Friday, May 16, 2014

Quercus dentata 'Pinnatifida' is my favorite plant in the garden, this week…

This week’s favorite is a tree I bought last fall, at that time it had only a handful of crispy copper leaves still attached. Watching it bust out with new growth this spring has been amazing…

The tiny pink leaves and the green catkins were such a wonderful combination.

As the leaves got larger they took on a darker hue.

And finally they turned green, a wonder shade silhouetted against a blue sky.

Details on the eventual height of Quercus dentata 'Pinnatifida' (aka Cutleaf Emperor Oak) are somewhat difficult to find. Everyone seems to stress how slow growing it is and offers up statistics like “8' tall x 3' wide in 10 years” (via Buchholz and Buchholz Nursery, where I bought my tree). Their full description: “An amazing, upright deciduous tree with large, green and deeply cut leaves. Truly unlike any other oak. Like something wild from a rainforest. Prefers full sun in well-drained soil. 8' tall x 3' wide in 10 years. Hardy to -30 degrees. USDA zone 4.” My tree is just over 6 ft tall...

Plantlust.com lists it as eventually reaching 15ft tall, JC Raulston Arboretum says 20ft. The foliage is long and lean and just starting to look lush.

15ft, 20ft, either sounds good to me.

The stats:
  • hardy to at least USDA Zone 5, maybe 4
  • upright deciduous tree 
  • prefers full sun in well-drained soil
  • growth is so slow that this is a frustrating plant if you don't have glacial patience (which is why I bought the largest specimen I could find)


With this post I'm also joining Foliage Follow-Up on Digging, because foliage is why I had to have this tree in my garden. So, what's looking really good in your garden this week? Bonus points if it's all about the foliage...

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

33 comments:

  1. That's a stunner, for sure. Hmm...might have to seek this fab tree out.

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    1. It would look great in your garden!

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  2. It's a lovely looking tree and looks smart with the gravel underneath it!

    My plant of the week is my new Agave ovatifolia; the one I ordered from Amazon turned up today and I have put it into a nice big terracotta pot. It is certainly a well travelled Agave because it has come from Spain!

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    1. Yay! Glad to hear it arrived safe after its lengthy travels.

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  3. AnonymousMay 16, 2014

    Never would guess that's an oak. Lacey and very cool. My favorite plant this week is choisya ternata "Sundance". I planted two of them on my property line to form a hedge two and a half years ago, but until this spring they've languished, barely growing. Now they're taking off, with the bright green glossy new foliage contrasting with the darker old leaves. They don't get enough sun to bloom, but I'm a sucker for palmate leaves, and in 2 or 3 years they should be high enough to meet their purpose as a hedge.
    Jim N. Tabor

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    1. Sounds wonderful, while blooms would be nice it really is all about the foliage...

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  4. This really is the most amazing oak tree, probably because its leaves are a Dr Seuss interpretation of what an oak leaf should look like.

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  5. This is also a favorite of mine! What beautiful leaves and I've not seen catkins on mine yet as they're still too small. By the time mine reach 8, 15, or 20 feet, I'll be fertilizer but it's nice to enjoy the gorgeous leaves while I'm still above ground!

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    1. Hey, you never know! You could live to be 100. Are yours in the ground or containers?

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  6. That's the one I was looking for at the spring sale , something to look out for !

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  7. I am all kinds of in love with that combination of newly emerging pink leaves and yellow catkins. How fun!

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  8. Can't wait to meet this one in person. I found a fave too but on a minor note. Nothing as epic as a tree: http://agrowingobsession.com/?p=55195

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    1. So excited to think you're going to be in my garden again Denise!

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  9. Your specimen looks so good, and erect! Decided to get another one as replacement to the one we lost last year.

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    1. Ya, it's uncharacteristic for me to by such a straight tree! I usually manage to get a misfit. So glad you're replacing yours, have you already bought it?

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  10. Such cute new leaves and catkins! The plant is so wispy, amazing.

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  11. It's great to be able to see the tree's progress in leafing out. For this week's favorites entry, I provided a closer look at one of the plants in my Bloom Day post: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2014/05/my-favorite-plant-this-week-dorycinium.html

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    1. Thanks Kris, I didn't want to get too carried away with progress shots but I certainly enjoyed the show and thought others might too.

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  12. That is an amazing oak, pendulous and pinnafid. Never seen anything like it here. Does it have a sweet odor?

    My plant is nothing so exotic: artichoke. http://janestrong.blogspot.com/

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    1. "pendulous and pinnafid"...you've got a way with plant talk! I haven't noticed an odor, do you mean from the catkins?

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  13. Heartleaf skullcap is the foliage star in my garden this week, but I didn't even include one photo in my Foliage Follow-Up post -- doh! Your new addition looks fabulous. Can't wait to see it all fill in.

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  14. I loved seeing this in your garden. The progression of the new growth must have been fascinating to watch!

    My favorite is also all about the foliage! Cunninghamia lanceolata 'Glauca'. http://practicalplantgeek.blogspot.com/2014/05/my-favorite-plant-in-garden-this-week_17.html

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  15. i relay love it and the new emerging leaves are fantastic
    Very good choice of Quercus.

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  16. Great captures of the new leaves and catkins! I was just out in the back garden this evening looking at the emerging leaves and catkins on our White, Black, and Northern Red Oaks, and commenting to my husband how the unfolding catkins and leaves are underappreciated with all the other emerging and blooming plants taking center stage. But your Q. dentata is much more colorful and fascinating at this stage. Thanks for sharing!

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  17. I was just admiring this on an Outlaw post, and now this. Your faves are starting to be like Oprah's book club: you endorse something, we all want it.

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  18. I have one,it's about 40 years old and 25 to 30 feet tall. Jim

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    1. Jim is it possible to get 3-4 cuttings from you by mail? I live in New Jersey. Will appreciate it trough PayPal/ Let me know.

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