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Adenanthos sericeus (Woolly Bush) Growing & Care Guide

Adenanthos sericeus, commonly known as Woolly Bush and also called Albany Woolly Bush or Silver Streak plant, is a native Australian plant and a beautiful addition to any garden.

Often used as an indigenous Christmas tree because of its triangular shape and silvery-green leaves that resemble a dusting of snow. This shrub is perfectly suited to the Australian climate. 

In our ultimate guide, you’ll find out everything you need to know about growing and caring for this easy and iconic Aussie favourite.


What is the Albany Woolly Bush?

Adenanthos Sericeus: albany woolly bush is a native Australian plant and a beautiful addition to any garden

Source: Thetutuguru.com.au

The Albany Woolly Bush is a perennial small tree or shrub that grows to approximately 1.5-3m in height with a 1-3m spread, making it a great addition to smaller gardens as well as large ones.

Although it has red flowers that attract birdlife, it is the silky, silvery-green foliage that is the main attraction of this tree which is why it is commonly used as a Christmas tree. 

(Speaking of Christmas, don't miss our comprehensive guide to growing NSW Christmas bush.)

When does Woolly Bush Flower?

This is an attractive plant all year round but really comes into its own when flowering during the spring and summer months. The red flowers on the Albany Woolly Bush are small and inconspicuous but are still very pretty. Birds and other native wildlife will love them too.

Is the Albany Woolly Bush Fast-Growing?

This is a fast-growing plant that quickly becomes established if it has well-draining soil and plenty of sunshine.

Growing Adenanthos sericeus Woolly Bush

As with all plants, the Albany woolly bush has it’s preferences for soil type, climate and other environmental factors.

  • Sun – The tree does well in full sunlight but will also grow in light shade.
  • Soil – As a native plant, it enjoys sandy as well as loamy and combination sandy/loamy soils. It can also handle salt well, and is a great addition for coastal properties. In terms of soil Ph, it tolerates fairly acid, neutral and fairly alkaline soils easily. The soil should drain well and not waterlog the plant.
  • Water – It will need regular watering at first, but once it’s established it tolerates drought fairly well. During the first 6 months, water once a week or if you notice the soil is very dry.

    Once the tree is established it should be able to survive well on rain water unless a severe drought strikes.
  • Climate – This tree grows well in all Australian climates, including coastal areas, semi-arid environments, and both cool and warm temperate climates. It will also tolerate light frost.
  • Nutrients – Because it is a native plant, it requires little or no fertiliser, although a dose of a slow release low phosphorus fertiliser like a 13-2-13, a 14-0-14 or a native blend fertiliser in the spring is recommended.

Where to Position Adenanthos sericeus in Your Garden?

The best spot for growing these natives in your garden is a sunny, well-drained position. Woolly Bush will also tolerate a semi-shaded position in your garden. It’s best to plant in autumn or winter. 

Adenanthos sericeus is a versatile plant. Some gardeners like to grow Woolly Bush as a feature shrub. Others use the native shrub as border plants, along fence lines, as hedging plants, and screens. Their dense, compact habit can also provide a good windbreak. 

If grown in a container pot the plant can serve as an Aussie Christmas tree and makes a great alternative to plastic! This is a common use of the dwarf Woolly Bush cultivar, Adenanthos sericeus ‘Silver Sensation’.

Can I Grow a Woolly Bush in a Container or Pot?

Growing Adenanthos Sericeus

Source: Domusnursery.com.au

Yes, this eye-catching Australian native is often grown successfully in large container pots. If growing Woolly Bush in a tub or container it is best to use high quality, low phosphate, native potting mix. 

Although drought tolerant you’ll need to water this shrub more regularly in a pot than if it was planted in the garden. Watering every couple of weeks should be fine. Water more during extended dry periods. When planted in a pot, you will also want to make sure to feed the plant. Use a native fertiliser once a year. 

Growing Adenanthos sericeus in a pot is the perfect solution for gardeners wanting to use the plant as a Christmas tree. This way the plant can live outside most of the year and the pot can be moved inside temporarily at Christmas.

It is worth noting though that this isn’t a plant that can be grown indoors all year round as it needs sunlight to thrive. 

How Do You Propagate Adenanthos sericeus?

You can propagate this plant at home. It’s best to do multiple cuttings at a time, as the propagation is not always successful. All you need to do is:

  • Take a cutting of 5-10cm in spring or autumn. It’s best if you take your cutting from new growth rather than older growth.

