Arbutus: Arbutus unedo "compacta"

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by Ellsee, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. Ellsee

    Ellsee Member

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    Just found this site. Fantastic! Wish I'd known about it years ago.

    Simple question: I have a four-ish year old Arbutus unedo "compacta", which is very healthy. I bought it with a very simple label, thinking I could look up its ultimate size and growth rate at home. In all that time I have never seen another specimen or another reference to "compacta". In fact, I was beginning to think it had been deliberately mis-labelled to appeal to those of us with limited space.

    Sorry to ramble - just wanted to illustrate how quickly I was impressed with this forum (less than two minutes!).

    OK. Flattery over. Approximate size info would be much appreciated.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2007
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Some stock offered under this name here appears to be variable seedlings. Assuming you have a true-to-type plant it should be expected to do something like "seldom exceeding 10 ft. high" (Sunset Western Garden Book).
     
  3. Ellsee

    Ellsee Member

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    Thanks - that's helpful.

    Any idea of likely spread anyone?

    Is it best left shrub-shape, or can I periodically remove lower branches to train it into a tree?
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    As for spread, roughly as wide as high: Arbutus unedo 'Compacta' from Great Plant Picks

    I'm not able to expertly help with pruning advice.
     
  5. Ellsee

    Ellsee Member

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    Thanks, both for the info and for the link.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The Pruning of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers, Brown/Kirkham (Timber Press) says (under ARBUTUS):

    "Normally, this group of evergreen shrubs requires little pruning....After planting they should be left to grow freely and no attempt must be made to form a trunk. As the leading shoots extend, the smaller branches inside the bush are deprived of light and die. They should be cleaned out as growth extends, for the bark is attractive....One feature that is common to all Arbutus is that they regenerate freely if cut back quite hard, provided that the root system and the plant as a whole are in good condition. It may be necessary to be drastic in this manner following storm damage, or after a very severe and long spell of cold weather when the foliage and small twig growth may have been killed. In the latter case no pruning should be carried out until new growth breaks out."
     
  7. Ellsee

    Ellsee Member

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    All questions answered. Many thanks Ron and Daniel.

    Regards
     

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