Saturday, 14 December 2019

Pruning But Not Banksias

Second part of Real World Gardener Radio Show


Pruning 101 After Care

You’ve pruned the branches on that tree so you can walk underneath it, but what do you need to be careful of?
Are there trees that don’t really need much pruning at all?
What care should be taken when you finished all that pruning?
All these questions answered and more.
I'm talking with Jason Cornish from
Let’s find out.

For grafted trees, or shrubs, this includes roses, if there is a shoot below the graft, called a sucker, that must come off because it belongs to the vigorous understock.
If left there, this shoot will take over from the upper part of the tree or shrub, which may actually die off if you don’t remove the sucker.
Pruning a peach tree
Pruning fruiting trees is best carried out when buds have begun to swell but not fully open, if you want to do formative pruning.
Remove about one -third of growth each year, keeping in mind that peach trees fruit on one your old wood.
Unlike other fruit trees, peach trees need to be opened up in the centre so that the branches form a vase shape.
Removal of crossing or dead twigs or branches can be done at anytime, as seen in the photo.


Banksia robur: Swamp Banksia
Banksia robur photo Adrian O'Malley
Here we have a small tree that’s gnarly and twisted but its scientific name suggests that it will grow into a strong upright tree, possibly an English oak.

Regardless of the fact that the tree is nothing like an English oak, even though it is robust, the botanical name still remains.

Which is strange, because botanists seem to like to change scientific names on a regular basis.

Let’s find out about it

That was Adrian O’Malley, horticulturist and native plant expert.
The flower spikes appear in autumn and winter, perfect for providing food for nectar feeding birds when food is scarce.
Not grey leaves this time, but they’re really large, up to 30cm in length and quite leathery, with wonderful bluish green flowers.

As Adrian says, if you buy a small Banksia robur expecting it to grow into a shrub, it may just start going sideways and there’s no pruning that will make it go upwards.

Banksia robur photo Adrian O'Malley
Adaptable to most soils and will grow even in drier soil than from where it naturally occurs.
Swamp banksia is fairly resistant to root rot fungus.
The open habit of the shrub and the heavy leaf structure give the plant a bold outline which may be incorporated as a feature in a home landscape or as a group planting in an urban park situation.
Nectar bird attracting,- honeyeaters and lorikeets, also insects
If you have any questions for me or for Adrian, please contact us or write in to

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