13 December 2018
Gore Gardens rhododendrons get a hair cut
The rhododendrons in Gore’s main gardens received a ‘short back and no sides’ haircut today, the first major pruning in over 40 years.
Gore District Council parks and recreation manager Ian Soper is quick to assure people the rhododendrons will make a full recovery.
In fact they are expected to grow back healthier and stronger, as was the case in the 1970s when a similar pruning exercise was carried out by then parks manager Ian Gilchrist.
“The varieties of rhodos we have in the gardens will regrow from the woody stems.”
Mr Soper is aware of the consternation caused in the community all those years ago.
“I suppose people were caught unawares. It would naturally be a shock if you didn’t know what was going on.”
About 20 rhododendrons, some of which were six metres high, have been pruned back to between one and two metres. The wood and leaves will be chipped and composted.
The shrubs had completely out-grown their plots, and were becoming leggy and unmanageable, Mr Soper said.
The pruned rhododendrons are expected to grow between 10cm and 20cm a year and will bloom again within two years, he said.
The Council will plant old English shrub roses in the area to provide some colour in the meantime.