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Ceanothus TREE!

d.coed.coe Posts: 15

We have ceanothus..... tree! Its approx. 14ft+ high and it looks like a Joshua tree ; in that the remaining green canopy is some 5ft high and mushroom like. Lots of the branches underneath are dead wood....what can we do?

We would like to cut all the canopy off and just leave the trunk and some main branches in the hope it would re-generate and give new it is /was glorious in its day in colour and bee activity.

Would be grateful if anyone has had a similar problem or could offer advice or do we get rid of and replant

Thank you


  • mushermusher Posts: 389

    What a sight for sore eyes it most be, stunning I bet?.

    Are there major branches lower down that are still alive?. 

    If there are If it was me, I would take it back to those branches. But first I would go out and buy a can of stump paint to minimise any bleeding from such a major cut. Oh yes while your at it, prune off all those lower dead branches.

    One last word if you see my ex don't tell her i've planted 4 conchas in a border thats only 20 ft long.I only found out how tall they grow until I planted them.

  • d.coed.coe Posts: 15

    They all seem to be alive and we have 1 new small branch from the main trunk.

    I didn't think that you applied stump paint anymore but just cut branches at an angle so that water would run off and let them heal naturally.

    As regards your ex, don't know her so you are safe I reckon.........are you sure you didn't know how tall they grow! ha ha.

    PS Don't know what conchas pretty new to this gardening lark

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,011

    Don't use stump paint.   It shouldn't bleed much at all if pruned at this time of year and it's much better left to heal itself with its own sap and cures.

    Cut the branches at an angle - as you already know - so any rain drips off and doesn't cause rotting.  I would then give it a handful of blood, fish and bone loosely forked in around the base and a good drink if you haven't had much rain lately.

    As insurance, you could try taking cuttings form the tips before you hack.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,421

    stump paint is out now. Breathing is in.

    They have a reputation for not being long-lived.  Cut it as you'd like it to be, but be prepared for a death

    Personally I'd either leave it alone or remove it.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • d.coed.coe Posts: 15

    Thanks for your comments, more the merrier and eventually I'll make a decision but as always we all have different opinions.............all I want to know is which one's are correct? Is there a correct way or is it a case of, try but if it kills it you'll know next time

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,421

    Concha is a Ceaonthus cultivar.

    Hard to find precise answers to some things, especially on a forum where different people will have tried different things. Plants don't read the books so we all try what we think will work, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.

    You won't find a guarantee of success. You may find someone who will tell you exactly what to do because it worked for them (or in some cases because they read it on a website) but it's no guarantee it will work for you. 

    Sometimes you just have to get out the saw and hope for the best

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • d.coed.coe Posts: 15

    I think that is what I will end up doing, its amazing how mother nature recovers / responds that I do know, especially if you do not keep on top of things. This year everything has just grown and gone ballistic............oh well, keeps bored at bay.

    Thanks again

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,011

    Sometimes I think none of my plants have read the manual.  Local garden conditions make a difference - all my ceanothus died in a bad winter but before then the RHS advice was good.    Take some cuttings now then cut away what you don't want and see how it handles it.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw

    I hacked back several shrubs and the Ceanothus is the only one to die !  The others (Escallonia, choisyia, Weigela and Hebe) have bounced back,

  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,492

    In my opinion Ceanothus have a bit of a reputation of just suddenly dying, cold winds tend to do a lot of damaged. I seen a lot of dead ceanothus when I think about image shame cause they look beautiful when in full flower. I am with Nut on hard pruning leave it or remove.

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