  • Place it in a container of water, submerging the cutting completely.

  • Pinch off the leaves at the base of the cutting, leaving 1-2cm of leaves at the top.

  • Dip the base of the cutting into rooting powder.

  • Place the cutting in a small container of soil from your garden or potting soil from your local nursery.

  • Place the container in a spot that gets plenty of light but no direct sunlight, and keep the soil moist.

  • At 3 months, move cuttings that are showing new growth into larger pots and feed with a weak dose of native blend, low phosphorus fertiliser.

  • In 6 months, the cutting should be ready for planting. 

Caring for Adenanthos sericeus

Caring for Albany Woolly Bush is very hands-off. Once established this native plant needs little ongoing love and attention. As a drought-tolerant plant, you only have to water Adenanthos sericeus during extended dry periods, after the plant is established.

The plant will happily thrive on rainwater most of the time. Mulch well around the plant’s root zone to help the soil retain moisture and suppress weeds. This low-maintenance shrub also doesn’t require constant pruning.

Should I Fertilise My Woolly Bush?

Because the Adenanthos sericeus is a native Australian plant, it is well-adapted to the local environment and doesn’t really require additional nutrients. However, you can fertilise your tree with a single dose of slow-release or native blend fertiliser in the spring to boost growth.

It is important to use a low phosphorus fertiliser, as native plants have adapted to the low phosphorus environment, and a high dose of phosphorus may damage the plant. For the same reason, it’s best to avoid using manures and composts on native plants.

Pruning Your Adenanthos sericeus

Pruning Your Adenanthos Sericeus

This is a very low maintenance plant, so pruning is optional. Most people only prune it to create a desirable shape, especially if the tree is growing in a container or more ornamental garden. It can also be cut into a hedge or as topiary.

Adenanthos sericeus can also take a severe pruning well, and should produce strong growth and new foliage after.

Treating Pests and Diseases for Your Woolly Bush

Albany Wooly Bush is a very hardy shrub that is resistant to most pests and diseases, which is one of the best advantages of using native plants in your garden. On occasions, it may suffer from the following:


Caused by the soil-borne Phytophthora cinnamomi fungus, dieback is a severe problem facing indigenous plants in Australia. The fungus can stay dormant for long periods during dry weather, and then spread quickly from plant to plant through soil disruption and moisture.

To prevent it, always use clean tools when pruning your tree, dispose of garden waste carefully, and get soil and gardening materials from responsible sources.

To detect dieback, look for distinct areas between healthy and diseased vegetation, especially in native plants. To treat dieback, you need a dieback treatment solution which should be available at your local nursery.

Small trees with a chest diameter of less than 10-14cm should be sprayed with the solution, while larger trees require an injection of the solution. Treatment should be repeated every 3-5 years for injections and every 1-2 years for spray solutions.


On rare occasions, woolly bushes can get minor infestations of mealybugs, which look like soft, cottony masses on the leaves and stems of the plant. These are sap-sucking pests that can damage the plant, but the main risk is that the pests will spread to more vulnerable plants in the garden. 

You can wash them away with a blast of water from the hosepipe, use an insecticidal soap/spray or neem oil, or make a mix of 1 tablespoon dish soap to 500ml of water and spray the plant. Repeat the process every few days as new eggs hatch. 

Adenanthos sericeus Frequently Asked Questions

Should I use soil improvers on native Australian plants?

Some soil improvers like lime or dolomite can raise the Ph of the soil too high for native plants. Instead, use gypsum, as this won’t affect soil Ph. Check out our in-depth guide about gypsum for more details. 

How do you care for established Adenanthos sericeus?

The best tip we can give for Adenanthos sericeus care is to allow nature to do its job, with as little intervention as possible. Established Adenanthos don’t need additional irrigation and can cope with summer temperatures throughout Australia.

Only water through prolonged drought, and if you notice any signs of nutrient deficiency, mulch or feed it annually.

What are other names for Adenanthos sericeus?

Adenanthos sericeus is also known as the Albany Woolly Bush, or simply, the Woollybush, due to its dense and soft, needle-like foliage, which creates curving branches packed to the brim with fluffy foliage, mimicking the appearance of lamb’s or dog’s tails.  

What is the best way to propagate Adenanthos sericeus?

