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Amelanchier advice

Hi, I planted an amelanchier lamarckii four years ago and am looking for advice about why it isn't growing much.  In the first season, it put on lots of growth:  easily 6-9 inches on each of the growing points.  Since then, it has done very little and stands to about 5 feet now.  I had expected it to be a lot taller than that.  

Here's the context.  It is in a newly cleared bed which had a leylandii hedge which we had felled and the roots dug out.  The soil is quite good - a bit clayey but good loam as well.  It may be a bit damp.  It was planted next to a ceanothus at the same time;  the ceanothus is now almost as tall as the amelanchier (in fact we keep having to cut it back to avoid the latter being swamped.  There is a large horse-chestnut tree about 10-15m away and so it is in shade from about 12 noon until 6pm.  That level of sunshine isn't hampering the ceanothus!

I've tried adding extra garden compost as well as general fertiliser (growmore) in the hope of sparking it into life.  

I'd be grateful for any helpful observations.  Photos available.


  • LizzybusyLizzybusy Posts: 87
    Just looked at RHS details for this tree and it says 10-20 years for full height! That is a lot of variance really. I moved house in 2017 and bought with me about 100 plants all taken from cuttings. The difference in growth rate at the new garden is amazing. The new garden is larger and gets more sun all day so no surprise really. I thought my last garden got quite a bit of sun but the sun was not on every bed all day as it was more enclosed by other houses. Think it is just due to the shade from the tree you mention and if the sun doesn't come out till later in the day, it may be getting no sun at all. RHS says full sun or partial shade. Ceanothus - I have planted one at the back of a border but think it is a dwarf variety and needs moving. Still it has flowered really well despite being hidden by other plants. Perhaps you could move it before it gets too big?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,789
    Hi shoogles - they're really quite undemanding shrubs/trees, but perhaps the [better established ] ceanothus is hoogging the limelight - and the nutrients and water a bit. 

    They'll also grow quite happily in a fair bit of shade- I've had them in sites where they only get morning sun, with no problem. Dampish soil is also fine. They can take a little while to get to a decent height, depending on the site.

    Did you add some nourishment to the soil before planting - after the lleylandii was removed? It may be that you need to give it a bit of a boost with some well rotted manure or decent compost, a feed  and a good watering. Lleylandii sucks all the goodness out and while that is fine for a ceanothus, it may be lacking now for the amelanchier.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • ShooglesShoogles Posts: 14
    Thank you both, that encourages me to do more of what I've been trying but with more garden compost and fertiliser making sure it's watered adequately.  And I'll perhaps give the ceanothus a bit of a talking to as well, so it isn't hogging everything.
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