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Aloeaceae Open Discussion of Aloe and the related genus such as Gasteria and Haworthia

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Old 01-09-2017, 09:09 PM
Viegener Viegener is offline
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Default Tree aloe trunk size question

Which of the large branching tree aloes has the narrowest trunk? I'm going to put two tree aloes into a large but only 3' deep planter in front of my house but the space is a little tight, especially because I want some height from the plants, so I'm also planting two Euphorbia ammak and some cacti.

My choices are A. barberae, A. dichomota, or A. 'Hercules.' Hercules will probably win because it's the fastest grower. But which of these will yield the least fat/spreading trunk?

This is mostly about architecture. (I love the wide trunks in general; they just won't work here.)
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:46 PM
Viegener Viegener is offline
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Also I have A. tongaense (& wish I had A. eminens)
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Old 01-10-2017, 11:33 AM
ackman00 ackman00 is offline
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When planted in the ground, and when mature, A barberae will have the thickest trunk. Not many fully mature (30+ years old) hercules out there - so I don't know how thick their trunks get. Mature dichotomas get a thick trunk but not as thick as barberae. Growing the plants in a pot will definitely stunt their growth. I would go with Hercules and only give it light water to keep the size down. If it does get too big, you can easily buy a small replacement at a reasonable price that will grow quickly to fill your needs. A barberae is a slow grower that is probably more elegant and may last longer in a pot and would also work well. Good luck
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Old 01-10-2017, 05:34 PM
Viegener Viegener is offline
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Yeah, Hercules was my hunch. It's not a pot though, it's an open bottomed brick planter. There was an old Bird-of-paradise there whose roots actually made the structure bulge; it's gone & the side rebuilt. I guess I can just let it happen again & repair again in 20 years. Thanks!
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:10 PM
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Melt In The Sun Melt In The Sun is offline
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How about A. pluridens?
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Old 01-12-2017, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melt In The Sun View Post
How about A. pluridens?
Don't have it, but like the pics. As I recall, it's more shrub-like though, closer to A. arborescens than A. barberae, no? I see tall unbranched ones in pics though too, like A. excelsa. What I need is a tall aloe that widens out at about 8' above ground level...
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Old 01-24-2017, 09:42 PM
BChan BChan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viegener View Post
Yeah, Hercules was my hunch. It's not a pot though, it's an open bottomed brick planter. There was an old Bird-of-paradise there whose roots actually made the structure bulge; it's gone & the side rebuilt. I guess I can just let it happen again & repair again in 20 years. Thanks!
While I was replying to you on my post I came across this. A. Hercules is a fast grower when in the ground and can reach 30 to 40 feet tall in a relatively shorter time than other tree aloes. Pretty big and wide trunk as well. It is a very impressive plant.
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Old 01-26-2017, 03:21 AM
Viegener Viegener is offline
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Yeah I pretty much decided on 'Hercules.' I'm in my mid-50s so by the time it really outgrows its space it will be someone elses worry. Also I read that aloes trunks don't put as much pressure on concrete walls as other tree-scale xeric plants.
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Old 01-26-2017, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viegener View Post
Yeah I pretty much decided on 'Hercules.' I'm in my mid-50s so by the time it really outgrows its space it will be someone elses worry. Also I read that aloes trunks don't put as much pressure on concrete walls as other tree-scale xeric plants.
Not quite sure how to coment on this, but in thought if you are talking about a single head aloe tree, which many fit into this I would think that to be true. At 12 feet my excelsa has a 6 to 7 inch trunk and a 2 foot or so foot/base at the bottom. A multi branched aloe like Aloe barberae, would have a much bigger trunk to support the upper growth. I saw this huge towering branched Aloe tree with a massive trunk at Bill Baker's place and asked him, what is that? He said that's Aloe Hercules, it grows quite fast. It was one of the bigger trees on his 1 acre property. Here is something from San Marcos growers Aloe Hercules Parentage: (Aloe barberae x A. dichotoma). Height: 25-40 feet. Width: 15-20 feet. Exposure: ... so anyways just food for thought.
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Old 01-26-2017, 02:18 PM
Viegener Viegener is offline
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AH, that's interesting. It's the bottom width that concerns me. I did want a branching tree aloe, but it makes sense that the bottom spread on an unbranched tree aloe would be significantly less. The location I'm working on is a bed about 4x4' against a (very solid) building foundation - the other tree sides are built with cinderblocks & it is about 2' above the ground.

Does anybody know anything about A. 'Samson', also a dichotoma x barberae cross? I saw it at Rancho Soledad & regret not buying one. How does it differ from 'Hercules'?
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Old 01-26-2017, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viegener View Post
AH, that's interesting. It's the bottom width that concerns me. I did want a branching tree aloe, but it makes sense that the bottom spread on an unbranched tree aloe would be significantly less. The location I'm working on is a bed about 4x4' against a (very solid) building foundation - the other tree sides are built with cinderblocks & it is about 2' above the ground.

Does anybody know anything about A. 'Samson', also a dichotoma x barberae cross? I saw it at Rancho Soledad & regret not buying one. How does it differ from 'Hercules'?
I don't have much more to add to this and I am unfamiliar with A. Samson. You have mentioned that you are planting next to a building foundation. I have never dug up an establish tree aloe but, if the roots are anything like what I get in pots I would have concerns about installing any extremely large growing tree of any form close to a foundation. Just another thought even on the younger side some of the solitary head tree aloes have wing spans of 4 to 5 feet.
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Old 01-26-2017, 10:34 PM
Viegener Viegener is offline
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Hmm will have to do more research. This is about as solid & reinforced a foundation as you will find. I wonder if anyone knows how much displacement power aloe trunks have compared to woody trees like Ficus. I know the giant Yucca & Beaucarnia trees I've see pretty much grow over or around concrete but don't break it open like true trees.
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Old 01-28-2017, 08:04 PM
ackman00 ackman00 is offline
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Unbranching tree aloes would work (smaller trunk) but they are very slow growing and they are fairly expensive to buy once they have several feet of trunk.
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:48 PM
PGSD PGSD is offline
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A bit late to the thread but, I have two Samsons (purchased at Rancho Soledad). I believe I was told the difference is: the Samson parentage is reversed from Hercules parentage? Maybe someone was pulling my leg. Not much info online but, I like it better than Hercules because it has wider "leaves" though, the guys at RS say both Samson and Hercules may look exactly the same once their bigger.

I will say, they grow really fast and I, too, like the thick trunk.

I'm just hoping it branches AFTER it gets above my roof level.

Good luck!
PG

PS: Rancho Soledad has some pretty big/old Hercules planted if you want to see what they look like full sized. No large planted Samson's though (too new apparently?).
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Old 04-12-2017, 02:50 PM
Viegener Viegener is offline
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Yes, I saw the 'Samsons' at RSN. They are very nice, similar but somehow distinctly different from 'Hercules'. I'm sorry now I didn't buy one, and probably will when I get back there.

For my purposes though, 'Samson' has the same broad, spreading trunk base that 'Hercules' has, which makes it unworkable in the space I have.

For the most part I've decided those 2 or 3 spaces will be getting A. tongaensis aka 'Medusa', which grow to a good size without that enormous trunk (beautiful as that aspect can be).
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