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Help with leaning Yucca

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by talbius, Jul 1, 2018.

  1. talbius

    talbius Apprentice Gardener

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    Hey all

    Newbie gardener here. Been struggling to find some help online and came across this great site.

    I've moved into a house with quite a big established garden (mainly large borders). At the front is a (what I think) a Yucca tree. About 10ft tall and with quite a big lean to it. My house is on a slope and in an exposed coastal area with winds. Its solid with no sign of falling over. I'd love to know if it is in fact a Yucca. How can I straighten it up and care for it?

    Can I dig down, loosen it and straighten it and support it with a stake? Could this damage the roots?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

    Talbius

    20180510_175914.jpg
     
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    • Gail_68

      Gail_68 Guest

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      Hi @talbius :sign0016: to the forum and nice to have you with us...we're a friendly bunch but many carry great knowledge :)

      You have a Cordyline on your hands and forces of wind can make them sway as I've supported both my green ones in the front garden and I also have a red star.

      I've call in an expert regarding these as @pete as helped me a great deal as mine are doing quite a few shoots from the bottom and coming in well.

      They all grow to different heights and some actually flower :)
       
    • Gail_68

      Gail_68 Guest

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      @talbius if you type in the search bar at the top of the page on the right "Cordyline Tree/s" you'll see the discussions on them come up...until @pete comes on :)
       
    • talbius

      talbius Apprentice Gardener

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      Thanks for the quick reply and welcome! :)

      Ahhh all this time I have been searching for help on Yuccas :doh:

      I'll start to have a little read up on it.

      T
       
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      • Gail_68

        Gail_68 Guest

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        Your welcome mate but as soon as Pete comes on he's knowledge on these plants...good night off to :snooze: :)
         
      • Verdun

        Verdun Passionate gardener

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        Welcome talbius :)

        Looks awful, solitary and unimpressive....doesn't it?:sad: Left as it is, even supported (would look even worse) it will simply get taller and taller

        Cordylines are meant to sway and bend!

        Yes, a cordyline and you have options. No, you cannot dig it up and replant.

        I would cut it down by half.....or to the base. Shock, horror!! It will (should) shoot again maybe from where you cut it, maybe from the base. If it does, select either another single shoot or, preferably, 3 shoots evenly spaced and rub out any others.:)

        I have done this here. I do it with a variegated cordyline....viz., every 4 or 5 years cut down to produce new growth lower down :)

        If it doesn't respond you can always remove it and plant another but, accepting the tree's whim to do as it wants, I think it will respond :)
         
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        • pete

          pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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          I'd leave it alone.
          Looks to me like it's trying to balance itself up naturally anyway, with the side shoot.

          It is very spindly, I think it has had a hard life up till now, possibly planted as quite a large plant, and not really getting going that well, what with being blown by the prevailing winds.

          Not sure what is growing around the base?
          If it's nothing much, I'd be inclined to remove it, and maybe bark or gravel the small area, after giving it a dressing of fertiliser and watering it well in.
           
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          • talbius

            talbius Apprentice Gardener

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            Hey Verdun, Pete

            Thanks for your responses. Two quite different points of view on how to approach this chap. Not quite sure which to attempt :)

            The incline is quite prominent with all the other trees nearby standing very straight. The 2nd head is not doing too well in this heat, think its heat stress. The base of it is just grass and could remove it, but the winds are fierce and I fear bark/gravel will blow away. I could use some heavier stones perhaps and see how it responds.

            I quite like the idea of the cutting at the base if it can't be straightened, but a leap of faith cut is always daunting. Would the new shoots be ok this time of year or is it best waiting? How close to the base could I saw? I could plant the trunk cuttings into some planters at the back and hopefully get some new shoots from them.

            Appreciate the advice

            Talbius
             
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            • Tetters

              Tetters Total Gardener

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              Although my own experience of Cordylines is little to zero, I have used the remedy mapped out by Verdun with so many other plants here, including Mahonias. In every case so far (over 30 odd years) it works!! Pruning seems to be the one thing that new gardeners don`t grasp quickly - and the one subject I wish I had learned properly from day one.
              Why not give it a go @talbius :thumbsup:
               
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              • kazzawazza

                kazzawazza Total Gardener

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                Years ago we had a Torbay palm that grew quite big so my dad dug it up and moved it to another part of garden. It was fine and continued to flower.
                 
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                • Verdun

                  Verdun Passionate gardener

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                  Yes, I have successfully moved cordylines myself; rescued a cordyline that was apparently killed by frost, etc.., and "renovated" them by cutting hard back from 15' to the base. During the odd cold spell down here, frost has "killed" cordylines only for them to grow again from the base. To transplant Talbias' tree is risky to say the least and it will still need to be cut back

                  However, Talbias' tree presents 2 problems....it is in odd position and it has grown in such a way that, apart from severely cutting back, it will never look good. Personally,
                  I would start again with another and planted elsewhere:)
                   
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                    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
                  • WeeTam

                    WeeTam Total Gardener

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                    I would leave it where it is. Remove the grass,regularly feed and water it. It may produce new sideshoots thus balancing it up.

                    Has it become the regular piss post for the neighbourhood dogs ?

                    Or you could wait till next spring and chop it down to the pavement and hope new growth appears from the healthy base.
                     
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                    • Verdun

                      Verdun Passionate gardener

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                      In my experience, cordylines rarely produce side shoots when they have developed as Talbias' tree has done :).......unless cut back.
                      Here in Cornwall, cordylines are everywhere...a feature of many towns. In the past we feared for the loss of them during bad winters but mostly they recovered.....from the base, nature had cut them down......and now thriving as they did before :)
                       
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                      • Gail_68

                        Gail_68 Guest

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                        Hi @talbius I know you have grass growing around it but do you have any shooting on it like this?

                        SDC15185.JPG
                        I cut the ones away as @pete suggested and left this with 3 growing out the actual ground and they've really took off.

                        20180602_131601.jpg
                         
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                        • JWK

                          JWK Gardener

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                          I'd leave it alone, it matches the lean on the silver birch on the right of photo. If it really does bother you then you could straighten it but not at this time of year, wait till winter. It's something I've done with a windswept one in my garden. They take a year or two to recover provided you don't dig them right up , just loosen a bit of soil, put in a stout support and tie a rope, over a period of months gradually tighten the rope.
                           
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