Monday, 26 March 2012

Mega -pruning

We "pruned" our Strelitzia nicolai on the weekend. I'm sure pruning's not the right word - maybe hack, slash and crash would describe the process more accurately.

Strelitzia nicolai grow very tall and form large clumps which is all very fine, to a point, BUT they were crowding out everything else in their corner of the garden. They had to be thinned out. When they get too tall they form a long brown trunk with a cluster of leaves on top. Their large blue and white flowers form up amongst the leaves so we don't get to see and enjoy them anyway.

John attacked them with an axe and a saw while I chopped the leaves off the felled trunks. We attached a rope to some to control their fall and reduce damage to the rest of the garden. This was definitely a job for two people. There's a licuala ramsayi  and a bamboo palm under them that have never seen the sun. I'm hoping that we don't get any really hot days or they may burn.

Once they are felled the remaining trunk can be hacked back close to ground level. Luckily their trunks are much softer that tree trunks. The younger smaller plants will soon fill the void. Some of the plants we left are already about 3 metres tall, so it won't take long.

There was a huge pile of vegetation. This is just what I dragged out to give John room to work.

 The trunks will be taken to the dump but the leaves were all shedded to make mulch for the garden. Bringing the shredder to the garden means that it goes directly to where it will be used as mulch.
Not a bad days work.


  1. These type of plants really grow big and profuse, so i don't plant them. I have 3 types of Heliconia and the H rostrata, which i love very much had to go some hacking as you did. But at least their stems are small. Their rhizomes somehow invades bigger areas though. For an absentee gardener like me, it is difficult to have profusely growing plants.

  2. Wow, that's like dropping a tree! What a lot of work, but I bet it opens up so many other possibilities for the garden. Great to have a chipper so you can make your own mulch, too!

  3. Oh! you have a monster shredder, but I guess with plants like that you need it. Those large strelitzia are magnificent plants, and are not often trimmed - what a good idea - I am sure it will look good. The flowers are so often missed among all the old foliage. I have the small strelitzia which I know can take ages to flower, it has been over two years, so I am hoping.

  4. Gill, the shredder's called a Greenfield Piecemaker (sounds like a weapon from the Wild West). It will take branches up to about 5cm diam and even palm fronds.

  5. Oh to live in a tropical location where you can hack back strelitzia nicolai that have grown too bushy and big :)


I would love to know what you think and appreciate your comments.


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