Tim Burr

Latest posts by Tim Burr

Removing an old Ceanothus

Posted: 11/09/2016 at 16:58

I've got an old Ceanothus. My guess is that its probably as old as the house (circa 21 years?) and put in by the previous owners when they moved in to the new build.  It is around 12 feet tall and in a relatively small modern development garden is too big.  It is also looking rather tired and although it has leaves on the outside, it is sparse inside.  I've noticed that it has flowered less for the last two years and is probably less vigorous on putting fresh growth (which I do hedge trim back) after flowering.

I know that Ceanothus don't respond well to hard pruning so I've made a decision to remove it - however, not sure how easy it will be do to that, especially as the main trunk is probably the size of a medium sized tree.  Can anybody tell me what the root system is like for a Ceanothus?  I am wondering if I just cut it down low as possible to below ground level, and then replant near it, and let nature take her course on rotting it down, or will I be able to get the stump out, without recking the rest of the garden around it.  It is very near the boundary fence, so don't want to cause any issue of pulling half the fence down to get it out the ground.

Poorly Laurel Hedge

Posted: 11/09/2016 at 12:56

Any ideas what is causing this mottling on a well established laurel hedge.  Also, something has been eating it.  The new shoots have had the majority of the new leaves being removed leaving just green stems.  There is also damage on older leaves as per the picture. It did suffer mildew in the summer (which has been a persistent problem for a few years now).  Ground underneath is as dry as a bone despite the recent rain, and I've just cleared a load of old dried dead leaves from underneath it to let the water thru'.

Thorn proof gloves

Posted: 30/08/2016 at 21:14

I used a pair of rigger gloves when helping a friend clear a garden of numerous very large and established brambles bushes.  They were excellent.  The thorns did not penetrate the leather fingers and palms.  Oh, and don't leave them out overnight.  The foxes take them!  Cheeky blighters.

You can order rigger gloves from Amazon. Not expensive.

Last edited: 30 August 2016 21:14:57


Posted: 29/08/2016 at 21:15
KT53 says:

My suggestion remains unpopular with the cat people, and may even be illegal!!  Make a well know phrase or saying from 'gun' and 'shot'.  Just kidding, but only just.  I stopped them leaving their calling cards in my front lawn by digging it up and replacing it with gravel.

See original post

 Surely all you have made is the biggest car litter tray in the neighbourhood? 

Too late to prune back a Kerria Japonica?

Posted: 29/08/2016 at 13:20

Thanks for that.  And any idea why mine goes floppy?  I've seen others which are bolt upright.  Is it simply because its gone so tall or have I just got a poor specimen?  

Laurel hedge

Posted: 29/08/2016 at 12:49

Be aware of the cyanide (sweet almond smell) when you come to prune (which is unlikely to cause too much of an issue in the open air).  If you're taking the cuttings to the green recycling, don't shred or chop the leaves first and always drive to the green recycle with the car windows fully open.  Think I'm joking? 

Too late to prune back a Kerria Japonica?

Posted: 29/08/2016 at 12:22

Have a Kerria Japonica which has grown to about 8 feet tall and gone rather floppy, especially when it rains.  Canes are relatively thick but I think its just the height that is weighing it down.  I would have cut it back after flowering, but it got left (you know how it is), so that probably explains why its gone so leggy.  Am I still in time to cut back now, to say about 1/2 or even 2/3s of height or am I best waiting until after flowering next Spring?  I can probably tie it back to fence to stop it flopping over path and lawn for now.

Crocosmia Lucifer

Posted: 12/08/2016 at 19:51

Thank Verdun - as I said, the leaves have already started to yellow off.  It kind of happens like that every year.  By September they are completely brown.  Not much a nice foliage plant I'm afraid.  And for some reason, my Crocosmia are always 2/3 weeks ahead of everyone else I know who has them.  They start growing in February and peak at the end of June.  I wonder if my garden has a bit of warmer microclimate (small suburban on a modern development) hence why they kick off and end so early.  

Crocosmia Lucifer

Posted: 12/08/2016 at 19:44

Love it when I get responses advocating two different things.  OK - going to experiment.  Will cut back half of them to ground level and leave other half to die down naturally, and see if it makes any difference next year [to self - remember to note which ones you cut down first!!].  And Fairygirl, thanks for your suggestion.  I did plant a load of Heleniums this year in and around the Crocosmia to do as you say, but unfortunately, the slugs finished them off within a week of planting them.  Oh well, try again with that one next year!

Crocosmia Lucifer

Posted: 12/08/2016 at 19:31

Plants have flowered and the season is already over for my Crocosmia Lucifer.  The last of the flowers went two weeks ago.  Leaves have already started to yellow off.  Can I cut back to ground level now, or should I wait 'for the goodness to go back into the bulb (corm!)' as they say.  Don't want to go into that August, everything is starting to look a bit tired and over look.

Discussions started by Tim Burr

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Removing an old Ceanothus

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