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Neolitsea - Growing Guide
Growing Neolitsea sericea
This is a small growing evergreen tree with one remarkably beautiful attribute which makes it desirable in any woodland garden.
At Burncoose our 25 year old tree is nearly 20ft tall with a pyramidical habit. It is nestled away behind a laurel hedge and growing next to a schima.
The new growth is its outstanding feature. Above the older leathery three veined elliptic leaves (3-6in long) emerges an initially drooping set of new leaves clothed in a silky golden brown indumentum. This gradually develops into light green new leaves still covered in white hairs while the top of the new growth remains golden brown or even reddish brown. An outstanding display!
The tree is perfectly hardy once established but, like any evergreen with large leaves, it needs some wind protection. Our plants and those at Caerhays grow in dappled shade which gives rise to the suspicion that the new growth might not perform so well in full sun.
The tree, which is native to Japan and Korea, will propagate slowly from ripened cuttings taken in September or October. Do not be surprised if you only have a callus and no root after six months of bottom heat. It may take a year to get something worth potting on.
We have yet to see our trees flower but this is said to occur in late summer. Since this is a dioecious tree we may well only have male forms. The Burncoose tree came from cuttings from the older original at Caerhays plant so we need probably to find and propagate a female!