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Ivy dying?

The ivy in my back garden is now falling away from the wall. This is the first time this has happened in over 30 years. Would you have any idea why this is happening? JoeBrophy, , Co Dublin Posted: 01/12/2016

Old banks of ivy on a wall can get heavy and fall away, especially if it is a windy spot. Try reducing its load in March and consider securing it with wires if necessary. 

Some kinds of ivy are better grippers. 


plant pronounced 'k -toni-astor'

I planted this at the front wall of my house thinking it would grow over the wall but it seems to just grow upwards and seems to sprawl all over the place. I'm not sure how to look after this plant and make it look nicer than what it does. At the moment it just looks awful. Could you tell me what to do and how to look after this plant??? Apologies but I'm not sure of the actual spelling of the name but that's how the person who gave it to me pronounced it. It's there about 8 years so it's quite big. maggot12345, Newport, Co Tipperary Posted: 12/08/2015

Cotoneaster, and it sounds like the herring-bone cotoneaster, does sprawl and it not a climber, as such.

But you can prune away the parts you don't want, now or in the winter, to put the shape you want on it.

It might need a couple of wires, fixed to the wall, to hold it in place. 


Magnolia Tree not Flowering

I have a magnolia tree that was planted 3 years ago. It is in a sunny position and seems to be flourishing with plenty of new leafs but it has not flowered yet. Is there anything I need to do to get it to flower for next year? Lisanne, , Posted: 20/04/2015

A young tree that is flourishing is just making its framework of branches and will settle down to flower in a couple of years, gradually.


virginia creeper

I have to train a large Virginia creeper up a wall but I can't screw anything into the wall as it is hollow (I think it's externally insulated). Is there any clever method for attaching something to the wall that the climber can then use? issy, , Co Wicklow Posted: 24/03/2015

Virginia creeper has its own little suction pads to attach itself to a wall and needs no support at all.

Simply pin it at ground level within some stones or hair-pin shape wires and let it get on with it.

It might be worth enquiring if the insulated wall is robust enough to support a climber when mature! 

  Cedrus Atlantica 'Glauca Pendula'

Cedrus Atlantica 'Glauca Pendula'

I have a Cedrus Atlantica 'Glauca Pendula' which is 5 years old. It's about 5ft tall and the leader has now reached the ground. I am wondering what i should do next, if anything, to help it change direction? Renrael, Bansha, Co Tipperary Posted: 12/08/2013


The weeping Atlantic cedar only weeps because it has been trained up on a stem. Without this, it would just straggle along the ground.

Left as it is, it will just from a mushroom shape at the same height. 


If you want to create a higher tier of branches, you will have to fix a stake to the existing support stake, making sure it is not already rotten, and then tie up into position a suitable branch or branches over a period of years.

Wind can interfere with this so the branches need to be secure. Tie with soft string to avoid damage to the stems and re-tie as needed.


  Replanting Nothofagus antartica

Replanting Nothofagus antartica

The above tree, southern beech, was blown over a year ago. Its about 4 to five meters tall. I pulled it back up and staked it firmly. Its growing quite well but recently the tie broke. I fixed it I feel without the staked support it will fall over again. Can I dig it up and replant it so that it will have a firmer base? It has a lot of sentimental value as well as being a nice tree. Scrubber, ., Co Carlow Posted: 26/05/2013

This tree has a better chance left where it is, than moved. It would be better supported by a tripod of tall slender stakes about 3 metres long, set up wigwam style with the tree at the middle, and tied off about two-thirds way up the tree.

This arrangement allows the tree to move, which is essential for stem development, but supports it too and can be left in place for years as the tree improves its own anchorage.

Clear all grass and weeds to a diameter of two or three metres around the tree stem to encourage vigorous growth.


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