Mature Tree Collards

Mature Tree Collards
Three Year's Old! 11' Tall!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Woody Cuttings Propagated that are Stunted!


The most important aspect to making new plants is to make sure you take cuttings prior to your Mother plant getting too woody.  It is highly recommended that you start to make new plants for yourself (or for others) between Year One and Year Two.  If you don't, you will eventually end up with a mature tree collard that you can no longer make cuttings from.  Timing of cuttings depends on your Zone and your micro climate (full sun, partial shade, mostly shade).  My three year old plants growing in full sun in Zone 9 are now too woody to make new cuttings.  "Too woody" means that even when I cut the first 4 - 6 inches of a top branch, the woodiness has crept too close to the apical meristem (tip of the branch).  I will publish more photos soon of cuttings that aren't woody.
Close-up of new branches forming on Woody trunk

6 month old cutting.  Notice how it's stunted due to the cutting being taken from a woody branch.

22 comments:

  1. Great site! Would love to get some cuttings to start my own tree collard orchard.
    I live in Florida, could I buy some from you.
    Thanks, Mark

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  2. I've just ordered a few seeds for tree collard like things, but I'm not sure they are tree collards.

    Kale 'Chou Moellier - Brassica oleracea var. acephala
    Cabbage 'Walking Stick' - Brassica oleracea var. longata

    Do your tree collards produce seeds? I heard they may need to be propagated by cuttings only, but haven't managed to find anywhere in Australia yet that can provide them.

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    1. Yes, traditional tree collards ONLY grow from cuttings. They rarely flower and seed and the seed will not produce a true tree collard.

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  3. how long should it take for tree collards to start a root system? i have tree collard cuttings that i have been trying to root for about a month and a half and still no roots. but the leaves that i let on the plants are still alive. should i give them more humidity or just leave them to do their thing? Is a month and a half normal.

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    1. David:
      sorry that I missed your post and question. There are many variables that contribute to how quickly cuttings root. Please revisit the Blog in a week or so and I'll have a post up about all aspects of propagation. For now, yes, it can take up to three months for a cutting to root and those roots are very very very fragile growing only at the very bottom of the cutting. So you have to be extra careful when taking it out of the pot it's rooting in. I always wait at least three months and let the soil dry out completely before potting it out of the pot to plant in the ground. Well, I might also add that I always keep the cuttings in full shade if it's Summer or very warm/hot weather and always keep them moist. More later .. . .

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  4. Hi, I would like to plant tree collards in my garden. Do you happen to know any source of cuttings in Europe? Or do you have the experience of cuttings surviving transport form US to Europe? :) Thanks

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    1. Cannot send vegetables through the Post to Europe. Sorry. And as far as I know, they aren't available on that continent.

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  5. Hi, interesting concept, this. I read (with great enthusiasm) Michael Pollan's Botany of Desire, and can't remember mention of tree collards. Can you tell me in what context, or in which chapter he mentions them? I'd love to check it out.

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    1. Regarding the Michael Pollen reference. Pollen didn't refer to Tree Collards. I was just making the connection to the fact that Tree Collards are co-evolving with humans from the perspective that they've adapted to only propagating via humans making cuttings.

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    2. except that they're not evolving, because the genetic material is exactly the same as the original plant. :-p (you need seed production for evolution... or at the very least, mutation leading to an unusual sprout that's selected and grown on, but it doesn't seem like this is the case here.)
      (sorry. just being nitpicky. love your commitment to this veggie.)

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    3. Yes, you are correct. Being nitpicky is always appreciated in order to have better understanding of the process. I guess what I meant is that . . . well . . . a better question might be: Why then does this hybrid rarely flower? Is it not because "it knows" that humans will propagate it? And if that is so, does that not indicate it has "evolved" (maybe a better word is adapted) to the fact that it doesn't have to go to seed anymore?

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  6. Someone asked why woody cuttings won't grow into mature plants. side note: they will root, but they'll be stunted. It's because there's no significant Cambian layer.

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  7. Could you ship clippings to arizona? I would love to try to grow these and I cant find anyplace to buy them. thank you for all the great info!

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  8. that's a possibility. email me at wellspringorganics@gmail.com

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  9. I live in a temperate rain forest with a climate similar to Seattle. We rarely get freezing weather, but we get lots of rain. Do you think tree collards would grow there? If so would I be able to buy some cuttings from you?

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  10. I live in Southern Arizona. Winters have a handful of nights reaching the low 20's... otherwise are pretty much above freezing... mid to upper 30's, or warmer. Summer days CAN reach 107 - 112! Could I grow TC's here... and also, can I get some cuttings??

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  11. I wouldn't suggest TCs for your zone. those extreme heat days would really take a toll on the TCs.
    Cuttings are really hard to come by - I'm no longer making cuttings. Just too much work and little time.

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  12. Came across this plant on the youtube channel growingyourgreens. John from the youtube channel calls these both tree collards and tree kale, what is the scientific name for this and where can someone buy these in Oregon?

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  13. Hi, I came across tree collard on the internet and I am fascinated. I live in Santa Cruz (9b) and would love to try some. Would you have any cuttings you could share or sell? Also, I happen to pick up a new plant at the local college horticulture dept called Dick's picotee kale that sounds like a perennial kale similar to the tree collard. I have no idea how big it gets. Have you heard of it?

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  14. So sorry - I no longer sell or share them. Only place I know is Common Ground in Palo Alto. Give them a call.
    I just looked up Dick's picotee - OMG, I'd love to have some seed, but I can't find seed online.
    If you come across any seed or if yours flowers and go to seed and you save seed, please keep me on your list to share.
    I have two other awesome brassica hybrid seeds/plants I can share with you:
    One is Yellow Cabbage Collard or Carolina Collard and the other is Wild Collard which is semi-perennial.

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  15. Annie's Annuals in Richmond, CA has tree collards available and they ship to most states. Look up "purple tree collard" on the search button at anniesannuals.com.

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  16. Thanks! Now I have ideas as to why my cuttings are not doing so well and some places to try for more. Do you have data on tree collards nutrition?
    Thanks again,
    Galen

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