how to train 1 gallon pittosporums as hedge

elschJuly 23, 2010

Hi everyone. I planted a bunch of 1 gallon Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Marjorie Channon' with plans for approximate 4 ft wide hedge(and 6- 8 ft tall). I have only grown informal hedges so I am not quite sure how to get this to to the desired height and width. When do I start shearing, do I shear just the sides, or the top too and do I need to stake them?

Thanks so much!

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Old wisdom says chop off their heads at planting.

Better practice is to let them get well rooted the first year of growth and then start any "cosmetic" pruning after that.

Marjorie Channon is a naturally dense-growing cultivar and will require minimal to no pruning for some years.

When it reaches pretty close to 6 to 8 feet tall, pinch off the top. When it reaches almost 4 feet wide, trim off the sides.

One gallon plants do not need staking.

Shall we assume that you've planted them about 2 feet apart to achieve a good dense hedge?


    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 11:57PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

I've never pruned my 'Marjorie Channon's. They've grown into a even hedge all by themselves. Keep them well watered the first couple of years especially in hot weather. Water right away when you see them wilting. A beautiful, elegant shrub.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 1:07AM
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Thanks Joe anf HoovB, I planted them more like 3 ft apart , should I move 'em closer, and buy a few more?

The reason I was thinking staking might help them be a tad more narrow and upright was they had some nice tall staked 5 gallon specimens at the nursery.

Hoovb, how wide and tall is your hedge and did you stake yours?

And its good to hear it needs minimal pruning, I was aiming for a low maintenance hedge


    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 5:22PM
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Why is it you want a "hedge" (which requires shearing) instead of an "informal screen" (which requires MINIMAL pruning)?

'Marjorie Channon', as hoovb has pointed out, makes for a nice dense hedge-LIKE plant without much pruning at all.

Staking, by the way, is done in nurseries simply for reasons of transportation. Plants grow stronger and straighter in the ground than in a staked can.

And 3-feet apart is okay if you're okay with waiting a bit longer and not having the need to shear into a formal hedge.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 5:49PM
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hi Joe. I want a hedge because 4 ft. width is about as much space as there is. One side is tree roots which will compete.

The other side that limits their width is they are about 2 ft from my neighbors driveway,so I dont want it to overgrow into their driveway.

My nature and preference is informal, low maintenance. This isn't an ideal spot, but I am hoping I can make it work with a hedge.

So, maybe I should dig them up and put them 3 ft from the property line, even if they are closer to my elm trees? What do you think?

thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 12:54AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Mine have leaned away slightly from the neighbor's trees. They are reaching for the sun. I did not stake mine at all, they grow straight all by themselves, (other than the slight leaning away from the neighbor's jungle).

I think I planted mine on 4' or 5' centers. They are about 5' wide now after 5 1/2 years in the ground. They were planted as 2 gallon size. If you have them 3' apart you will get a fuller hedge faster most probably. The tallest ones are about 8' or a little more and the shortest ones are about 6'. I'll have to find a picture. That really is a beautiful shrub. I would plant more if I had a spot.

I've got a picture, it's the second or third picture down in this blog post on narrow screens.

Here is a link that might be useful: narrow screening plants blog post.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 2:13AM
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