know that they are, and what to expect from them. Majority of nursery visitors want the tree that is bright red in the fall that they see three doors down the street. After all, it's 'just a tree' to most people, and they want fast growing and cheaper, and that is exactly what the nursery will push.

Arktrees


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

"Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?"

Typical gullible homeowner: Bradford pears are more popular, cheaper, and grow faster. They must be a better choice.
_________________________________

"...but It was well ammended to compensate..."

hmmm. could be some of the problem. Amended soil can sometimes hold extra water and form what some refer to as a bathtub effect.


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

They do very well here, which is obviously a very different zone from any of the other commenters. What makes them great choices in this area is that they can withstand the hot, dry summers with no rainfall (we do give them supplemental irrigation) and don't burn a bit in full sun, even 'Persian Lace' which is my favorite. I do plant them on mounds to provide better drainage in my adobe soil.

Sara


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

Mine has done fine. It's about 15 ft from the back property line, planted on a slight hill. Every spring, it puts out very attractive light green new foliage, and never seems to have any dieback. We haven't had the killer winters since it was planted, but it has been through -15F several times. The backyard is reasonably sheltered from winter wind, which may or may not be a factor.


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

  • Posted by lkz5ia z5 west iowa (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 24, 13 at 11:33

I get dieback too often on my young one to excite me about it. Trying the variegated one this year, need to get a bundle of seedlings sometime and see if varied hardiness and such.


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 24, 13 at 19:28

Hmm, so maybe dieback is an issue.

My new Vanessa arrived today. I only got it now as its a 1 day ship from song sparrow and wanted to up-pot to a 3 gallon pot for fall planting. Although I'm wondering if I should wait until to spring to plant it now.

 photo photo-30.jpg


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

"Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

Because they're too damn big...


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

You like American Beech? This plant rivals the space requirements...


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

But you could live several lives before you had to worry about your Persian Parrotia outgrowing your spot...and enjoying the heck out of it the whole time.


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

Mine is doing quite well in the Pacific NW. Albeit, planted too close to the crypt, yet, a great tree with fantastic autumn foliage. It's a favorable tree in my garden.


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

  • Posted by botann z8 SEof Seattle (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 1, 13 at 11:19

Mine is doing just fine. Damp soil, but good drainage. At least 20 years old.
Mike


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 1, 13 at 21:01

They'd probably be planted more if they got that big on a regular basis! How old is that tree?

Mike, is there anything you can't grow?lol?

Thanks for sharing the pics everyone!

My question wasn't necessarily geared towards the general public but here where you rarely see it recommended.


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

  • Posted by botann z8 SEof Seattle (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 1, 13 at 21:44

It's the climate whass, not me. ;-) At 6:15, it's 60F. with an overcast sky. Been that way all day. We average 4 days a year when the temperature breaks 90F.
However, we haven't had any significant rain since June 27. A quick thunderstorm last night with a little rain was the first water since then.
The Parrotia is a tough tree that can endure dry spells better than most. Good Fall color is an added bonus.
I cut one down flush with the ground and it sprouted a lot from the stump. You can see it doing that with the picture Viburnamvalley posted and it wasn't even cut down.
I have no idea why it isn't used more. I like it.... if you have the room.
Mike


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 1, 13 at 22:11

Size definitely depends on the location. The largest one I've personally seen was 10' tall and about the same width.

The owner said it was 15 years old. This was in the Chicago area.

For sure a small to medium tree around here.

I'll be happier than a pig in shizel if my little specimen gets the size of Zep's plant.

April, May and June have been slightly above average but July has been well below average for precipitation. Luckily the temps have been somewhat mild. This summer is leaps and bounds more comfortable than last year.


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

Mine was planted 2009 and it was about a 6 footer. Already, I'm noticing leaf color change. It has been rather dry this summer and I have not given this tree supplemental water this season. Hence, I think the recent leaf color is due to lack of mositure. I do think this fall my Parrotia will give me the splendid fall display that it is noted for. Wishing you the best with your tree.


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

Whaas,
A couple things I've noticed based on limited observations in MI & OH are that Parrotia tends to hold its leaves very late into fall and doesn't consistently develop good fall color (due to freezing temps I assume), and the foliage can be damaged badly by Japanese beetles if they are abundant in the area.
Having said that, it does seem to be very tolerant to different soils (except poorly drained) and quite hardy once established.


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

My book Ornamental trees by Charles O. Cresson says zone 4-8. Great bark, 50 ft Maximum, globe shaped, simple broad-leaved deciduous. Medium life expectancy(?). Needs good drainage.


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

My Parrotia persica does not have especially good fall color. It shows good (not great) fall color about one year in five here in coastal NJ. In other years, the leaves are interesting / multicolored up close, but from a distance just look brown.

I've been kind of disappointed - and I would not recommend this tree to others.

The tree gets good sun (with some shade in the afternoon). The soil is quite neutral and is well drained. I'm considering trying to lower the pH to see if that helps. Any thoughts?


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 16, 13 at 21:31

Many trees that prefer acidic soils can have poor fall color in alkaline soils.

You wouldn't recommend the tree just because of the fall color? The leaf texture, habit, bark and adaptability make its a choice tree even without the fall color. No? The foliage on my mine emerged burgundy which is another cool feature.


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

Don't give up on it Whass. I saw it as a zone 5 plant in a book called '"Ornamental trees" by George? O'Cresson. It is surely zone 4,5,6 in a book I have had for a while. If you have a healthy baby6 tree now, try to wrap it in some porous cloth and mulch the dirt around the roots/soil. It should be ok if protected some in zone 5. I hope you have good luck with the protection. I thought of trying this tree years ago, but oaks are my obsession now.


 o
RE: Why isn't Parrotia persica planted more?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 18, 13 at 0:34

Tree is common in the Seattle area, where multiple individuals may be seen on some sites. However, many specimens show drought effects here as summer wears on, with growth stopping, leaves starting to curl over and become tinted. Big part of appeal is shininess of leaves, as well as bark interest that develops with age. Depending on propagation method and perhaps sometimes other factors a giant bush with multiple trunks from near the ground or a tree with an single stem and elevated crown may be produced. First habit type has been associated with reproduction by rooting of side branches while those with more definite tree shapes can be seedlings. However, the vegetatively propagated (presumably grafted, but maybe not) 'Vanessa' cultivar has always had a tree shape when I have come across it.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Trees Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here