Wanting to re-shape a big "ugly" pittosporum (?) - How??

giqueMarch 17, 2014

Hi, ok so quick details - it's middle March and I'm in LA Area; weather is already in the 80s, (if this matters). I have a bunch of 'too big to be cute in this style' ball shaped pittosporum shrub trees, (not sure whether they are in fact pitt.s or whether they are considered trees or shrubs, but I've seen some around the neighbourhood since that are shaped in a more japanese, sorta bonsai style, (please forgive my newbie-ness) and would like to do the same. Wondering the appropriate s way to tackle this if possible. Basically, I want to take the weight out of the bottoms and get these 'trees' to float and grow other things under them. I want them to look more like trees and less like balled shrubs. Ideas, thoughts??
Much appreciated!

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

one method is addressed in a post just a few down from yours at this typing... see link ...

an alternative.. would be to get some good pruning shears.. because for a small investment.. your hands wont cramp ... there is a post in the annuals forum about basic tools .. wherein i think that is covered ...

and you would start pruning up from the bottom.. only leaving the major trunks... to see what you might end up with... and whether you want to remove any of the major trunks ...

and if that fails wildly... lol.. like it does sometimes.. you renovate it in the first manner ...

but all that said... very frankly ... your best option.. is digging it out.. and planting what you want ...

though i might enjoy a 3 or 4 year project .. of renovation.. and screwing around... somewhere on my 5 acres... i would NOT do it right out my front door ... this spot cries out for instant gratification.. subject to budget, or course ...

I THINK ... the picture you might have in your head.. is not going to happen.. in one season of pruning... so it comes down to your personality... and your wants and needs ... and your need for instant gratification ...

lastly ... often.. under such overgrown shrubs.. it can be very difficult to dig.. and have things thrive while getting established.. just for the shear root mass of the monster .... which is another reason for removal ... by which.. thru cleaning out the old.. you can create a good soil.. to grow things in.. even if it is a replacement of the same.. in a new form ....

good luck ....


ps: are those all seedlings of the same plant under it??? ... if so.. another reason to simply find something better .... lol.. get rid of the prior owners mistake.. and plant your own .... when it all boils down.. its too big a plant.. planted too close to the house... [though of course.. with that massive front yard.. what can you do.. but buy a plant with much smaller potential ..]

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 8:19AM
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Thanks Ken,
Sage advice I'm sure. Lol, the pic I sent you is of the much smaller ugly pitt. - the larger one is even closer to the house. They're all over the yard!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 7:32PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I'd cut them down low and start them over from the bottom instead of limbing them up.

Esp. if these are 'Wheeleri', the point of which is to be low, dense and full.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 4:46PM
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