The best way to propagate Adenanthos sericeus is through cuttings. While it will self-seed in Australian gardens, and can be propagated that way too, propagation from cuttings is faster and can produce plants that are garden-ready in under six months.

How long does Adenanthos sericeus last?

Adenanthos sericeus lives for 10 years before its flowering slows down and its sporadic blooms become a thing of the past. After that, it will still be a gorgeous shrub for its foliage alone, but the bright red flowers won’t have the same vigour or impact as they once did.

Is Adenanthos sericeus fast growing?

In a bright, sunny spot, or well-drained soil, Adenanthos sericeus is a fast growing shrub that establishes incredibly quickly, providing year-round colour and structure in as little as five years.

In the first year, you might get a first flush of flowers too, but the longer you leave them, the better they become.

Is Adenanthos sericeus frost tolerant?

Adenanthos sericeus is not fully hardy, and will not tolerate prolonged frosts. Short spells of frost in mid-winter won’t harm it, provided the ground frost doesn’t last for longer than a week, but they are not used to cold conditions, and are best moved into a greenhouse when frost is predicated, or covered in fleece.

What is the Albany Woolly Bush

Source: Brenlissaonlinenursery.com.au

How tall does Adenanthos sericeus grow?

Adenanthos sericeus is a fairly low-growing shrub, reaching about 5m tall without pruning after ten years, with a spread of 1.5m wide. It is a naturally cone-shaped shrub, but can be pruned hard to encourage new foliage each year.

When should you prune Adenanthos sericeus?

The best time to prune Adenanthos sericeus is in winter. This gives you a chance to cut back quite hard, which will encourage new growth in spring and summer. Just make sure to leave a few green buds below your cuts to give the best chance of a fast recovery.

What is Adenanthos sericeus used for?

Adenanthos sericeus, or the woolly tree, does not have any medicinal uses but is a useful garden plant for attracting wildlife, which will use it as nest sites, and as a food source thanks to its pollen and nectar, which is available for most of the year, and the insects which hide amongst its leaves.

Are woolly bush roots invasive?

Generally, Woolly Bush doesn't have an invasive root system. Its roots are typically non-aggressive, and it's often considered a safe plant to grow near buildings and other structures.

Are Adenanthos sericeus invasive?

Adenanthos sericeus can be invasive, and will easily take over your border without regular care. Remove spent flowers to discourage self-seeding, and dig out any volunteers of new plants that develop from the root system.

Is Adenanthos sericeus native to Australia?

Adenanthos sericeus is native to Western Australia, but thanks to how easily it can cross pollinate with other species in this genus, there are dozens of subspecies found all over the west with each having its own unique traits.

Is Adenanthos sericeus a good Christmas tree?

Adenanthos sericeus is a useful alternative to Christmas trees for anyone with pets or young kids, as the soft foliage is safe and non-toxic (though ingesting large quantities can make humans and pets nauseous), as well as being less likely to cause rashes, and drop needles while indoors.

For more Adenanthos species, check out our growing guides below:

Adenanthos Sericeus (Woolly Bush) Growing and Care Guide Australia

Start Growing Your Woolly Bush Today!

Overall, the woolly bush is a fantastic addition to any garden. It is exceptionally low maintenance and drought resistant, and can grow anywhere in Australia, including the coast. It requires little to no pruning, can grow well as a container plant, and only requires a single dose of native blend, low phosphorus fertiliser in the spring in order to thrive.

Now you have all the information you need to grow this great native plant and enjoy Australia’s own Christmas tree, the Adenanthos sericeus Woolly Bush!

Last Updated on January 30, 2024

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About the author 

Gary Clarke

Hi, I'm Gary Clarke, gardening enthusiast and former landscaper. I have had privilege of sharing my gardening knowledge at Aussie Green Thumb since early 2020.

I have a passion for using native Australian plants in Aussie gardens and I always try to promote growing fruit trees and vegetable gardens whenever possible.

