Trimming Giant Norfolk Island Pine

danuppMarch 25, 2014

I saw an older line of messages on this subject, but cannot find the answer I need. Has anyone ever tried cutting the trunk a few inches above the soil line? Assuming the roots are in good condition, would it re-sprout from the stump? I know this is drastic, but my tree, and its pot are getting too large.

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zzackey(8b GA)

Yes, it probably would, but it would give you two main trunks instead of one.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 4:37PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Why would two trunks emerge from the stump, Zackey?

I don't know this with any personal experience behind it, but I think that your NIP would have a very hard time surviving that sort of pruning. Many woody trees and shrubs thrive with that kind of pruning but most conifers don't.

That's under the assumption that your tree has lost some of its lower branches, normal as it ages, and that you would be leaving a naked trunk. If you make your chop above some healthy green branches, then your tree may grow a new leader. Your plant may look crooked.

BUT, if you're willing....try it! How tall a stump do you wish to leave?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 5:08PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

Any branch you cuts comes back as a double. I cut several hibiscus years ago down to the pot, they all branched out and came back as two canes.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 6:32PM
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Well, if I got two trunks, I could always trim one off. My NIP is devoid of branches for 8 of its 12 feet. On further thought, it might be better, and less risky of a total loss, to get another small NIP, and graft it to the trunk a few inches up. Does the plant take to grating?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 10:26AM
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