How to prune a HUGE frangipani??

merrily(NSW Aust)June 20, 2004

HI there - having read the large numbers of emails about Frangis - I figure someone must know the answer to this - so here goes.....

We have moved into a house recently where there is a frangipani that has been allowed to grow rather large and rangy. It is across a window and about 4 metres or more high - not compact and pretty at all. We'd like to cut it right back to allow sunlight in the house but do not want to do away with it completely. How do we do this?? Assume we wait until the last leaves have dropped (on its way but slow to go naked!) - but more of concern is that the leaves and flowers have all been on the end of the L O N G rangy branches and that there is no density in the tree - so we may be left with nothing but trunk stubs. If this happens - will the leaves etc come away again next summer??

Thankyou in anticipation of your replies!

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ashmeri(Cent. Qld.Aust.)

Merrily, you can prune them, cut the cut on an angle so that when the stub dries water won't get in there, you will find they are very forgiving and will sprout out qhite well for you in the Spring.
How cold is it where you are ? if too cold leave it till it gets warmer.
Marion

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 4:13AM
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merrily(NSW Aust)

Thankyou for taking the time to reply. It is close to Sydney - maybe 10 -14 degrees - higher some days for a bit- not a lot of rain yet!
So - if I cut this 4+ metre tree back to say 2 metres, this will leave mostly thick trunk stubs and not a lot else. Will the tree still forgive me and sprout bushy buds and smaller branches down lower? If so then maybe I can encourage it to be something more picturesque and not the big rangy thing that has flowers too high to appreciate.
Thanks again for your help.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 9:18AM
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ashmeri(Cent. Qld.Aust.)

How thick are the trunks, I think I would leave some of the thinner branches on as well , I know my area and wouldn't worry too much but I guess your growing conditions are different.
In Townsville they have them as street trees and the council regularly chop hunks out of them under the power lines and they regrow well.
Marion

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 9:39AM
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Fairlight(WA Australia)

Hello ... Merrily, if you're still out there, I'd love to know whether you went ahead with the frangipani pruning and how the tree reacted?

Fairlight

    Bookmark   January 11, 2005 at 3:26AM
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merrily(NSW Aust)

In answer to your question.....I went ahead with the pruning first with trepidation and then with bravado - These trees really DO survive! The cut areas wept a bit but it did not last for long -- I just ignored it and the stump dried up. I was lazy and left the cut off pieces sitting on top of the spa pool cover out of the weather for months and they went ahead and grew leaves and buds right there!!! WOW!! (IT must have been the sap in the branches! And I am not sure if this is really an approved horticultural method hahaha!) Anyway - a couple of weeks ago my husband planted some of the off cuts and they have immediately set root and grown flowers. The remainder of the tree has of course kept growing it needs another hefty prune I think - and I just checked the branches that I did prune and see that some new shoots have grown very well off them. All in all - I would say these are very forgiving trees and well worth cultivating. One last note - if I had gone ahead and chopped the tree right down to base I would say it would simply not have a good shape. Better now to remove the old tree and plant a few of the young'uns I would say.

Have a great day in the garden everyone! :-)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2005 at 4:15AM
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Fairlight(WA Australia)

Thanks for the update, Merrily. What amazing trees they are! One day I hope I'll be needing to prune a huge frangipani - I've never had one and all mine are still small. :)

Fairlight (who got caught the other day nicking a 2m-long broken-off branch from a house demolition site ... oops!)

