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Cabbage trees

Posted by Bronwyn 
Cabbage trees
June 21, 2006 02:28AM
Hi. I want to plant a couple of cabbage trees in pots. I've noticed that some cabbage trees seem to be self grooming and don't require old foliage cut away from the trunk which means you can see a lovely corky trunk. Other cabbage trees (and I have this one) always need the old, dead, hanging down leaves cut off which leaves the trunk covered in little 'stubs' of the old leaves. I've tried to pull them off but they're too tough. Are there two different types of cabbage trees or is there some other reason the trees behave differently?
Re: Cabbage trees
June 21, 2006 03:19AM
It could be a patience thing. If you leave the leaves for long enough, they will pull cleanly off the trunk. If you try to pull them too soon, i.e. when they are still semi-alive, as you have noticed they are too hard to pull off. I've found wearing gardening gloves helpful if you're wanting to give them a hard yank without damaging the skin on your hands. Apparently it's bad for the cabbage tree if you take the leaves off too soon. Too soon = hard to yank off. I personally have had enough of cabbage trees in my lifetime and intend to NEVER plant another. Whoever recommended them for Queen St in Auckland has obviously never had one in their back yard!
Re: Cabbage trees
June 21, 2006 06:43AM
Hi Browyn
Jennifer 1 you are lucky if you only had 1 cabbage tree I've not actually counted mine (and its too dark and cold to look now) but it is more likely to be 8 - 10 and small ones coming up everywhere. they leave a mess and they do eventually pull off when they are ready I have to use the rake to reach several of mine. some have lovely branching heads are beautiful in flower. I also have a red on in another garden and it seems to drop its leave readily no dangling leaves of note so maybe it is the difference between a true native and a hybrid.
I have several other natives in my garden and I enjoy it despite the mess as I grew up surrounded with mature native bush.
Jean
Re: Cabbage trees
June 21, 2006 07:53PM
I have three cabbage trees. They certainly do make a mess. I collect the leaves and use them for starting the fire. Make quite good kindling. They are no good for the mower get all tangled around the shaft.I would not bother putting them in again.
Re: Cabbage trees
June 22, 2006 12:52AM
I collect mine for kindling too Carolyn.. Make a bundle of leaves, fold them in half and tie around the middle with another cabbage leaf then store in the wood shed.
Re: Cabbage trees
June 22, 2006 06:13AM
Oh I've had heaps of cabbage trees (used to plant them, silly me). I have picked up a million cabbage tree leaves so far, I'm sure. My place is a big mess of titokis, olearia paniculatas, mahoe, horse chestnuts, oaks (of all sorts), plane trees, English elms, gums, kowhais, photinias, cornus, pseudopanax, pittosporum, walnuts (Hi Jo!), a skyscraper of a redwood and hundreds more stuff. I have leaves by the country mile. (Lawn, what's that....) But, unfortunately, cabbage tree leaves rank high in the ugly stakes and I have had enough of them, so......I will never plant another.................
Re: Cabbage trees
June 22, 2006 07:15AM
I counted my cabbage trees today 11 in the front are around the Magnolia grandiflora and other natives and other things all of the cabbages either 2 or 3 trunks. On the other side of the drive are the best 3 of the lot, all 3 trunks and lovely heads. There are 3 more in other areas of the section.
I bring the ute with the crate on in and load up when things look bad.I don't mind too much when the leaves are under the trees its those on the drive and the lawn. No they are not good for the lawn mower then nor is flax.
Jean
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