Peonies forum: Question regarding Taiyo Tree Peony

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Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Jan 21, 2015 9:02 AM CST
My Taiyo is putting up growth from the base. Read on another thread sometime that often tree peonies are grafted onto herbaceous stock and that if the tree peony isn't planted with that graft line well below the surface the herbaceous stock will put out shoots. If true, does it look like that might be the case in this photograph?

Thumb of 2015-01-21/lovemyhouse/a470f2

If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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LizinElizabeth
Jan 21, 2015 8:04 PM CST
Hard to tell at this point, Debra, tree peonies will put up new shoots from the ground as well. Once the leaves open up it'll be easier--tree peony and herbaceous peony leaves look different. If you get leaves from both it'd probably be a good idea to pinch out the herbaceous leaves as low to the ground as possible.

I'm pretty sure I saw a post last spring where another tree peony gardener actually dug up the roots and separated the 2, ended up with a tree peony and a herbaceous peony, both that grew. Your tree peony would have to be mature enough to be growing on its own roots for that to work, though!
Liz
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Jan 21, 2015 9:13 PM CST
Thank you, Liz. Smiling
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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frankrichards16
Jan 22, 2015 10:49 PM CST
I have a tree peony that sends up herbaceous shoots. They are easy to spot, once they leaf out (as noted by Liz). I cut and pulled them out last year. Waiting to see if they come back this year.

I think the herbaceous roots are supposed to die after the peony gets established. I believe they are called "nurse" roots. In other words, the tree peony actually develops it's own root system. The "nurse roots" are just used to help it along.

It's not like the normal "root stock" graft thats used for roses, trees, & conifers.
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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LizinElizabeth
Jan 23, 2015 9:28 AM CST
They are supposed to die out like you said, Frank, but can start growing again if the tree peony is planted too shallow or the graft didn't take. I would be very concerned about the viability of any tree peony that had herbaceous roots for more than the first year or two. That nurse root should be dying as the tree peony grows its own roots. If the herbaceous roots are doing well enough to put up more than a few straggler leaves you'd have a problem with overcrowding your tree peony roots at best, tree peony roots not forming at all at worst. If it were me and I was seeing herbaceous leaves with my tree peony that had been in the ground long enough to form its own roots I'd be digging that thing up and dealing with it permanently in the fall. I haven't had to make that call on any I have yet, got really lucky with the first ones I planted because I certainly didn't know to plant them deeper.

Debra, if the picture does show the actual graft line on your tree peony I'd plant it deeper at some point. Does anyone out there have a method for dealing with too shallow roots that works other than digging it up and re-planting? Would mounding around the root work or would that just kill the plant? I'd love to know the answer for my own peony education. Also, for my own selfish reason--it's !X#D% dull in Colorado this time of year, this conversation is relieving the monotony!


Liz
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Jan 23, 2015 9:48 AM CST
First time I've seen anything come up from the base. The foliage difference with make it easy to tell (thankfully! Hilarious! ) I got the peony in 2010, moved it in 2013. The photograph is from June, 2013. You can see it isn't very large yet. If I need to replant it, I can.
Thumb of 2015-01-23/lovemyhouse/3142a5
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
LizinElizabeth
Jan 25, 2015 5:10 PM CST
When you moved it did you notice if the nurse root was still there? I would think your tree peony would be on it's own roots completely after 4 years. I bet you're seeing new tree peony growth now that it's been in its new spot for a full year.

Tree peonies can do weird things. I have 3 that are the same, 2 in back yard and 1 in front. The 2 in the back behaved exactly as they always have last year but I thought I'd lost the one in front. It didn't start growing at the same time as the 2 in back, had in previous years. It had a lot more growth from the ground than the other 2 and almost no growth from the woody branches. I ended up cutting out most of the old growth from that one but it managed to put out several blooms from the new growth and now I have lots of 1 year of woody stems on it. Still no clue as to why it behaved as it did.
Liz

graycrna4u
Jan 30, 2015 8:01 PM CST
Hi Liz. Me again. I am the one who separated the tree peony from the herbaceous root stock. When I took both out of the ground, it was obvious what was herbaceous and what was tree peony. All survived replanting. I can tell you all, the difference will be obvious which is tree and which is herbaceous. The look, grow, and appear completely different. If you have to ask yourself which it is, it is probably herbaceous. Anyway, if you pinch off the herbaceous growth, it hasn't solved the problem of planting the tree peony deeper. Frank, you need to separate the tree and herbaceous rootstock. The herbaceous will outgrow the tree and eventually kill it. If they have any roots at all on their own, they will survive the separation. Both tree and herbaceous peonies are very hearty.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Jan 30, 2015 8:29 PM CST
Good information, thank you. Smiling
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
LizinElizabeth
Jan 31, 2015 10:25 AM CST
I remembered it was you, graycrna4u, but I was too lazy to search for the post! Looking forward to all of the beautiful pictures of your blooms in a few months!
Liz

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