a cabbage tree
have three large cabbage trees growing in my front garden, the largest
however is growing against the spouting. This is damaging the spouting
and eaves, but I don't really want to remove the tree. A friend
advised that cabbage trees regrow if their tops are cut off
is this true? If it is true, would it survive and resprout if a
third of its height was removed (to bring it under the spouting)?
trees (Cordyline australis) produce carrot-like rhizomes
deep under the ground, and these commonly can produce new shoots
if the main trunk is damaged or destroyed. The presence of
this underground stem is also the main reason that large cabbage
trees are difficult to transplant.
It is very difficult
to predict whether your particular tree would resprout if you chopped
it back. It is likely that the larger and more developed the
underground rhizome is, the better your chances are for getting
new sprouts. If your cabbage tree has produced branches (as
most older specimens do), then that is probably a good indication
that the rhizome is quite large.
It sounds like you have
nothing to lose the damage to your spouting and eaves means
the tree has to go. I suggest you cut the cabbage tree down
to a tidy stump (maybe a metre in height) and keep you fingers crossed
that it will resprout. Of course in a few years the tree will be
causing problems again with your guttering!
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH