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May 31, 2020 10:21 PM CST
Thread OP
Hi all

I really need some guidance.
I had two Australian native Lily Pilly trees for about 5 years.
They were in really bad shape so I cut them down in the hope that they would bush out.
They have indeed bushed out but are no longer growing up.

I have since read that topping trees is a really bad idea.

Especially gutted because I have a host of new very young lily pillys and I also snipped the little tips of the baby plants on top and sides. I really thought I was helping.

Is there any hope? Will they grow a new leader?

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Avatar for CalPolygardener
May 31, 2020 10:58 PM CST
California (Zone 9b)
Hello again!

You can rescue the trees. Pick a new shoot near the top of a stem and tie it to a small stake (bamboo works really well) and pull it up to make a new leader. You will have to leave the stake on for a year or 2 and by then the new leader should be able to hold it's position. I've done this to several trees that broke off or got really bent, it looks kind of funny at first but after a while it grows out and looks like nothing ever happened.

By the way, here we call them Primrose tree or Cow Itch tree. For the flower color or the effect of the bristles in the fruit capsules. Hardly ever see them but they are very pretty
May 31, 2020 11:02 PM CST
Thread OP
@CalPolygardener Thanks so much for replying, I was really freaking out that I had killed my poor trees. lol
I have used some masking tape to tape a new leader upwards.

In regards to my new very young trees, what would you recommend?
Do they also need to be tapped up or will they grow a new leader since they havent really formed a proper trunk yet with their tender branches?

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