Kunzea questions

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paul smedley
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Kunzea questions

Post by paul smedley »

Hello all.

I ache some questions regarding my couple of Kunzea out the back waiting for some care. They are each 4 years old as grown from seed and left since not being looked after. I have 3 bush tick Kunzea ambigua and a scarlet Kunzea Baxter (this is the one that wants to look like a literati unintentionally). I have read up all over and got some info that doesn't seem to be the same.

Back budding. some places say that the ambigua does and doesn't back bud. I have some that are coming up on old wood but unsure if I should cut right down to those which may or may not set. Whereas any baxteri should be able to do this but isn't. bring a newby this is awfully confusing. I need some movement in the trunks but am loathe to touch them.

the Baxteri is going well with the tall trunk and puff at the top of green. i am not sure what to do with this one. I could leave it alone and literati it as that is what it seems to want to do. If i cut the crown though will it force growth or just keep what it has and sprout from way up there?
kunz scar 2.jpeg
kunz scar 1.jpeg
the ticks are growing all over the place.

First one looks like it could have everything taken off it except the growth below the heel of the branch? Just cut off the dead stuff and reduce the amount of living stuff?
btick 4.jpeg
btick 5.jpeg
This i am assuming is ok but should be cut at the heel where the other shoots are coming from, leave the right but trim it by half. or take the right part off and leave the small shoot coming from the left and hope the back budding under it grow bigger?
butick 2a.jpeg
butick 2b.jpeg
Last one (for this post anyway) to be taken off down by the growing shoots under the heel?
butick 1b.jpeg
butick 1a.jpeg
If i am making these cuttings will they grow as cuttings? if this is the case and they do i should wait until late winter to do the cuts?

Thanks so much for the help and photo bomming but this isheloping me immensely.

Ta P
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Re: Kunzea questions

Post by shibui »

Kunzeas are generally pretty hardy. Some species back bud really easy but others are reluctant.
Few low shoots will grow well while there are healthy dominant shoots above getting all the resources. Pruning is the main driver for producing lower buds and for strengthening low shoots.
I agree that it may be too early to prune to those really small low shoots. I would cut the upper ones quite hard now and that should help the low ones start growing.
That may also be the stimulus your baxterii needs. Try pruning right down to the lowest leaves to give it a fright (reduce the auxins from the active tips) and it might just sprout some emergency buds.
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Re: Kunzea questions

Post by paul smedley »

shibui wrote: May 20th, 2020, 6:16 pm Kunzeas are generally pretty hardy. Some species back bud really easy but others are reluctant.
Few low shoots will grow well while there are healthy dominant shoots above getting all the resources. Pruning is the main driver for producing lower buds and for strengthening low shoots.
I agree that it may be too early to prune to those really small low shoots. I would cut the upper ones quite hard now and that should help the low ones start growing.
That may also be the stimulus your baxterii needs. Try pruning right down to the lowest leaves to give it a fright (reduce the auxins from the active tips) and it might just sprout some emergency buds.
Thanks Shibui.
I think (like the swamp cypress) i have fear to cut these little people too drastically and this is something i need to get over. Pouring with rain here today so it is a great time to give them a little care so out with the snips to cut as you suggested and to see how it goes.

Thanks again for your awesome direction.

Cheers P
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Re: Kunzea questions

Post by paul smedley »

Awesome wee session here this afternoon and chopped the kunzea's heads off and now just waiting for a back bud ... hopefully. Another bit of a laugh... the pieces are going into the warm and let's see if they root or whether it will be a funeral.
bushtic cut 3.jpeg
bushtic cut 2.jpeg
bushtic cut 1.jpeg
baxterii cut 2.jpeg
baxteri cut 1.jpeg
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Re: Kunzea questions

Post by MJL »

Good luck Paul - I hope they do bud back for you. I am not sure if Kunzea ambigua reacts the same as Kunzea ericifolia but my ericifolia are still growing profusely - I want out in the rain earlier to take this photo. Hopefully yours sprout too.
IMG_3327.jpeg
Love the passion that you are jumping into this hobby with - may it long continue. :yes:
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paul smedley
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Re: Kunzea questions

Post by paul smedley »

MJL wrote: May 21st, 2020, 6:57 pm Good luck Paul - I hope they do bud back for you. I am not sure if Kunzea ambigua reacts the same as Kunzea ericifolia but my ericifolia are still growing profusely - I want out in the rain earlier to take this photo. Hopefully yours sprout too. IMG_3327.jpeg
Love the passion that you are jumping into this hobby with - may it long continue. :yes:
Thanks MJL
Yes i am jumping in and hopefully soon it will look like yours. Firstly i have to take note of your catchline in your signature though! :lol:
Seeing everyone else's plants really gets me quite inspired too.
Cheers P
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Re: Kunzea questions

Post by paul smedley »

An update re my wee natives.

Both key Ambigua and Baxterii had back buds growing which was great. I chopped the Ambigua down pretty hard with a root prune as well a week or two ago and they now seem to be enjoying the attention. The Baxterii is thickening up at the top so will probably prune this one a little but let it grow tall for now.

A bit of great news though. Back in may when i did the first pruning I decided that i could try getting some prunings to take root ... and they did! a couple of them are happily sending out feelers. i thought i had killed them (which i was prepared for) but they kept their green on so i just kept an eye on them. A few did go toes up but i now have 4 new Baxterii and 3 Ambigua plants that will be tended until they are going well next spring

Woohoo! Yay me.

P
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Re: Kunzea questions

Post by gnichols »

Any advice for kunzea ambigua aerial layering? I picked up a nice starter from H Grant a few months back and tempted to do a big chop, but might aerial layer instead. What is the optimum time of year? I'll snap a few photos this week and seek opinions on future directions.

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Re: Kunzea questions

Post by shibui »

Most plants will respond quicker to layering in spring and summer but layers will still work any time, just a bit slower.
Most kunzeas strike easy from cuttings too so don't waste time layering thin sticks.
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