Arbutus: Arbutus tree questions

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by R. Blanchard, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. R. Blanchard

    R. Blanchard Member

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    Powell River
    We have a large arbutus tree in our front yard, the trunk of which divides into 3 major branches or trunks, each about 35 to 40 cm. in diameter. Many of the branches coming from these major ones are dead, there only being leaves at the tops of the tree. During the Dec. 24th wind storm, one of these major branches ripped off, taking with it the top of another one, leaving on it only the major branch and dead side branches, no leaves at all. The only remaining intact major branch/trunk also has a lot of dead wood on it, and for safety's sake, since this one leans towards the house and might fall on it, it needs to be taken down as well.
    My questions are:
    Does the whole tree need to come down, or can the main branches/trunks be cut back to a height that ensures safety for our house, and there is a chance what remains of the tree might sprout some new branches?
    If it won't sprout new branches, would this stump maintain its beautiful colours for some time?
    Thanks very much.
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    WA USA (Z8)
    Sounds like it's dying away. You could have a certified arborist look at it, later in the year when they are not caught up in storm damage amelioration might be easier to arrange than now.
  3. tomauroland

    tomauroland Member

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    Vancouver Island (Nanaimo)
    I am VERY interested in any replies you receive on this.

    I say I have one of the most beautiful Arbutus in my area, which is Nanaimo.(BC)

    I am going to try to post a picture of it -- I was out with my camera several weeks ago...
    Once upon a time..long ago 1975, it was just three trunks...picture now it looks
    just spindly ...Now it is a most magnificent speciman..
    A few years ago it wasn't looking good, but with some seemed to have
    come back...pruning, etc. Now it is 3x the height of my ranch style home...and
    provides shelter for a multitude of different birds..and even shelters ME and my house
    from the wicked winds...the trunks hardly moved in the recent windstorms.

    I think you should have an arborist look at it and see if it can be preserved.

    I have been lobbying to try to get some Arbutus planted locally, and have been
    told there is a virus that is killing many of them in this area...seems to me to be
    a good reason to try to have a moratorium on the cutting of these wonders!

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