One of the most beautiful ornamental trees and known for its color is the Chinese hoops. It is a species that belongs to the genus Cercis and is also known by the name of tree of love. It is widely used in the decoration of parks and streets. Its cultivation is also used in private gardens.
Therefore, we are going to dedicate this article to telling you everything you need to know about the Chinese hoopsits characteristics and cultivation.
It is a deciduous species of legumes (trees and shrubs, identifiable by their legume-like fruits, with 730 genera and 19.400 species). It usually has a size of 4 to 6 meters, and on few occasions we have seen it exceed these measures (up to 10 and 15 meters). Its pink flowers in spring are distinctive and easily recognizable. It is typical of the Mediterranean region, but its cultivation is also common in Africa and North America.
It has several curious names such as tree of love, crazy carob tree (not to be confused with the common carob tree, that’s not crazy ), ciclamor or judas. This last name we explain why. There is an old myth that Judas hanged himself from this tree after betraying Christ. But it is understood that this may have been a transcription error as its French name is “Arbre de Judée” as it is grown in the Judea region.
Requirements of Chinese hoops
The climate to which the tree of love is perfectly adapted It is usually a Mediterranean climate, so it can withstand hot summers and mild winters. It is also capable of withstanding low temperatures, but beware of strong frosts. Special care must be taken when watering, since we can have problems both due to lack and excess.
We will avoid abundant watering that can overwhelm the roots, and we will avoid prolonged periods of high heat without watering. Most importantly, to maintain the previous irrigation conditions, must be a well drained soil (15-20 mm/h), tolerant to acid and alkaline soils. When it starts to bloom and keep it that way for as long as possible, we’ll keep giving until the leaves fall in the fall.
multiplication and maintenance of Chinese hoops
Chinese hoops it can be propagated by seed, but it has a problem. It turns out that the seeds have an internal state of dormancy and must be treated before sowing to stimulate germination. These treatments are based on the application of hot water or sulfuric acid.
Since we assume that not everyone has sulfuric acid in their home, and this is a basic method for businesses, here’s what to do. Place seeds in hot water for 12-24 hours, then stratify for 3 months at 2-4°C.
A tree of love in its adult state usually no pruning requiredexcept to remove dead or damaged branches. Be careful, because the wind affects it a lot and many times you have to guide the growth so that it does not twist (tutoring). Pruning should be minimized as we risk damaging the branches that will produce next season’s flowers.
Once the tree is old, consider rejuvenation pruning. We will notice it because flowering loses both quantity and quality.
Other species of Cercis
Due to the great variety of existing Cercis species, it can be said that they come from various latitudes. They are typically native to the eastern Mediterranean, southern Europe, Central and South America, and mainland Asia. However, you can find some from other regions.
Many classes are named after the country they come from. This is how we have the Canadian Cercis, Chinese hoops the Japanese, the mexican cercis and cercis texas.
Everyone develops their abilities to adapt to the different areas of their development. However, a common feature of all these regions is the short duration of drought and winter. Again, the soil in these areas is usually very deep and well drained.
We are going to apply what are the main species of the genus Cercis:
As its name suggests, this is the largest breed of the whole family. It is a tree native to Greece that has been replicated in other regions such as China. Due to its properties, it is very similar to Chinese hoops.
It is very useful in animal life because its flowers provide nectar to bees. At the same time, the seeds it produces can serve as food for birds.
The almost extinct species is the redbud. Its population is distributed in an area of less than 10 square kilometers in Armenia. Its size is only 3 or 4 meters, so it can be considered a large bush. It flowers in April and bears fruit from May to June. Currently, efforts are underway to restore the development of this tree.
The Cercis racemosa is the most peculiar. Its most striking feature is that, unlike most species in the family, its flowers are white. Even so, can have very pale pink flowers with a deeper hue in the center. Anyway, this is the most beautiful of the family.
The Canadian Cercis canadais is a large shrub or small tree 6 to 9 meters tall. It is native to eastern North America, from Ontario to northern Florida. It has a smooth-textured brown trunk and almost black branches with light lenticular spots. The wood of this tree is heavy and hard, but not very durable. The flowers are magenta, about 1,5 cm longthe leaves are green, and in the first days they are usually very smooth.
the western circle
For its part, the western circle grows in the American Southwest, from California and Utah to Arizona. The branches of this variety are thin and brown. Its leaves are thin and have the typical familiar heart shape. These are green, and in some seasons they reach golden and reddish tones. Its small flowers grow in clusters and come in shades of pink and magenta, making it one of the most beautiful of these varieties.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about the care and cultivation of the Chinese hoops.