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cutting a Gunnera


 
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corfiot
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:21 pm    Post subject: cutting a Gunnera Reply with quote

When is the best time to cut off the leaves and place over the crown to protect from frost?
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inishindie
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 10:49 pm    Post subject: bend over Reply with quote

Hi corfiot

I find that the leaves are best left attatched. As they die back now they can be folded over quite easily, this keeps them in place and reduces the risk of them blowing away if they get dry. The emerging shoots sometimes push up the old leaves before the frosts have gone, so keep an eye out for that. You could always put a big pile of straw over the crown as well, that lifts up well with the crown as it grows. this can be pulled off in the spring and used as a mulch. Fleece would be an alternative too.

How old is it?

Cheers

Ian

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corfiot
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ian,it is 3years old,last year i cut off the leaves and then placed them over the crown and then secured a fleece over it.A bit worried as a harsh winter is predicted.The leaves at the moment are still very green and growing.Don't want to get caught out and lose it.
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Prudence
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
I always wait until the first frost hits the leaves, then, as you say, fold them over the crown. I have a huge Gunnera in the field which wasn't covered at all last winter and also a smaller one (I forgot!). It's still doing great. In fact we tried to move it and broke 3 forks trying. Only a digger will move it now, so it's staying put! I've dug up numerous self sown seedlings which were found dotted around the place. They seem to manage without any intervention from me.

All the best.

Sue
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Western
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lads,
Do ye realise that Gunnera is an invasive species that is causing massive damage, particularly here in the West.
You should remove and destroy the plants ye have, IMO.

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Dr. Sunny Thomson
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Western wrote:
Lads,
Do ye realise that Gunnera is an invasive species that is causing massive damage, particularly here in the West.
You should remove and destroy the plants ye have, IMO.


Are you serious?? Bit of an over kill IMO. Whats next, the digging up of daffodils because the bulbs are poisonous to our children.
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Western
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Dr. Apologies for the overkill.
Perhaps have a look at this :
http://www.mayococo.ie/en/Services/Heritage/GunneratinctoriaGiantrhubarb/File,8428,en.pdf
or this :
http://www.biochange.ie/alienplants/result_options.php?species=484&families=Gunneraceae&p=i&blz=1

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walltoall
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:25 pm    Post subject: Giant rhubarb attacks environment Reply with quote

Western,
Can I climb onto your wagon and travel a mile of the road with you? I've seen gunnera take over a whole valley near Dungarvan. I've seen rhododendron take over acres near Tars Bridge. We all know how rhododendron is slowing destroying the mountains behind Killarney. I've seen a succulent (I'll name it later) establish in a space of five years near Muckinish in the Burren. Invasive plants are establishing secretly in sites all over Ireland. I just can't understand the defensive aggression of people who propogate invasive plants. They are like the dog owners who can't understand what the fuss is about pit-bulls.

Gunnera may not be a problem in your parish this year but when you are gone it will take off up the nearest stream. You don't own the earth. You have it on loan from your children and their children. We need to be VERY careful regarding our attitude to plants which can do serious damage to a fragile environment, especially since we are not doing too much about climate change. As soon as the average temperature goes up just ONE degree, gunnera will take off right over Ireland, ably assisted by gardeners who humped it from county to county in the first place.

There are gunnera plantations all over the place, in every county. Many of them started as dumped rhisomes. I can't understand why the Dept. of Agriculture does not demand licences for having that weed on the premises and indeed why it fails to declare out all war on it.
SW

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Last edited by walltoall on Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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Dr. Sunny Thomson
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But surely the Gunnera you both speak of is Gunnera tinctoria, the wilder form. The variety most commonly sold in the garden centers is the easier to control Gunnera manicata. This is supposed to have recieved the RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit). This awards criteria says the plant must be of outstanding excellence for ordinary garden decoration or use and it must be of good constitution.
Maybe this needs to be reviewed if the plant in question is such a threat.
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who told you manicata is easily controlled? It is the largest rhubard of them all (and inedible to boot). At least you can boil the tinctoria if you must. The only gunneras that are appropriate to a garden are the NZ ones.

Manicata was already invasive in West Galway before I left Ireland in 1999. It will be spread to every county in Ireland as soon as the temperature goes up. read my lips. It just has not had the head start of tinctoria, which is seriously affecting the ecology of at least eight Irish counties since its introduction to the country houses in the 19th century.

As a BCTV volunteer, I've slaved against at least FIVE different gunnera varieties in FIVE different shires here in the UK. Gunnera is a wicked invasion but wait til it has global warming on its side. You'll be batin' it away from your front door. Or else your children will. Unless of course global warming is accompanied by decreased rainfall. The one thing gunnera can't abide is the drought. How Irish!

When no-one is looking, I have even painted 'agent-orange' on leaves just to thin it out enough to get even some light onto the ground. Trust me on this one and look up the total gunnera situation on Wiki. It makes salutary reading. The one thing gunnera does not have is legs. It uses the legs of nurserymen amateur gardeners and later, intinerant fly tippers.

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Last edited by walltoall on Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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Dr. Sunny Thomson
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I stand corrected on this one western and walltoall. However what advice would you give to someone thinking of putting in the plant. Just no, or just be careful and dont let any of it escape. A quick query as well, can it spread by seed easily or is it just the roots?
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:53 am    Post subject: propegating gunnera Reply with quote

Gunnera works the rhisome route, like skutch grass. Any little bit of root will take if conditions favour it. The normal way it establishes in a new area is by fly- tipping. 'Contractors' (include travelling handymen esp.) undertake to clean up a garden and remove the evidence. They use whatever tools and techniques they have to hand and tip the debris in a lonely valley, and particularly beside water for some reason. The rhisome then either flourishes or dies.

Ireland is particularly vulnerable to this kind of carry on. The weather is moist, there are no drought periods, the temperature is benign, well almost. It is actually running about 1 degree Celcius under the optimum for Gunnera to thrive. But advancing global warming is already sorting that. If you know you are going to continue to live where you intend to plant the gunnera and to remain there and your children after you and can guarantee the future, plant by all means.

I travelled the Grand Canal by boat from Shannon Harbour to Ringsend in 1966. There were stands of gunnera in at least twenty sites enroute. I seem to remember the worst areas being in Offaly and in Kildare, which coincides with the locations of the Anglo-Irish estates of the 18th and 19th century.

Forty-four years ago I was seeing, with mine own eyes, the development of a problem laid down about 1800, but which had not been able to go orbital due the odd REALLY cold winter we used to get. (1947 being one!) prior to about 1960. Twas after that the snow stopped falling on the Comneraghs. And THAT was the start of Global Warming Irish Style

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Last edited by walltoall on Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:22 am; edited 3 times in total
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i wonder if the cold winter we've had will have had any impact on the gunnera; i wasn't out west during the cold snaps, so don't know how cold it got; but i was out in achill in september and was taken aback at how much it's taken over in some areas. acre upon acre of the stuff.
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:05 am    Post subject: gunning the gunnera Reply with quote

Hi Kneival, I'm outa the country entirely myself and my visits 'home' only take me to the city! But i do know this has been one of the coldest winters in Ireland since 1947 so maybe it'll have done for a whole lot of that AWFUL gunnera I hope so. To really devastate it, though we need a massive cold snap at the end of february and I'm not wishing that on Ireland, thank you very much
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Sb
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Judging by the fat root on most gunnera I would doubt anything but a new ice age would kill them off.
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