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MattyB

Albizia saman

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MattyB

I collected seeds while in Hawaii in 2007 and my Monkey Pod tree has been a trouble free grower. Here's some morning pics with the leaves still closed up. They open once it's light out. I'm hoping that it'll flower and seed soon, so I can propagate it, because I might have to chop it down if the area gets too crowded.

It's about 8 feet tall and just as wide.

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fastfeat

Hey Matt--

I personally doubt it will get to flowering size in SoCal. This tree is considerably more tender than Delonix regia.

That said, even getting it to this size through SoCal winters is pretty impressive!

Good luck.

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MattyB

I've found this tree much easier to grow than Delonix regia.

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Jerry@TreeZoo

It is a bit more cold sensitive than Delonix regia.

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MattyB

tell that to my two Delonix which were planted at the same time and are 1/4 of the size.

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mnorell

Matt, that's some achievement. I tried this species several times in the '80s in L.A. and they always croaked in the cold. And everyone else I knew who tried told me the same thing. You may have happened upon a genetically strong specimen, which is great news. That was one of the biggest bummers of SoCal plant-life for me, after seeing the gorgeous specimens throughout Honolulu, that these were just too wimpy to survive the long, wet and chilly winters and springs. I finally have one down here in the Florida Keys...so I am at last satisfied. And it is certainly fast-growing in this climate. But if you've found one that will make it in San Diego, more power to you! And don't chop it down! The good news is that it casts light shade and other plants will grow beneath it (unlike nutrient-hoggy Delonix).

There are a few successful Delonix regia and at least one flowering Cassia grandis in coastal SoCal and that in itself is a wonder. But I am a believer in individual genetics and I think if you find one that thrives you have either hit on a cultural or genetic element that allows yours to thrive. Perhaps it will grow large and seed and you can start a trend...and on a distantly related subject, have you or anyone else had luck flowering Colvillea racemosa in SoCal? I failed, and I know the San Diego Zoo had one growing steadily at one point around 1990, and I think it is a cool-hardier tree overall than Delonix, but I've never seen it thriving, and particularly, flowering there.

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Palms1984

Matt, that's some achievement. I tried this species several times in the '80s in L.A. and they always croaked in the cold. And everyone else I knew who tried told me the same thing. You may have happened upon a genetically strong specimen, which is great news. That was one of the biggest bummers of SoCal plant-life for me, after seeing the gorgeous specimens throughout Honolulu, that these were just too wimpy to survive the long, wet and chilly winters and springs. I finally have one down here in the Florida Keys...so I am at last satisfied. And it is certainly fast-growing in this climate. But if you've found one that will make it in San Diego, more power to you! And don't chop it down! The good news is that it casts light shade and other plants will grow beneath it (unlike nutrient-hoggy Delonix).

There are a few successful Delonix regia and at least one flowering Cassia grandis in coastal SoCal and that in itself is a wonder. But I am a believer in individual genetics and I think if you find one that thrives you have either hit on a cultural or genetic element that allows yours to thrive. Perhaps it will grow large and seed and you can start a trend...and on a distantly related subject, have you or anyone else had luck flowering Colvillea racemosa in SoCal? I failed, and I know the San Diego Zoo had one growing steadily at one point around 1990, and I think it is a cool-hardier tree overall than Delonix, but I've never seen it thriving, and particularly, flowering there.

Not sure where you're getting your information from; however, there's more than a few flowering Delonix regia in Southern California. If you go out the low desert, you'll see many large flowering trees.

Edited by Palms1984

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Palms1984

MattyB:

Your Monkey Pod tree is beautiful! I've seen some in La Mesa. I guess I'll have to get some photos for proof.

It's funny, because in Honolulu, Hawai'i, where I'm from, many people call them a garbage tree. Although, I never considered it a garbage tree.

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Palms1984

tell that to my two Delonix which were planted at the same time and are 1/4 of the size.

That's so strange! Generally, Delonix regia grows very quickly. Do you fertilize them in summer?

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fastfeat

BTW, this tree, despite being punted around considerably, is back as Samanea saman.

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Jerry@TreeZoo

Matty, I am going to guess that your saman is planted on your south facing hill with north winds blocked? A little elevation to drain away the cold air?

