Tree Collard

The tree collard is a perennial Brassica that may also be called a tree kale. We chose to highlight this plant as it is a favorite among people who like to propagate and share plants, plus it is tasty and can grow for years. Plants in the Brassica family are thought to be one of the first cultivated plants, while the earliest written records mentioning these plants come from the ancient Greeks.

How to care for and propagate tree collards:

Perennial tree collards can live for many years and grow to more than 10 feet tall (if you let them!). They may benefit from supports as they can be top heavy. Plant them in full sun or part shade. Their leaves may turn purple in winter. Harvest the leaves for eating, just as you would any kale or collard.  After several years, the stalks become woody, and the plant may flower and go to seed.

The ideal time to propagate tree collards is when they are between one and three years old, before the trunks get woody. Prune off a lateral branch (green growth, not woody) with at least five to six leaf nodes and cut off all leaves except for the ones at the very top. Plant the cutting in a well draining soil mix and keep in shade until rooted. Pass it on to a friend to enjoy! If your plant does eventually go to seed, you can certainly start new plants from seed, however, they will not breed true to the parent plant. If you like the traits, taste, etc of the one you have, propagate from cuttings.