Tuesday, October 22, 2013

At The Arboretum Tomé, Our Redwoods Have Male Flowers This Year!

Both Our New Mexico and Texas Redwoods have produced male flowers this season for the first time since planting. Both of these redwood varieties were seed planted about 20 years ago. The original seed source for our New Mexico Redwood was a specimen found growing in the Gila wilderness. This tree has produced female flowers (cones) for 4-5 years

now but without a pollen source no viable seed is produced (cones are sterile). The male flowers, produced in abundance this season hang in clusters. Individual flowers are still closed at this time (October) so are not shedding pollen (see photo below).

We are very excited about the potential to produce this rare tree, a New Mexico Native, from seed in the coming years.

The New Mexico Redwood, (Taxodium mucronatum var. neomexicana) is a fast growing deciduous tree. Native to New Mexico, few specimens survive in the wild. As a riparian tree, with deep roots, the New Mexico Redwood is best grown with ample water. It is not drought tolerant. The New Mexico Redwood is seed propagated, grows up to 4’ per year and can reach 70’ in height. This tree has a pyramidal shape with a canopy spread to 30’. Its leaves turn orangish-red in the fall before they drop.

The Texas Redwood (Taxodium distichum) is also a fast-growing deciduous tree. It also is a riparian tree, so is best grown with ample water. The Texas Redwood grows up to 4′ per year and can reach 70′ in height. It is pyramidally shaped with a canopy spread to 30′. It has beautiful orangish-red fall foliage.

Several of our Texas Redwood had produced the female flowers (cones) for several years.

This is the first season that male flowers have appeared. The male flowers hang in clusters form the upper branches.

Our Texas Redwood that has produced male flowers this season is densely covered in the upper 1/3 of the tree canopy. Looking up into the canopy you cannot miss the great abundance of male flowers.

Come by The Arboretum Tomé, and view the Male NM Redwood Flowers, a rare sight indeed!

The Arboretum is open for tours by appointment only by contacting Trees That Please Nursery at Phone: 505-866-5027
Email: treesthatplease@comcast.net.

Photos & Narrative By:
Stephen Sain
Staff Plant Physiologist


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