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Plants for Bugs

RHS research project monitoring insects in native and non-native garden border plants.

Wind in the pittosporums

Posted by Helen Bostock Plantsforbugs on 17 Jan 2014 at 12:59 PM


One of the three wind-blown Pittosporum tenuifolium both before (top) and after (below) being staked. Note stake angled away from shrub to maintain leverage


The pre-Christmas gales hit Wisley quite hard, losing a beautiful old Pinus x holfordiana and ripping half of the crown out of our iconic Nyssa sylvatica 'Wisley Bonfire'.


Plants for Bugs was not completely spared either. I assessed the plots last week for damage and listed a total of 12 climbers lying prostrate with broken posts or supports, and 3 uprooted (or partially uprooted) pittosporum at Howard's Field. There were also a lot of herbaceous plant stems that were lying in the paths like a game of 'pick-a-sticks'.


I'm grateful to our volunteers who came in at short notice to help me righten the damage. Dodging yesterday's showers we got everything ship-shape. The climbers are much more secure now we've used cable ties in place of string (only between the post and the chicken wire, not around the plant stems) and the pittosporum are firmly staked. The stakes will have to be in place at least a couple of seasons to allow the damaged roots to anchor themselves back into the soil.


I know Wisley was not alone in suffering storm damage so let's hope for everyone's sake that the worst of the gales are past!



Carolyn and I prepare to tackle one of the toppled climbers (middle of frame), armed with hard hats, a post-basher and some cable ties 


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