Ceanothus damage

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Alexiamei, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. Alexiamei

    Alexiamei Member

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    I have a ceanothus whose leaves have turned dark brown after the recent spell of heavy snow and very low temperatures we've had in Wales (and Britain) in December (-9 definitely some nights - low for this part of the world and up to about 30cm of snow which was there for at least a week). The leaves are elastic still when you touch them so not dead yet. Are they likely to go back to their normal colour or are they likely to die? I am not sure if pruning is an option because it is all the leaves of the plant that are affected and not just some, so I would have to remove pretty much the whole thing! Shall I wait till spring and see what happens? It does look sad and fairly ugly at the moment and that's why I'm tempted to pull the whole thing out. (It lost a lot of leaves in later summer too so does not look as dense as previously.) My neighbours plant also has similar damage only the leaves there are a much lighter brown.

    Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Wait until spring to see what happens. If it has shoot death, it'll likely die outright, but if only the leaves have been killed, it should re-grow well in the spring.
     
  3. nic

    nic Active Member 10 Years

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    The same thing happened to one of my cotoneasters (I have never been able to find out which it is, it's a self seedling, has long oval leaves and is about 12 feet tall). It looks truly dreadful, and will for a long time as it is always late coming into leaf. If it doesn't put up its little pale green candles of new leaves (which is when it drops last years') by late April I may assume it's dead (-12 here, and deep snow for a month, well, deep for us) and coppice it, and wait and see again. I'd have to coppice it to get it out, as there's no room to do it any other way, But is it worth waiting, to see if it shoots from lower down? I am fond of it, it has creamy heads of flowers a bit like a rowan, and keeps its berries a long time, when fieldfares don't find it, so the blackbirds, who come in pairs, not dozens, sit there nearly all winter, and it is usually a cheerful festive red and green at Christmas.
     
  4. Alexiamei

    Alexiamei Member

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    I know it is hard to wait till spring but it is probably the best thing to do in both our cases. I think with the cotoneaster you have a better chance than with my ceanothus. I don't know if I will be able to wait though. Every day I look at its sorry state from my kitchen window and want to get the secateurs out! You had a lot of snow up there - I've been reading about it.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The cotoneaster might have been C. lacteus.
     
  6. nic

    nic Active Member 10 Years

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    I don't like that"might have been"!

    Thanks, Ron B, but the leaves are longer and the veins not so prominent, and the berries are as dark as a common holly. I did a lot of looking online last night, and the nearest |I can get is Hybridus Pendulous.The other cotoneasters produce seedllings profusely, this one doesn't, so if I'm right in thinking that hybrids are generally sterile, that may well be it. It's been a good garden ornamental, and I shall give it every chance.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  8. nic

    nic Active Member 10 Years

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    Ooh, yes, I do want to look at that! Might be in the botany library at the University, unlikely in the city library, but it is my birthday next week...

    Very cold again today, and the path is strewn with crispy frozen cotoneaster leaves. I daren't look at anything else, I lost all my lavenders, all the big leaved hebes, and a lot of herbaceaous perennials last year, and the big leaved hebe(which popped up out of nowhere last spring and grew a foot tall over the summer, since I'd lost its parents, I left it there, although it's not where I'd have put it myself, but I have noticed that plants thrive where they put themselves) that I can see from the window looks very sad. Can't be helped. We don't get weather like this, not two years in a row, not in the thirty years I've lived here.
     
  9. nic

    nic Active Member 10 Years

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    The cotoneaster has survived, with a small amount of damage to some of the shoot tips.
    I hope the ceanothus has, too.
     
  10. Alexiamei

    Alexiamei Member

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    My ceanothus did not survive because it looked so bad that I pulled it out (patience is not one of my gifts - not a good idea if you garden). I have put a box plant in its place and lots of cottage garden perennials (hollyhock, digitalis, lupins etc).

    But my neighbours had a very tall ceanothus which they left and in late spring last year it had green shoots, all at the top, and looked reasonably nice last summer and all through the winter. Unfortunately, about a couple of weeks ago, they decided to cut it all down and only leave the main trunk at about 1.5m heigh in the hope that the shoots from that will grow on.

    I was not a happy person as I had a wonderful blue-lilac clematis that over the years had grown all over it and they decided to cut it down when the clematis was in full bloom! Had they left it a week later or cut it a couple of weeks earlier, I would not have noticed.
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Not likely to grow back well from old bare woody stem.
     

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