Forum home Plants

Wrong time of year to tidy up tree?

i10ki10k Posts: 23

Hi all,

Inherited a small lollipop pruned tree in my garden and have left it to its own devices while sorting the rest of the garden into better shape.

Originally thought it was a bay tree, now not so sure.  It kept most of its leaves through last (admittedly, mild) winter.

I had planned to identify it this autumn and take care of it appropriately, but with all the rain we've had lately it has sprung into life and shot up loads of whippy growth, including some from the base/lower down the trunk, which suggests to me it would prefer to be a shrub?

So; does anyone know what it is, and what form it would prefer?

Can I prune some of this new growth now, or should I wait until later in the year?  I don't want it to get too top heavy and cause itself any damage.  I've staked it for the time being as it suffered a little in the recent string winds.

Thanks in advance for any insight/advice you can offer!

Some pictures...

image

image

image

image

image

Cheers,

I.

Posts

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,861

    I doubt the leaves smell much like bay.
    I think it's probably one of these - older branches have nasty thorns

    http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/elaeagnus--ebbingei/classid.3772/

    p.s. bay's also keep their leaves over winter - that's when I use the most

    Last edited: 04 August 2017 14:58:39

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • i10ki10k Posts: 23

    Thanks Pete! I think you’ve got it in one - now to research the growing habits and pruning requirements...

    Much appreciated :-)

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,861

    Mine was tough as old boots. I used to trim/prune whenever I thought it needed it.

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,058

    They're generally just a 'shrubby' shape - if you know what I mean! 

    You can remove branches and tidy it to keep a uniform shape, as and when you want really, but it's always a good idea to do fairly soon,  to allow new, soft growth to harden off nicely before cold weather arrives, even though they're tough shrubs. 

    I think it's rather nice kept as a lollipop, and has obviously been pruned that way to give planting opportunities at the base. It's clearly quite happy being topiarised, so it's probably best to continue that anyway  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,601

    They do indeed prefer to be shrub shaped - shrubs do. All lollipop trees are man made and there is no reason why you shouldn't continue to grow yours that way. Any growth from the base or stem should be removed as soon as it appears and generally the other growth can be cut back to the point at which you want it to break, that is, bush out from. If it is eleagnus or bay you can do this at any time during the growing season and often is better than once or twice so it grows exactly how you want it, rather than trying to get back to where you hoped to be.

  • i10ki10k Posts: 23

    Thank you all for the info and pointers.

    I’ve given it a bit of a trim all round and thinned out the crown, removing a few crossing branches, dead and ropey-looking wood, etc.

    Will let it recover from this before trimming further - perhaps in spring?

    image

    image

    Cheers,

    I.

  • i10ki10k Posts: 23

    Oh, and Pete8 - I found those thorns, or rather, they found me! Ouch.

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,861

    That's more like it - very smart :)

    When I removed mine I had brambles to deal with too - about 5yrs ago
    image

     

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,601

    Much better. Well done.

Sign In or Register to comment.