Re: Arbutus reduction
|Subject:||Re: Arbutus reduction||
|Date:||Aug 02 2012 12:26:21|
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Well my experience is with younger specimens (not with 'over-mature'
ones anyway - whatever that phrase actually means...); But I would
suggest that they generally react quite well to being cut back. The
multi-stemmed bush I can see from my window is regrowth after a young
plant was knocked back by frosts a couple of winters ago* and from
pretty well nothing it's now getting on for a metre high. And other,
more mature plants have recovered well from various forms of reduction,
whether through pruning or as a result of wind or other mechanical damage.
Also, the Arbutus scrub you get in Mediterranean countries grows back
like no-one's business after being cut back. (I spent a couple of weeks
in Corfu many years ago brush-cutting hectares of the stuff!)
But to get another opinion I've turned to George E. Brown's old book,
Pruning of Trees Shrubs & Conifers, and he says that "one feature common
to all Arbutus is that they regenerate freely if cut back quite hard,
provided the root system and the plant as a whole are in good condition"
- John Mallins (The Pruner's Handbook) says much the same: "all species
regenerate freely" But they both say not to cut back storm or
frost-damaged material until new shoots are showing.
So I'd suggest that as long as you can retain a fair bit of existing
growth, or if you can reduce it progressively to encourage new shoots to
break further back, you should be OK.
Unless, of course, the true meaning of 'over-mature' is clapped out, .
(*They don't like having snow covering their foliage for any length of
time... get out and give 'em a shake if snow settles on them.).
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