Amur Velvet at your home
The big tree is already a particle of macro landscape. Such a tree on the site “works” not only near, but also becomes a noticeable “reference” point of the surroundings. In the old days it was customary to plant linden, willow, birch or ash near the house. Returning, the owner from afar saw this green lighthouse. The tree survived more than one generation of the owners of the house, it became so dear to them that a hand did not rise to cut it. The same British, great masters of landscape design, never cut down old trees, even if they are not consistent with the new decisions of the owners of the estates. In this case, most likely, the path “abutting” against the tree-patriarch is “bent”. Because they think: respect for old trees is respect for one’s own history and culture.
The assortment of large trees that can be "registered" on sites in central Russia is quite large. These are not only trees of many of our forest species, but also a large number of introduced ones: nuts (gray, Siebold, Manchurian), maples, horse chestnut, overseas oaks, poplars, and ash. Of conifers: fir, spruce, pine, including cedar, false lies, larch. And of course Amur velvet.
Once, leafing through a richly decorated book by a British author on garden design, I came across a picture with the Latin inscription ‘Phellodendron amurense’, that is, “Amur cork tree”. On a flat English lawn a mighty tree grew with a trunk in two girths and powerful branches, gently sloping up.
The whole tree did not even fit into the frame, but the relief longitudinal grooves of the bark were well distinguished, eloquently speaking of his venerable age. Shrubs and flowers grew around, but it was clear that the composition was built around this patriarch, and take it away, the plot would simply be meaningless. Amur velvet (as we call this tree) is well known to me, but here it looked somehow in a new way, primarily because of its unusually large size.
But the British are able to deliver the goods face, I thought. But then I remembered the trees growing in our place in Vladimir, and I thought. Well, no, ours are no worse, although they are clearly inferior in size. A small grove of velvet is already 30 years old, as it settled in our city on the lawn in front of a technical university. Under the scattered shadow of their through crowns, grass grows well, on which students, I think, are very comfortable to lie down. Trees grow in a sparse group, so do not go too far up. For the most part, their runny trunks emerge obliquely from the ground, the branching begins above human growth, and the umbrella-shaped crowns are somewhere above. At eye level, the grove is completely transparent.
There is some attractive beauty in the trunks of Amur velvet. The graphics of the branches and especially the bark, from which the nobility of the old tree blows, captivates.
I must say that in the middle lane, Amur velvet trees grow small, reaching a maximum of 10-12 m, more often they only slightly exceed a large apple tree. Frosty winters occasionally damage annual growths, but this does not noticeably affect their development. Plants bloom and bear fruit almost every year. For example, the harsh winter of 2005-2006 did not affect our velvet at all.
In the wild, Amur velvet grows in the Far East, reaching west to the Zeya River. Outside of Russia, it is found in China and Japan.
The Amur cork tree belongs to the root family. A characteristic feature of the plants of this family is the smell inherent in fruits and leaves. Remember aromatic citruses, fragrant rue, ash-tree - each plant with its own smell. Velvet smells of leaves and fruits. You cannot call them a pleasant smell, but you only feel it when you touch the leaves or fruits or rub them.
In culture, velvet trees can be said to be low and will fit even into a 6-hundred-square-foot section. The leaves of the tree consist of 5-13 lanceolate, with a rounded base and a drawn out top of leaves. It is characteristic that velvet we dress with foliage later than trees of other species, and bare first at the very beginning of October.
Velvet flowers are quite small, yellowish-green, inconspicuous. And the tree blooms in late May, almost inconspicuous for people. But it attracts bees, for them it is a good nectaron. By the way, velvet is also a medicinal plant.
The fruits of velvet are spherical, berry-shaped, with a dense glossy surface, when ripe they are black, with a diameter of about 1 cm. Under our conditions, they ripen only in October and do not fly around until mid-winter.
The Amur cork tree is a wonderful park breed with beautiful leaves and habit. But the deep-furrowed light gray bark, surprisingly soft to the touch, is especially eye-catching. A technical cork is made from the bark of Amur velvet, carefully trimming it and removing it with layers so as not to damage the bast layer. The cork layer resumes quickly. But this is only information for consideration, but I still do not advise you to perform such an operation on your tree.
It is not difficult to grow Amur velvet. It tolerates transplantation well (despite the rod root, which allows it to firmly anchor in the soil). Velvet grows rapidly, seedlings in a year jump over the mark of 0.5-0.6 m, and in two they can reach a height of one and a half meters. Velvet is demanding on soil fertility, photophilous, hygrophilous, But drought tolerant. This tree can be grown almost throughout the European part of Russia (with the exception of the northernmost regions and the arid south), as well as in many places in the south of Siberia.
When choosing a place for planting Amur velvet, keep in mind that a tree can live up to 300 years. Therefore, it should not be planted in places where future perestroika and the laying of communications could damage it. From the paths should be at least 3 m, well, think about the neighbors, which in the future may fall shadow from your tree.
The best substrate for velvet is a powerful cultivated loam. Sandy soils are completely unsuitable. When planting, you should dig a hole with a diameter and depth of about 0.5-0.65 m, filling it with a mixture of garden soil, turf land, humus and sand in an approximate ratio of 2: 2: 2: 1. It is better to plant in early spring or autumn, no later than mid-September. At a later time, it is better to dig the resulting plants obliquely until spring to avoid death from frost. The ideal age for transplant is 1-2 years.
Water the plants regularly, keeping the soil moist. In the future, “drink” only in a drought. Fertilizers and top dressing are desirable, but only in the first half of summer. Any rotten organic matter and complete mineral fertilizer in bulk under the crown will suit Amur velvet, followed by digging.
Carefully intervene in the growth of the crown of Amur velvet, avoiding large wounds. Pruning should be carried out in the spring, wounds should immediately be covered with var. The purpose of pruning is to form a high, unbranched to the height of a person shtamb to emphasize the beauty of the trunk. However, you can completely not interfere with the growth of the tree, it is beautiful in itself, even if it is formed "at its discretion."
It is also useful to loosen and mulch the trunk circle, but you can also draw up the soil.
Amur velvet looks beautiful on the lawn. An environment of small ornamental shrubs like low arborvitae, privet, barberry of Thunberg, fir trees, junipers will suit him. Cork wood goes well with birch, maple, oak and is beautiful in all seasons.