The Q&A Archives: Brachychiton Populn. ( Bottle Tree)

Question: Here in Palm Springs Ca. I have 4 bottle trees. 2 planted in the lawn appear healthy with regular irrigation from the lawn and individual bubblers. The other 2 only have bubblers and do not look healthy. By that I mean they do not look as robust or as green. I do give them all iron fertilizer periodically. I've been told these trees do not like a lot of moisture. Too much and they look pale in color as far as the leaves go. I've noticed these trees in local parks and they look good. Any suggestins would be apreciated. Thank you.

Answer: Brachychiton populneus requires deep but infrequent watering during the summer months. As long as the soil drains well, the roots should be happy in a lawn situation. If water sits around the roots, they may develop root rot. You may have to increase either the number or the size of the bubblers for the two trees that are out of the lawn area. It's important to move the bubblers out away from the trunk as the canopy expands (roots will travel out past the dripline of the canopy) so all the roots get their share of moisture when you do water. Best wishes with your bottle trees.

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