    Bookmark   January 20, 2005 at 1:30AM
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meggs(WA Aust)

Ha, Fairlight this is not nicking this is taking slips :-)!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2005 at 2:09AM
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boody(NSW Australia)

I read your encouraging words but am still a bit scared to a ttack my tree. We built an extension hard up against the tree so had to remove all the branches onthe building side, These were lopped in july but there is no sign of any new sprouts. The rest of the tree is very leggy and I would like to cut it back so it bushes out a bit but not prepared to take chance until I see some sprouting on the older prunes. My tree would be around 30 years old. NSW Mid North COast

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 3:17PM
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boody(NSW Australia)

I took advice from these posts last July as I was building an xt hard against the tree. The branches on the house side a sprouting and heading away from the house toward the light. I am about to do a bit bolder pruning this winter BUT I am also worried because soemone told me the rotten limbs (small) which occur here and ther are full of borers.(I can't see any) but am worried they might eat my house.
Iam so glad we left this huge old frangi in place so we have a lovely shadyarea in summer prvoded by a large fig and the frangi.
I am also about to prune the fig but don't want it to end up mis shapen. Any tips??

    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 4:41PM
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mistymorn(Brisbane.S.E.Qld..)

I would not worry you just go ahead and prune, It may be best if you prune your big tree in the spring...Have a look at the link below... I have recently taken about half the branches off my red frangipani, if you are worried about borers do a check every week.. And this time last year I dug up a 3mt high Fig tree and all the soil fell off the roots so after I planted it again I pruned almost half of the branches off, you should see it now its so bushy and beautiful, be bold have a go those fig trees are as tough as old boots....Cheers..MM.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pruning Frangipani

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 1:17AM
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ouzel64_yahoo_com_au

hey there mistymorn and all... glad to see a current post on this subject... we've got a medium sized frangi (about 2 metres) kinda scraggly due, I think, to the inconsiderate possie the previous house owners put it it. Now I'm getting ready to renovate that garden bed and want to transplant the frangi. Any advice from you fabulous generous gardeners?

(I was thinking, give it a good prune once it goes dormant- i.e. once winter comes which it is taking its sweet time about, this year!! :-( and transplant it once the stubs have hardened off a bit. Or is that putting just way too much stress on it?)

thanks and happy gardening!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2006 at 10:28PM
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meggs(WA Aust)

Leah,
I think frangis are pretty hardy and it is too early for them to loose leaves just yet, mine are still flowering. You can prune at any time, warm weather is better as it does not set them back that much, also taking cuttings is better in summer despite many recommendations to do it in winter. I trimmed my daughter's frangi and as it was flowering put it in wet sand in a nice vase in the house. It was about 2-3 months ago. Once the flowers droped, followed by old flowers it reshot and now has new fresh leaves. I never watered it. I would not bother with transplanting your tree if it is big. Just cut the biggest branch, let it dry for a week or two and replant it where you want it, you do not have to water it in winter, nature will do it for you.

By the way don't you think we had lovely rain over the last two days :-).

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 5:31AM
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sueviewing

thanks for all the info on pruning frangipanis...I'm in WA on the coast and have 2 frangipanis only 3 years old. Both are subject to strong winds but seem to cope. I am concerned about the one in a large pot though, it is getting big and I was going to move it but don't really want to so I may prune it instead and change the potting mix...any thoughts?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 9:05PM
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sbrow156(Cairns QLD Australia)

I really want to prune my ones but they are only new and have not flowered for me yet...i would love to see them flower first and then prune them off but am afraid they may not (seeing they are young) and then I will have just wasted all that possible growing time...also i heard pruning in summer is better...and seeing it is coming into summer...its the perfect time right now right?

Sarah

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 8:08PM
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ds9619

I have two potted frangipani which are about a metre and a half tall. Problem both is do not have any branches. Looking for some advice on pruning. I want to take back to about 50 cms hoping to encourage branching. Is this advisable? If so I take it I should be cutting at an angle?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 3:50AM
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sbrow156(Cairns QLD Australia)

You can prune on an angle. It won't change the branching unless you prune through a node. Pruning on an angle is purely for decorative look. People think it looks better. I do agree in that aspect. 50 cms sounds fine. Just make sure there are enough nodes under the spot you prune so that the plant will branch.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 5:05AM
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ds9619

Thanks. Didn't want to botch it and kill them. Will wait till it warms up and give it a go.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 9:10AM
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