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One tree or two?

KmehKmeh Posts: 130

Hello

Hoping someone can help. Is this one or two trees? It's a cornus alba midnight fire (I think?).  The very bottom and top look true to form, but the split trunk  (half red half green brown) and the middle stems being green brown, have always make me suspect its two?

Any thoughts? Thank you 


Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,626
    edited 4 January
    One plant.   It's only the new stems that have the colour.  Stems older than the last season's growth go brown or grey depending on the variety.  This is why the get stooled every year taking the stems back to a low pair of buds.

    Something else to bear in mind is that cornus stems readily layer themselves if they come into contact with the soil and you can end up with a "travelling" plant that advances on all fronts.  Great way to get new plants or a menace to keep an eye on, depending on your point of view.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 1,735
    Is that new growth at the bottom right, the same as the new growth on top of the older stems Kmeh?
  • KmehKmeh Posts: 130
    Uff said:
    Is that new growth at the bottom right, the same as the new growth on top of the older stems Kmeh?
    Both red, but the base is vibrant and the top is more burgandy with new buds on it.
     
  • KmehKmeh Posts: 130
    Obelixx said:
    One plant.   It's only the new stems that have the colour.  Stems older than the last season's growth go brown or grey depending on the variety.  This is why the get stooled every year taking the stems back to a low pair of buds.

    Something else to bear in mind is that cornus stems readily layer themselves if they come into contact with the soil and you can end up with a "travelling" plant that advances on all fronts.  Great way to get new plants or a menace to keep an eye on, depending on your point of view.
    It went crazy last year and completely crowded out this section of the border.  Was considering moving it. Would it be OK to move now?
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,626
    Yes but it would have been better done a couple of months ago so the roots had more time to renew themselves and establish a new network of fibrous feeding roots.   However now is OK as long as you water it later on.   See below.

    You need to cut back the stems to a low pair of buds to make it easier to dig out and also move as well as making it easier for the plant to renew itself in spring.  When you do dig it out, take as big a root ball as you can and make sure you neatly trim any roots that get torn or split as this will help it heal.

    Prepare its new hole well and plant it at the same depth as before.  Water it well and keep it watered all through this next year of growth to make sure it doesn't struggle in hot or dry spells. 

    You can, if desired, take cuttings from the pruned stems by cutting pencil thick and long sections and putting them in holes prepared by a dibber then firming the soil back round them, leaving just a couple of inches exposed  to grow new stems while the rest will, with any luck grow roots.  Always good to have spares to swap or give away.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • KmehKmeh Posts: 130
    Thank you so much Obelixx - such detailed advice! Much appreciated 
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