I’m hoping to get some advice on a bottlebrush tree we have at our rental property. I planted it in this little garden bed in the back corner of the property about 5 years ago, it was tiny at the time and I didn’t really do my research in finding out just how big it would grow and how fast! Anyways fast forward 5 years and it’s a tree.. I’ve pruned it back a couple times now but my main concern at the moment is the root system. I don’t know how destructive their roots are but it’s planted roughly 1.5m from the back fence, which sits on a retaining wall - it’s hard to see from the pics but behind the back fence is about a 2m drop off and then there’s a footpath at the bottom between the fence and the lake.
So my question is do you think that over time the bottlebrush could cause damage to the retaining wall?
Our tenants move out soon so I’m trying to decide whether or not I should remove the plant now or if I’ll be safe to just continue pruning it.
Thanks in advance. Jess
@Noelle, hope you are staying safe and well during these difficult times.
Could I please trouble you to give the lovely Jess a hand with deciding what to do with her bottlebrush tree?
i would stick to planting shrubs or flowers by retaining walls..trees with their root systems would over time damage your retaining wall..bottlebrushes would still grow from a stump so either poison the stump or try and dig it out ...or just get a stump grinding guy in to grind the stump
Thanks for the advice @brod
Yeh removing it has been the option I’m leaning towards to save possible damage & costs later on. I’ll try to dig it out otherwise we’ll poison the stump.
Lesson learnt for next time making a garden bed 😅
@Adam_W - would you advise Jess to remove her bottlebrush tree that is 1.5m from a retaining wall?
Hi @prettyliving Jess, to be honest... I'd put bottlebrush in the extreme low-end of concerns about being damaging roots.
Most do like good moisture so they may get into pipes but I'd say as you are lakeside moisture isn't an issue so it won't go seeking out extra sources. Their roots just simply aren't big and aggressive.
If it was at my place I wouldn't be concerned. In-fact... in one of our old gardens I planted a bottlebrush hedge behind a tall retaining wall & never had a problem. (see pic)
If in doubt get a tree specialist to come & look as it would be a shame to get rid of a nice small tree but otherwise I'd just keep pruning it after flowering to keep it nice & bushy & not worry about it.
Hi Adam @Adam_W
Thank you very much for that helpful advice! It defiantly would be a shame to remove as it is a beautiful plant and also provides privacy from the corner neighbours & a lot of shade in the arvo - which is great in summer!
I’m very happy to hear that the roots are not as invasive as I thought.
Is there a reason I should wait until after it’s flowered before pruning? To be honest I’ve never really taken much notice of what time of the year Ive pruned it before, I’ve kinda just done it whenever I’ve had access to the property, either inbetween tenants or if we’ve been there doing other maintenance, so I’m curious to know the benefits so that I can plan for it in the future to keep it healthy & maintained.