Torreya taxifolia near Columbus, OHIO


   VIDEO: Florida Torreya to Ohio's Dawes Arboretum

Dawes Arboretum (Newark, Ohio) received ten seeds from Torreya Guardians from the 2006 harvest by Biltmore Gardens (Asheville, NC). Possible learnings are: (1) A full deciduous canopy of oak and maple seems to be superb habitat for Torreya in central Ohio. (2) Exposure to full sun and especially to polar winds seem to be very stressful to this genus. Video also compares Florida Torreya's leaf and branch morphology against two sister species native to Asia that have been planted in Dawes Arboretum: Torreya grandis (China) and Torreya nucifera (Japan).

23 minutes - filmed May 17, 2015.

   13b: Florida Torreya to Ohio's Dawes Arboretum (pt b) 2016

Documents superb annual growth on the two Florida Torreya specimens beneath a full deciduous canopy (and protected from winter winds by a border of evergreen conifers). Confirms 1-month difference in vegetational budburst bt the Florida Torreya (May budburst) and adjacent Chinese Torreya (June budburst). Speculation on the importance of nearby maple helping the Torreyas by shared fungal root symbionts.

17 minutes - filmed June 18, 2016

UPDATES by Connie Barlow: As a follow-up to the above 2016 video, I posed the following question by email to our contacts at Dawes Arboretum. Their answer follows.

QUESTION (by Connie Barlow): "I am trying to understand why your Torreyas are so vibrant. Obviously, the protection from harsh winter winds (compared to the ailing Torreyas you removed from Dawes elsewhere) is important in that little grove. But I also wonder if fungal root symbionts have "decided" that they will route sugars gained from the Japanese maple to support the little Torreyas in having vigorous summer growth — and then the torreyas become a source of sugar for the root fungi network when the Acer ceases photosynthesis in the fall? The reason I speculate is that we have been told that Torreya seedlings are sometimes difficult to transplant successfully if one wants to relocate them; so maybe the reason is that, although they still have fungal root symbionts after the transplant, those symbionts have lost their network connection to surrounding plants that could send sugars."

ANSWER (by Gregory Payton 18 July 2016 email): "Honestly, we have done nothing differently to the Torreya that are doing so well than we do to any other plant planted here! No soil amendments or special techniques. I think you are correct in saying the environment they are in is hospitable to their survival. The area noted seems to be fairly free of disturbance in the past and was probably never farmed making the soil horizon and associated micro-flora more natural".

QUESTION (by Connie Barlow): "I recall that you still had quite a few seedlings of Torreya to outplant or otherwise disperse. I also noticed while visiting this spring that very near the Torreyas, the garden has been dug up and looks ready for big new plantings. Would it be possible for you to ensure that at least a half dozen torreyas go in there? Your torreyas come from Biltmore seed stock, which is rare, so it would be great to keep that going. Because genus Torreya individuals are either male or female, at least a half dozen trees must be near one another to ensure production of seeds."

ANSWER (by Gregory Payton 16 August 2016 email): "Yes, we will try to plant a sufficient number of our Torreya from the nursery into this area. The "dug up" area nearby was a garden and bridge for a new trail that was constructed. I do not think the design of that area allows for Torreya but we can plant some in the vicinity."


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