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  1. I had much success with this tree here in Perth, you could say too much success. 2 just fall over and were replaced. I currently have 3 growing, one in the middle of my back yard 4mt x 3mts about 4 high another next to a fence about 4 mts high but slender due to its position amongst trees, the other near a fence took for ever to get going its now about 2 mts high. I’ve had 5 pairs of New holland honey Eaters build nests with 4 of them raising youngs successfully over the past 2 years. One pair is currently with 2 young. My only warning is DO NOT plant near your house, It will become too big, needs an open full sun yard for best results. I have seen a house here in Perth that has grown a few in a line to create a very good hedge.
    Lionel Perth WA

  2. Hi I have a woolly bush in our garden that we planted about 5 years ago, it has grown quite large and has been extremely healthy until recently. It’s foliage has now become very dry and is browning off. We live in Adelaide by the coast. Can you perhaps give me some advice on how to rectify this. I have another woolly bush growing nearby perhaps 3 years old and is doing fine.

    Rhonda West Beach SA.

  3. I have this bush in my yard and I like it. i”d like to have it around the yard. How can I ‘breed’ it? will just cut-off and put in a bucket of water do? Or perhaps just stick a cutout into the soil?

  4. I planted 4 silver Streak( adenanthos sericues) 2 years ago and lost 3 of them replaced them last year and this year i have lost all four. every thing else is thriving. they are partly shaded but get afternoon sun
    4pm onwards
    what are ideal conditions for them

  5. Depends where you live. I’ve had a few people lately struggling with this native, which is odd because it is so very prevalent. I’ve grown many myself.

    The conditons you suggested should be fine. It can be known to struggle a little in area’s which experience extreme heat, but then I’ve had them grow well in Perth and that gets quite a hot summer.

    Perhaps that spot just doesn’t like them, may need to try something else?

  6. I grow this plant on my farm in Queensland. I originally planted 250young plants in a variety of soils.
    All grew well in soils from sandy loam to heavy clay until we had our summer wet season. All those in clay soil died within 1week of getting heavy rain. Some of these trees were 1.5metres tall and very healthy.
    All the plants in well drained sandy soil are growing very well..

    My conclusion is that as a member of the protaecea family they are subject to root rot (phytopthera) which proliferates in wet conditions and where drainage is poor. The remaining trees have now seen two major wet seasons and are growing well.

  7. Can someone tell me if the Albany Woolly Bush would grow near the far north coast of NSW or Southport, Qld. My daughter and her friend like ours which is in Dromana, Vic. and growing very well so far. Although we’re on the Mornington Peninsula, our property is about halfway between the beach and the Arthurs Seat State park ridge and not too sandy or clay.

  8. Thanks for all the great tips, I need to transplant a 2 metre A. Sericeus, any ideas on how to do this. What is the best way to attempt the move so to not disturb the roots? I’m only moving it about 3 metres.

  9. May I ask the reasons for transplanting such a mature sized tree?

    It is possible, but there is certainly the risk of this not working. The root system should be very set and as such, I’d suggest would have to be disrupted to get the tree out in the first place.

    If you do absolutely have to move it, this is the right season to do it in, so that is a positive. You’ll want to make sure you fertilise it with a good native fertiliser and also give it plenty of water, if you don’t get rain of course. You will disturb the roots, it just won’t be possible not to. Just try to dig a enough around it to keep as much of the roots as possible. However even that will be a challenge if it has developed a solid root structure.

    A good article (American, but still generally fits) can be found at http://landscaping.about.com/cs/shrubsbushes/ht/transplanting.htm

  10. we have a row of large pine trees along our fence line with the neighbours which do not provide a very good low screen. We would like to plant bushes that will provide a low screen 2-3m high. Would woolly bushes grow near large pine trees? (we would plant them about 3 metres from the base of the pine trees and they would be on the northerly side and get quite a bit of sun)

  11. Hi, I am wanting to plant a woolly bush hedge in Ballarat. just wondering about how far apart to space the plants and if anyone knows if our constantly wet, cold winter would be suitable or would encourage root rot.

  12. I would expect, if the other conditions are suitable, that you could have some success with that.

  13. I bought one in a pot about six weeks ago. I watered it very sparingly, but now it isn’t looking very well at all. I am considering planting it out. I have poor soil. What sort of soil do I need to buy? I was thinking of mixing river sand with native plant mix, but what would the ratio be? I would appreciate your advice. Thank you.

  14. My Adenanthos sericeus which has been growing very well for about 4 or 5 years suddenly shows signs of drying and the bush has a brown tinge to the leaves. Does this plant a life span of 5 years or is this happening because the bush was pruned in autumn this year? We live in Melbourne and the plant did very well all this time. I would really like an answer.

