Callistemon (white bottlebrush) Transplant Not Happy

piperhansonJune 21, 2013


A couple months ago, we transplanted a beautiful Callistemon (white bottlebrush) "Canes Variety" (aka "Pink Stiletto" or "Pink Ice") from a 25g pot that it had burst through on our deck. Unfortunately the tree slowly turned brown and didn't look like it was going to make it despite the trees reputation for loving clay moist soil where we put it.

The tree then had some soft silvery growth at it tips so we garnered some hope, but now that has dried up and has fallen off.

To prevent us from giving completely up on it, the tree seems to have a few greenish spots that weren't on there before (?) despite mostly looking brown.

Is there any hope for this poor tree? Will it have a miraculous recovery next spring?

It was one of the prettiest trees we had. Now the neighbors wonder why we are keeping a dead tree planted in our front yard! :-(

Thanks for your thoughts!

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Something about the move killed it.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 2:22PM
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gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)

If your plant was growing in a typical potting mix while in the pot, especially if it was potbound, the root ball will dry out quicker than the surrounding moist, clay soil into which you planted. I will often drip a hose on the root ball as supplimental watering until the plant has a chance to establish by growing roots into the surrounding soil. If the two mixes are very different, it can make the adjustment more difficult. Did you loosen the roots or amend the soil at planting time?

While it does not look healthy, Callistemons are tough plants. Are the branches dry and brittle or, if you do a scratch/cut test, firm and green? Mushy green is not good, but healthy green means it could releaf after getting over the shock. If branches continue to die, then it likely is checking out. On the other hand, I have seen plants come back from just a section of trunk remaining. Would be sad if it it had to restart from that point, seeing your nice photo. The truth is, I can't tell if it is dead without seeing it in person. But I hope some of my info helps you determine if it is truly dead.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 1:21AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

how did you plant it ... everything can grow in clay ... it is usually the person planting in clay.. that messes it up .... [the diversity of your plantings supports this]

and on the last pic.. whats that monster staking all about ... but that is for another post ....

and where are you ... looks like CA to my MI eye ... but that is a WAG ....

and finally.... how about a closer pic ... especially what you think is new growth ..

i have had improperly transplanted conifers and trees.. lose every single leaf ... but if properly watered.. recover.. eventually ... most trees can releaf ... but it take a month or two .... IF WATERED PROPERLY ... i learned to avoid such.. by not transplanting when they were in leaf... in the PROPER SEASON ... in evergreens.. that is late fall/early spring in MI ... in most warmer climes.. it is winter .... ergo.. why i ask where you are.. and when you did this ...


    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 7:54AM
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