Buttonwood Stumps...fall in my lap


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Tampa Bay Area
So the story goes: On August 29, 2010, I got a call from my buddy’s mom, asking me for assistance hauling away (yeah, I have a truck, I’m used to it) some Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius) stumps that she had dug up in her back yard from along the river*. When I arrived to the scene (see photographs) I quickly noticed that she had pulled up a few buttonwood stumps in the mix. I pointed this out to her, to which she replied “oops.”

To make a short story long, I trimmed up some of the stumps with decent roots, potted in a mix consisting of 1 part turface mvp, 1 part mircle grow and 1 part mixed pine bark and aquarium gravel. This was a last ditch effort mix made up from my spring leftovers plus some. I had a tub and some larger nursery pots that I cut down to training size and potted up the stumps and set them in the shade. Within about three weeks most of the stumps began to back-bud profusely. I was quite surprised not to mention STOKED, as it looked like I may have a few new additions to the collection in a few years. Now it has been two full months since they were potted up. Three of the stumps really budded out, of those three, two grew out quite well. The last one sort of just put out little bud groups of tiny leaves but none of them seemed to grow out any further, and then it just sort of stuck there, no change over the last month or so. The main difference that I noticed is that the mornings and evenings are starting to get a little cooler, dipping in to the 60’s on some nights. I suspect that since this one was the last and slowest to start to back-bud, the cooler temps may have something to do with it.

Question: I need some advice on what may be the problem with the one with the stunted buds as well as some ideas to help it survive the approaching winter. Does any one have any suggestions? I will add photographs of the current state of all the stumps tomorrow.

the river* name does not matter, I’m in Z_9, west FLA


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I don't know anything about buttonwood but it sounds like the one that's dragging it's feet might just be limping along on reserves stored in the trunk and not pulling anything in from the roots. I think the best thing you can do is keep it from getting too cold (whatever the lower temp tolerance is for buttonwood, just keep it above that) and be a little stingy on the watering.
Hey, thanks for the replies. Here are some current photos, the last two are the stunted one. @Grog, good idea about the stored energy, as all these guys were ripped out with a chain and tractor and sat on the lawn for a day until I got to them. The thing has been just like this for about a month or so now.


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