  15. Adenanthos sericeus certainly live longer than 5 years so it isn’t a lifespan issue. It also isn’t likely an issue with being pruned in Autumn because Autumn is a good time to prune and plant trees. Drying and a ‘brown tinge’ is often a sign of lack of water supply. Do you use reticulation or hand watering or does it just survive of the rain (which they often can). How wet was the Melbourne winter? Was it dryer than usual, I haven’t really heard?

    I’d try and make sure it gets a little more water for a few weeks and see if it perks up. If at any stage it looks to take a dramatic turn for the worst I’d consult a native nursery in your area because they’ll have a better grasp on what could be causing the problem in your particular location.

    Hope that helps!

  16. Hi, I have a Adenanthos sericeus wooly bush which is about 2 metres tall. The bush was leaning heavily to one side so I put bicycle tubes around the trunk and tied them to 2 stakes to keep the bush upright. After a time, I removed the supports and now the tree is listing heavily again and I can see the roots exposed. Is this a shallow rooted bush? Do I need to keep it supported permanently? It is really healthy and about 5 years old.

  17. If after removing the supports it has started listing again, you will likely need to leave it permanently supported. It very possibly could be shallow rooted and that is tough to fix with an established tree.

    Best course of action is to stake it again and bury any roots that are showing. Also perhaps apply a wetting agent around the tree to hopefully encourage any future watering to seep in deep so you may perhaps be able to encourage the roots to grow deeper and support it more. Maybe in a year try removing the supports and see how it goes. If it lists then, you’ll just have to leave it supported.

    Hope that helps!

  18. I wonder if anyone has any advice. I have a small woolly bush which we bought earlier this year. We have not re-potted it as yet and it lives on our balcony. It had been doing absolutely fine until we went away for 2.5 weeks. It had been extremely windy the few days leading up to us going away so I moved it inside as it kept blowing over(I know it is not an indoor plant). Subsequently I forgot to put it back outside before we went away. When we got back it was looking very sad and was quite dry. I put him outside immediately and have been maintaining its water since then. We have been back 2 weeks and no improvements have been seen. I fear it may be too late to save it!

    Does anyone have any advice or ‘miracle cures’?

  19. i have a problem with a Silver streak i planted about 3 years back.It only had minimal red flowers for the first year and then virtually nothing now.The bush is about 1.2 metres high and last year i had to prop it up as was leaning over.I had to cut off one section which had virtually died.Now only bits and pieces of a couple of lower sections are growing (little) and there are still sections which are quite brown.I am almost ready to pull it out as it gets enough water and i planted 2 Magnolias either side of it at same time ;about one and a half metres away from the Silver Streak.Both these magnolias are over 2 metres tall now.I thought of replacing the Silver Streak with a few Lucodendrums? to give the area some colour.Would appreciate your thoughts.Only negative i can think of is it is next to the stump of some tall conifers i cut down;but then again so are the 2 Magnolias which have grown well
    Norm Littlehampton

  20. I live Sunshine Coast Qld and have 3 Wolly Buss plants all 1.5meters. Can I prune these back hard to create fluffier round bushes. They are at present fluffy on top but “sticky ” and bare below.

  21. Hey Leigh,

    Not being super aware of the QLD climate, is it pretty much your dry season at the moment? How cool does it get overnight?

    My assumption would be that you don’t really experience frosts too much (but I could be wrong of course) in which case, it is possible. The best time to prune hard is straight after they flower but I have read of people giving them a hard prune at many times and they have been fine.

    It should be pointed out, any time a really hard prune is done, there are no guarantees they’ll pull through. They really should, but you have to be aware of the risk.

    If you are concerned, what you could try is trim a section of one back and give it a week or 2. See if any buds start showing on the trimmed section. That would be a good sign that they’ll be fine.

    Hope this helps!

  22. I planted a 50cm high wooly Bush in autumn this year and whilst it appears happy. However, it now has dozens of ladybird size, shiny, black flying insects on it. Any idea of what they are and what should we do to get rid of them.

    Also, what are the new natural (garlic and chilli based) pesticides of any value or concern?


