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Home \ Discussion \ Conifer FAQ \ Cunninghamia lanceolate avr. Konishii 'Little Leo'

Cunninghamia lanceolate avr. Konishii 'Little Leo' (4 Replies)

Posted May 29, 2015 at 3:55 pm

Is it 3 years since we received this dwarf Cunninghamia? Mine was doing fine but this year I noticed lots of dead branches in the interior of the plant and it appears to be spreading, even though there is new growth. I’m worried this little gem is dying. Does anyone have any suggestions for what I might do? I live in San Francisco and It gets lots of sun and water – it’s in a clay pot (I’m an urban container gardener). Ironically I just gave to the SF Botanical Garden a very healthy, non-dwarf Cunninghamia which was getting too big for its pot. Help! John Copoulos

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Posted May 29, 2015 at 6:54 pm

John, I feel your pain! Mine died the first year, so I purchased and planted another in February. It has pushed nice new green growth. I’m assuming in my area in So Cal it is a Perennial, not an Evergreen. Good Luck!

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Posted May 29, 2015 at 9:06 pm

John, Cunninghamia are known for dead interior foliage. ‘Little Leo’ grows so slowly that theoretically one should be able to keep ahead of it and prune so that there is enough light penetrating the interior. Unlike Chamaecyparis pisifera cultivars, which also have a bad habit of interior browning, Cunninghamia needles are so sharp I would not want to spend much time removing them! I had a ‘Little Leo’ already so did not get the CCY offering. Then mine was overcome by growth from the rootstock, which I did not catch quickly enough, and it turned into a species plant and I pitched it. I also wonder if in your case our incredibly cool spring (I’m in Sonoma County) may be contributing to its apparent lack of robustness. I was at the SFBG’s event yesterday and it was 50 degrees with a stiff breeze part of the time!

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Posted June 2, 2015 at 2:23 pm

Thanks everyone. I ruthlessly cut out as much of the dead wood as I could, fertilized it and mulched with bark. I am guardedly hopeful. At the base, underneath much dead wood, I discovered 2 tiny green shoots so maybe it will continue to grow. My first potential casualty from ACS introductions.

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Posted June 2, 2015 at 4:47 pm

Cunninghamia also bud from old wood, so you should have a good chance of success! I know several people who cut their straight species lancelet down the ground every few years so that they can see the new growth to its best advantage. Good luck!

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