Cruel to be Kind

We have several Crinodendron hookerianum in the garden.  They are very popular in this mild and acidic region of the UK and produce a “stop in your tracks” show with their myriad of crimson pendulous flowers.  It is happy in part shade, enjoys damp conditions and is ericaceous, perfect for our garden.  Its common name is the Chilean Lantern Tree and indeed is endemic to stream side Chile.   The word crinodendron comes from the Greek meaning Lily Tree and although the flowers are unlike any lily I have seen I would guess this alludes to their great beauty;  hookerianum is for the botanist WJ Hooker.  A truly spectacular tree.

Well it was until Superbaz chopped it down.

This might sound a little harsh but in reality it is an attempt to resurrect a rather sorry looking specimen.  Prior to this extreme pruning the tree was at least 20ft high with any flowers at 18ft and stripped of a large proportion of its leaves.  In our environment these trees cannot cope with their heads being too high above the parapet as they get mercilessly blasted by our legendary gales.  They rejuvenate vigorously from the base and we should in the fullness of time (fingers crossed) be rewarded with a compact shrub which produces flowers that can be admired without a crooked neck and retains a healthy covering of leaves.  SB has skillfully reprieved five strong shoots, which are already 3 feet tall, coming from the base.  Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Cruel to be Kind

  1. Nice blog and I agree with you, you sometimes have to take a chance on harshly pruning older plants to kick start them again. I call this ‘the kill or cure method’, Lol

  2. Bosswoman

    Hero and I had been discussing this tree – drastic action is the best way forward.

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