  23. Hi I have a adenanthos serices wooly bush it is about 10 years old and it is splitting up on two of the trunks and is going a grey coulour

  24. Hi , just wondering if this would grow ok in the tamworth area, hot summers, frosty winters in black soil…TIA

  25. I planted a pencil wool bush about three years ago in Perth. Unfortunately the tips are turning brown as though it is dying. At the base in the center of the plant the off shoots are all brown. I have bore retic 3 times a week except winter). Would this much watering be too much for the plant? I have just given it a seasol hopping it springs back. I have also tip pruned removing the brown sections. From information I have read it could be a case of month infestation however I cant see any caterpillars/moths? Advice has been use MAVRIC from Bunnings, I am yet to try this. Is there anything else I can do to save the plant?

  26. Hi Leigh – Where did you get your Wooly bush from? I live on the Sunny coast and really want one but didnt think you could get them in qld? 🙂 thanks

  27. Hi there, I was wondering if these guys drop sap at all? I have one in a pot inside and fear it’s dropped sap onto the polished wooden floors. However I’m not convinced it’s the wooly bush.. as my friend has never had this happen. Would love some insight as I’m very confused and can’t find anything online. Cheers

  28. Hi Alexandra,

    Having your woolly bush drip some is not a common occurrence and as you’ve said, there is very little online regarding this issue. It would perhaps be a good idea to inspect your plant to ascertain if there are any potential pests which may be causing the sap issue. If there are other plants nearby, inspect them too.

    Alternatively, you can also take some measures to ensure your wooden floors stay safe, in case. Consider keeping your pot on a larger stand or wooden surface that will protect your floors. You could also place a rug underneath the pot which covers the circumference.

    To combat the sap which has leaked onto the floor, you can use a wooden floor oil soap to remove the stains. Simple soak the sap in the oil soap for 15 minutes. Then, remove the soap with a paper towel and scrub the area with a soft bristle brush.

    Kind regards,

    Gary Clarke

  29. Hi Veronica,

    Sadly, many Australian native plants do not survive major root disturbances.

    Therefore, your Woolly Bush will most likely not make it if you transplant.

    If you do still want to transplant it, then transplanting in cooler months in the evening can help minimise moisture stress.

    Best regards,

    Gary Clarke

  30. This is the second one, many branches are going very dead looking. I have cut some of them off hopng the plant will come back. I am not sure what is wrong. I live in Wellington Point, Qld. Bought this last one from Bunnings in a Christmas tin in a plastic pot. Planted in garden in late January. Any ideas would be welcome.

  31. Hi Sandra,

    Thanks for the question.

    Unfortunately, it sounds like your plant may be infected with dieback. This is a severe soil-borne Phytophthora cinnamomi fungus that affects many indigenous plants in Australia.

    A very common symptom of dieback is when plants begin to show a distinct difference between healthy and diseased vegetation, much like your plant has. Cutting away the diseased branches as you have can help but this fungus will need specific treatment as well.

    To treat your plant, you will need to find a dieback treatment solution from one of your local nurseries. A possible product recommendation could be Phytoclean. If your plant has a chest diameter of less than 10 to 14 centimetres it is recommended to spray the solution whereas larger plants require an injection of the solution.

    Be sure to wear gloves and sanitise when treating your plant as this fungus can easily spread to your other plants. Here is a helpful video for you to watch on how to treat dieback.

    We hope you can bring your plant back. Be sure to stick with a good watering and pruning routine to give your plant that extra boost towards new, healthy growth.

    For more in-depth information on caring for Woolly Bush, be sure to refer to our original guide here.

    Best Regards,
    Gary Clarke

  32. Can I plant these plants out noe in winter (riverland) or wait until until spring

  33. Hi Leanne,

    Thank you for your question.

    Yes, these hardy native shrubs can be planted in winter. They are very tolerant to frost once matured. I see that the weather in your area doesn’t seem to be dropping to freezing temperatures so your plant should be able to establish itself if planted now.

    Try to choose a sunny position in your landscape and plant your woolly bush into well-draining soil for the best results. When spring comes around, you can consider feeding with a single dose of slow-release fertiliser or a native blend fertiliser to boost its growth in preparation for the warmer, more active months.

    Happy gardening!

    Gary Clarke

  34. Why do woolly bushes grow really well then after 5 years a strong wind breaks the trunk by the roots clean off. We have had several native trees do this as our block of land suffers a lot of windy weather up to 90kph. It is so sad to see a big tree knocked over by the wind weather. We live in Murray bridge south Australia. Our soil is originally clay but we dug big holes and added gypsum and loam soil plus compost. We have had about 4-5 trees do this. We have them on a dripper system in the summer time. We have had a decent rain the last few days so maybe this is the reason it’s too wet.

