Bottle brush (callistemon) question

organicronnieMay 3, 2011

I was growing a lovely bottle brush outside my house, near the sidewalk. I wanted it to grow as a tree - the main branch/trunk had become about 4 feet tall so far and was growing well.

Then someone came along and snapped off the top.

My question is - will the main trunk continue to grow tall, or am I now going to be stuck with a short bush that will just produce a bunch of horizontal branches below the cut line? Any way to encourage it to grow tall again?


ps - I will also move the tree so this wont happen again.

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It will grow a new leader if you contain the lower growth. I would shorten most of any trunk growth to about 2 inches for the next couple of years. When the leader is again growing well I would then remove the trunk growth to about 1/4 inch stubs. Doing this routine should help increase the girth of the trunk and make for a more wind resistant tree. Al

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 9:40AM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

How awful! I'm sorry someone did that to your tree.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 11:27AM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

We had a few of our bottle brushes mowed to the ground a couple years ago and they are all growing healthily and have gotten over 5' tall in the time since the 'crime.' We are just letting them grow in a bush form, but I think they would be more than vigorous enough to train into a tree form if we wanted to. I would follow calistoga's advice and add to it just be patient, it's hard but a lot of times the best thing for an injured plant is to give it some time to grow.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 11:38AM
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If your tree is growing next to a public sidewalk, you might consider moving it. My experience has been that passersbye are apt to want to take home a part of a plant they like.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 1:25PM
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Thank you all so much! If only everyone loved trees and gardens as much as we do
And yes - I am moving the plant away from the sidewalk. I wouldn't have minded if someone cut off a side branch cause they liked it - but this was just broken in half and left hanging.
Anyway - thanks again

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 5:45PM
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