The Q&A Archives: Care Of Harry Lauder Walking Stick

Question: I received a beautiful Harry Lauder Walking Stick for Mother's Day, today. I now have to select a spot in my garden for the shrub (tree?). I would appreciate any advice on the correct location for it. I have been told that 6 hours of sunlight is best, with no direct afternoon sun. Help! I have to plant it today!

Answer: This plant does well in full morning sun, and will tolerate up to full sun all day if the soil is relatively moist. It would be better not to place it in full afternoon-only sun as this would be a "hot" location. A sheltered spot is also preferable to a windy one.

It's nice if you can plant it somewhere where it can be easily viewed during the winter when the intricate branching pattern is most apparent. It also does best with good air circulation, so try to avoid crowding it.

The plant can be pruned to control size, but unpruned it grows albeit slowly to a larger size, possibly ten feet tall and wide.

General care would include an application of compost and/or complete fertilizer in early spring and maintaining a layer of several inches of organic mulch over the rootzone year round. Do not allow the mulch to touch the stems, however. Watering in times of drought would also be a good idea, even once the plant is established.

Special care for this plant includes removing any shoots or sprouts that might grow up from the root, since this plant is typically grafted. Pruning otherwise is minimal. You might keep an eye out for Japanese beetles (a spray containing neem will usually deter them if damage is severe).

Enjoy your new plant!

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