  35. Hi Julie,

    I’m very sorry to hear about all the beautiful trees you’ve lost to the strong winds. I’m sure it can get disheartening.

    Seeing as your area is experiencing winds up to 90kph, it’s understandable that many trees simply can’t handle those intensely strong gusts.

    Unfortunately, we can’t do much about preventing the winds in your area but there are some ways in which you can help protect your trees from wind damage in the future.

    Firstly, here are some of the common causes of wind damage to trees:

    Soggy soil – As you mentioned, you have been receiving lots of rainfall and with the dripper system, the soil may be too wet which could be a contributing factor as to why your trees are breaking so easily in the winds. Trees are more likely to break free from wet soil than drier soil.

    Root damage – Human-caused damages to roots can also weaken their natural support structures. If your roots have been disturbed by paving or restricted by such structures, this could also lead to weakened roots.

    Wind direction and speed – If winds come from uncommon directions with greater speeds than usual, this could shock the trees and cause them to give way and fall over.

    Dead limbs
    – Dead or dying tree branches and limbs are naturally more at risk to fall or break in strong winds. It’s always a good idea to remove these weakened limbs as needed to further protect your trees from harsh winds.

    Here are some tips for protecting your trees in the future:

    1. Always keep your trees healthy – By following proper care for your trees, you can give them the best shot against strong winds. This means following a proper watering, pruning, fertilising and mulching routine as much as possible.

    2. Tree pruning – By pruning your trees in such a way that encourages a strong central trunk you can help to ensure your tree’s main support is as robust as possible as it develops.

    3. Staking – Anchoring your trees with stakes is another excellent way to help protect them from strong winds. Perhaps consider installing a few stakes around your trees and connect them to the trees with strong rope or twine before large storms arrive.

    Be sure to leave some room for the tree to sway naturally when staking. You can refer to our tree staking basics guide here for more information.

    4. Establishing masses of vegetation around your trees – By mass planting trees and other vegetation, you can create a natural wind break that will allow all the plants and trees in the area to shield one another and break some of the incoming winds.

    5. Wrapping tree trunks – You can always wrap your tree trunks in a protective material before strong storms. Materials like burlap or a row cover can help to reinforce the trunks when winds arrive.

    6. Position trees in more sheltered locations – If all else fails, perhaps there is a different location in your landscape that can help to provide a little more shelter from the intense winds. This may mean having to grow smaller trees to prevent damage to nearby structures or buildings but at least they will be more protected.

    I hope some of this information can help you protect your trees a little more going forward. It would be very sad to have more trees being lost to the winds in your area.

    For a little more information, you can also consider chatting to professionals or neighbours in your area to see what they would suggest as well.

    Happy gardening Julie!

    Gary Clarke

  36. Can my Woolly Bush be saved??? We moved from the Hayward California bay area to Southern Oregon. In October the temperature dropped below freezing and alot of it's leaves turned brown. Should I cut ot back???

  37. Hi Graham,

    We’re so glad you found the article valuable.

    The Dynamic Lifter fertiliser you bought should work perfectly for your Dichondra as it contains organic ingredients. They don’t have any notable sensitivity to phosphorus and enjoy a balanced fertiliser rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

    Just be careful not to over-fertilise as this could promote disease in Dichondra so just follow the instructions on the packaging and your plant should respond well to the feedings.

    Happy gardening from the AGT team!

  38. Hi Nancy,

    We had an awful winter here too. We lost some shrubs that are usually quite hardy, but you’re right, cutting them back can be the kiss of life for them. What I’d suggest is scraping back some bark, starting from the dead material. If there’s green, or pale, living growth under the bark, that means it’s still carrying nutrients up that stem.

    Note though, that the growth under the bark of woolly bush will be slightly sappy and a very, very pale green, almost white in mature branches. If it’s dry, it’s probably dead.

    When you’ve determined which parts of the woolly bush are still doing their thing, cut back to the nearest node. Chances are, it is saveable though, so check each branch before you cut it back, and once you’ve found a rough point that it’s mostly still alive, cut back to create a reasonable shape for it to regrow from.

    I hope that helps, but don’t hesitate to get back in touch if you need more advice. And don’t forget that it’s not just you, we’ve had a rough winter across the country, so we know the pain.

    Best regards,

    Gary Clarke

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