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Peter

Michael, I know of several thriving Colvilleas approaching 15' tall here, although no flowers yet. Hopefully it's just a matter of time. I myself have one that is about 8' tall and growing well, and so far has managed my Inland California winters without any setbacks. Hardier than Delonix regia for sure.

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mnorell

Michael, I know of several thriving Colvilleas approaching 15' tall here, although no flowers yet. Hopefully it's just a matter of time. I myself have one that is about 8' tall and growing well, and so far has managed my Inland California winters without any setbacks. Hardier than Delonix regia for sure.

I'm happy to hear you and others are growing Colvillea, Peter. That is a bang-up tree and its natural fall-flowering cycle might work better than Delonix in SoCal since it actually would have some late-summer heat build-up to work from as it pushes growth before the buds are produced. I always thought it would be a good bet for that reason and it's a shame it is not better known as this definitely holds it back. I killed mine back in the day in L.A. by overwatering in winter while it was in a pot. I think on a good south or west-facing hillside with some supplemental water in the summer a decent-sized specimen could do its thing. It might just require some initial size at planting and perhaps a decent set-back from the ocean in good ol' Sunset zone 23 or air-drained inland valley slopes (and certainly in the frost-free areas of the low desert it would thrive). Unlike the old days, inexpensive plants are available pretty readily from sources in Florida, Hawai'i, eBay, etc., so there's no reason adventurous planters (and nurseries) couldn't try it in larger numbers. With some heat it is a fast grower.

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Eric in Orlando

Albizia saman was killed here in the 2009/10 winter, more tender than Delonix or Colvillea here.

We are growing Albizia procera, looks similar to A. saman so far and it has proven much hardier, no damage in the 2009/10 winter.

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KrisKupsch

I have all above mentioned species doing well with average of 1800mm per year, winter temps down to 1-4 C each winter. Typically Samanea is the most tricky to grow however there are a couple at Mullumbimby which is 28 degrees south of the equator.

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ando.wsu

I know this thread is a few years old, but MattyB, I was wondering if your Monkey Pod Tree is still thriving. I too gathered some seeds last summer from Maui and planted them. All four sprouted with in a week last August. I am in Phoenix Arizona.

While I was away on holiday during Christmas, I left the pot outside they are growing in. Plants were about 6 inches tall. It froze here in Phoenix into the low 30s and upper 20's for 7 nights in a row, of course getting well above freezing temperatures during the day time. They survived with minimal damage on the leaves.

Anyhow, do you think they would survive in Phoenix with our dry heat. Since the temps have been warmer back in January they are all about 12 inches tall now. I'm thinking about planting them in the ground since 4 will not thrive in a small container together. Anyhow, what are your thoughts. I'm sure they need lots of water during our driest months.

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The Silent Seed

Nice to see this thread revived! The S. saman I kept for myself from the bunch I bought from you, has just broken dormancy and is taking off. They are wonderful trees indeed!

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MattyB

I never expected this tree to live, but in fact it thrived. It got to about 8-10 feet in height/diameter and I cut it down because it was going to overpower the area I planted it in. Maybe I'll plant another one someday, but probably not. I just don't have the water for another large, water loving tree.

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Geoff

bummer… a few more years and it would have looked like this!

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buzzmonkey

There's actually a huge one in downtown Fort Lauderdale that's at the center of a controversial development plan. The tree, which is considered to be the largest in the state, and, by default, the largest in the continental US is growing on a parcel slated to have a high rise built on it. The developer wants to root-prune and move it, while opponents say this will likely kill the 100-year old tree. Anyway, the article linked below is from 2012 and the tree is still in the same spot so I'm not sure if it's fate has been sealed yet.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/12/rain-tree-under-threat_n_2281683.html

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Palms1984

I never expected this tree to live, but in fact it thrived. It got to about 8-10 feet in height/diameter and I cut it down because it was going to overpower the area I planted it in. Maybe I'll plant another one someday, but probably not. I just don't have the water for another large, water loving tree.

That's so sad you won't plant another one...as it's a very drought-tolerant tree. The seed you collected seems to produce a very hardy and vigorous tree. The little seedling you gave me about two years ago has gotten big and has grown so very fast. It actually continued to grow through this whole winter, outside. It's an amazing tree!

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