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Thursday, August 6, 2015

More Splits Happen

Ebenopsis ebano, Texas Ebony Seed Sprout

More Splits Happen In Our Yarden

We have a Texas Ebony started from seed back in 2012.  This idea came about because I saw the parent tree and just loved the color so much, I grabbed some seed pods.  The seeds were extracted from the pod and started with scarification (chipping or filing the external hard shell of the seed) then soaking for 24 hours.

It may have gotten started in January, then the upper left photo was taken in May, 2012.  Seed sprouting was a success!
Ebinopsis ebano, Texas Ebony Seed Pod

While the seeds of the tree are edible, I opted to sew them in soil to grow a little, slow growing and beautiful shade tree.

While one of the least attractive features of the Texas Ebony are the seed pods, the Texas ebony is quite desirable for bonsai due to the natural zig zag of the tree branches, the tiny leaves and the rich, dark fissured bark.

And the crackled, dark brown bark brings me to what the post is about.

Ebinopsis ebano, Texas Ebony
Young Tree Bark
Our Texas Ebony is now about 4 years old, probably 4' tall (typically grows 12" per year) and has started developing the crackling in the bark.  Not knowing this, I pulled some off to investigate the health of the underlayer and probably did a little damage in the process.

The cracks in the bark started developing shortly after shaping the tree and removing some low side branches.  This may have caused the trunk to thicken quickly.

However, the leaves are still the lovely bright green, there doesn't appear to be any unhealthy developments around the cracked bark, so we feel reasonably assured there are no real problems.

In the end, the tree should change from having the smooth, childish
Ebinopsis ebano, Texas Ebony
Mature Tree Bark
bark shown in the left image to the heavily textured and fissured adult bark shown in the right image.

The leaf combination along with the rich dark trunk coloring make for quite an attractive tree.

When full grown the tiny leaf canopy can provide a decent dappled shade for great cooling effect and will produce cream colored flowers with a heavenly sweet scent which is quite attractive to the honey bees.

The maximum growth for a Texas Ebony is 15 - 30' tall and wide.  This, of course, would be after 30 years of growth.  This tree is quite preferable to the regular fast sprawling manzanita or mesquite for controlled landscaping.

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