ANACACHO ORCHID TREE

Sun to part shade; can be evergreen with south wall protection, otherwise deciduous. A multi-trunked small specimen tree or a mounding shrub; it performs well in thin, rocky soil. Unique hoof-like leaves and orchid-like white flowers appear in spring and periodically throughout the year. This sweet plant is a pollinator magnet that requires little to no supplemental water once established. Don’t overprune young plants to force them into a treelike shape; losing all their lower branches in a single day may result in a severely weakened tree. Remember, pruning is always optional. In general, focus on minimizing dead, damaged, or rubbing branches. Cuts should only be made at a bud or branch; as with any tree, remove no more than 25% of the total canopy during any five-year cycle. To maintain a healthy specimen, leave the upper 2/3 of the tree’s height uncut, and never remove more than the lowest third of the tree in a single pruning period — for example, on a 12-foot tree, stick to the lowest 4 feet. Mulch with about 2” of woodchips or pine bark wherever possible. (In general, a tree’s mulched area should be six feet at minimum.)

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