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Cornus alba

Discussion in 'Other Plants' started by Markymark, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. Markymark

    Markymark Gardener

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    despite there being loads of info on the internet, I really prefer the advice on this forum. It's nice to be able to actually ' speak ' to someone. This Cornus is about ten years old, I'd say. I really only bought it to grow and cover the fence at the bottom of my garden; I just liked the colour of the leaves! I now know that these plants are generally bought for their winter stem colour. With that in mind, and whilst I am being 'prune-crazy' in the garden, is it right that I should cut this right back to the base, again. Just wondering what it would do if I just left it. Last year, I cut it back very hard and did panic as to whether it would grow back. Thanks...
     

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    • "M"

      "M" Total Gardener

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      When I had it in my previous garden I trimmed it/pruned it late March.
      If you do it now, you wouldn't get the joy of those beautiful red stems during late winter; snip-snip gone! ;)
       
    • Sandy Ground

      Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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      I used to do mine about the same time. The one thing that should be attended to at the same time are the lower branches that touch the ground. These have a tendency to root.
       
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      • noisette47

        noisette47 Total Gardener

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        Yep, March is good...just before the leaves emerge. It's worth giving it a good feed and soak afterwards, though, to keep it strong and healthy.
         
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        • shiney

          shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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          It also depends on what the leaves are like. There are many albas and a lot of them have different types of leaves (and flowers). If they have pretty leaves, and a lot do, then you also want to for its appearance when in leaf. For instance, variegata or hedgerow gold have quite pretty leaves (both are variegated in different ways. some also turn a deep red in the autumn. Some have flowers are quite bold and others are insignificant.

          If you want to have them for their leaf/flower as well then you cut one third of the branches back to 6" each year. Then you get the best of both worlds. We have a number of different varieties and treat them differently.

          As an example:-

          This is one of the variegata varieties
          333_3330.JPG

          and this is an aurea variety that starts off light green in late Spring and turns more gold in the Summer.
          333_3365.JPG
           
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          • Markymark

            Markymark Gardener

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            Beautiful! I'm going to leave some branches and cut some! Thanks...
            Am just posting my last ' what the hell is this post'
             
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            • Sandy Ground

              Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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              I admit to being a bit sad about the fact that mine had to be removed due to the new drains I laid last year. They gave colour all year round.
               
            • "M"

              "M" Total Gardener

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              :waggy: You only had to move them ... not kill them!! :rolleyes:
               
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              • redstar

                redstar Total Gardener

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                have these, never pruned, not planning to prune them, do not see a need.
                 
              • shiney

                shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                I prune them for three reasons: to keep them under control, to give them a more open appearance and to get newer stem growth that has a brighter colour. :)
                 
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                • Sandy Ground

                  Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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                  There was nowhere else to put them. They couldnt go back where they were due to the positioning of a black water pump. :mad:
                   
                • redstar

                  redstar Total Gardener

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                  can't upload this neat picture of clear ice hanging from the red branches of this shrub. oh, well.
                   
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