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Stenocarpus sinuatus (firewheel tree) as screen

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:51 am
by bottletree
Hi guys,

I am thinking of using these trees to screen the house from afternoon sun. Was wondering how wide should I expected them to grow in the garden (not so worried about height) in Brisbane? They are to complement a lillipilly lulu hedge growing along the west fence.

I've seen some scraggly ones down the road that don't seem wider than 1.5m, but I seroiusly doubt that they are perfect specimens :? I can prune mine to stay within the confines of my land (they have around 4.5M width to play with), but would prefer they don't grow wider than this. Also, any ideas as to how close together to plant a screen of these trees?

Also willing to take other suggestions too! Native rainforest trees preferred (also, plants that don't drop staining fruit!).

Cheers,

BT

Re: Stenocarpus sinuatus (firewheel tree) as screen

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:53 pm
by Tropicgardener
I had a very large one growing in my Bundaberg garden, they generally have a straight columnar shape with large ones still being 3 or so metres wide at the base. They do not respond well to being pruned, easily getting out of shape and looking ugly.

An alternative is the Indian Mast Tree, whilst not being native it makes an excellent tall screen. More commonly seen up here in the tropics but will grow quite well in the subtropics too.

Re: Stenocarpus sinuatus (firewheel tree) as screen

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:05 am
by bubba louie
Tropicgardener wrote:I had a very large one growing in my Bundaberg garden, they generally have a straight columnar shape with large ones still being 3 or so metres wide at the base. They do not respond well to being pruned, easily getting out of shape and looking ugly.

An alternative is the Indian Mast Tree, whilst not being native it makes an excellent tall screen. More commonly seen up here in the tropics but will grow quite well in the subtropics too.



The Indian Masts I've seen here look happy.

Re: Stenocarpus sinuatus (firewheel tree) as screen

PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:52 am
by Pam
There was a firewheel tree in our previous garden. It could have been anything up to 40 to 50 years old, based on the other trees planted in the garden (what I wouldn't give to have those gorgeous trees again, but that's another story.) Its spread wouldn't have been more than 2.5 to 3 metres, BT, but it was in partial shade.

Stunning, stunning plant, but something you need to be aware of is that seed grown plants (which is all I have been able to find) can take up to 17 years to flower. I certainly wouldn't let that be a deterrant to planting it though.

Totally off-topic, but if you have space somewhere for another small tree Barklya siringifolia is another one that will take as long to flower, but is well worth the wait.

Re: Stenocarpus sinuatus (firewheel tree) as screen

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:27 am
by bottletree
Did not see the flurry of posts in reply to this!!

I ended up planting them about a week after posting this! :S Pam -- they are all cutting grown, so I am expecting flowering in four years or so... I did ask the sales attendant about pruning, and they had said the earlier you prune them the wider they'll go, but no mention of tree shape there... :oops:

The firewheels around the corner from me look like they were never pruned, and they are very narrow (1.5-2) and branch quite late/high up the tree. This made me think that pruning was necessary, but I will definitely bear in mind that pruning may make the shape worse, Tropicgardener :/ Any tips on minimal pruning to achieve a good shape? :) This one here (http://soulsongart.com/2012/02/27/stunning-firewheel-tree/) looks very dense (much nicer than the ones I've seen), is that how they grow without pruning?

Thanks very much for the advice/info everyone (even though I saw it after planting, BUT at least I know not to prune them too much!)

Re: Stenocarpus sinuatus (firewheel tree) as screen

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:24 am
by Pam
My gosh, that is just stunning! :D

Re: Stenocarpus sinuatus (firewheel tree) as screen

PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:26 am
by bottletree
Definitely, Pam! I can only hope my five grow as happily as that one :)

Re: Stenocarpus sinuatus (firewheel tree) as screen

PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:01 pm
by Tropicgardener
Pam, the one I had in my Bundaberg garden was old, huge and beautiful. I ensured that I never touched it but I was growing along the edge of my property and there were power lines in the vicinity but it was still well clear. When Ergon had their own contractors they used to take off small lateral branches and it didn't affect the shape but when the tree pruning contract was let out some mob from Victoria came up and wreaked havoc........They for whatever reason decided to cut the main stem out and take out one side of the tree completely leaving an ugly, unbalanced mess that it never really recovered from. I complained about these southern 'Cowboy' loppers but was advised that they were the 'experts' and I didn't know what I was talking about........apparently a Degree in Horticulture counts for nothing these days :roll: