How, when and where to prune newly planted trees

jowall(Z6 Nashville TN)April 11, 2012

So I bought some trees at a discount last fall - they'd been out of the ground for a long time - so I got a discount.

Planted them over winter and crossed my fingers. Overall, everything looks good now that the leaves are coming in.

1. One is a Dawn Redwood and it appears that all the growth is coming in strong all the way to the tips of the limbs EXCEPT for the very tip top of the leader. It's probably 7 feet tall now and maybe the top 6 inches are not leafing.

Should I cut the top off to encourage new growth

2. The others are Sycamores (1.5" - probaby 9 feet tall and they are doing relatively well, but there are a very few branches that aren't leafing out on the tips... a couple are probably more than the tips. Some of them are just the tips.

What should I do with these? Obviously they haven't been 100% established as they are getting ready to endure their first summer after being in the ground. I also don't want to have dead wood on these, and I want to encourage new, strong growth.

Trying to post photos... so stand by

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jowall(Z6 Nashville TN)

Picture of tree

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 12:18PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

give the one in the pic.. a couple more weeks ... to see what happens ...

then PROPERLY prune off the dead stuff ... better pix.. will get you better suggestions ... leave no stubs...

try the link for better pic posting ... once your pix are there.. use the HTML code .. and paste it where you type.. on preview.. if you see it.. we will ...

no where to go with the DR.. w/o a pic ...

there is no hurry with trees ...

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 12:21PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Cutting off dead bits serves to tidy the plant up. Cutting back live parts forces it to use stored energy to replace the lost stems and foliage. This is counterproductive where you are trying to encourage rapid size increase. Although sufficiently vigorous plants make long straight shoots in response to heading cuts, the overall volume of the increase in size for the same period of time is less than if the specimen had not been cut back.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 12:40PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

but we in z5.. and probably in z6 .. are weeks behind bboy in the PNW.. and should wait.. just to see what happens ...

you can always cut stuff off a tree later.. you cant staple it back on ...

ken

ps: speaking of which.. i wonder what happened to that one guy who use liquid nails.. his air nailer.. etc.. anyone remember the name of that post.. it should be coming up on a year now..

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 3:31PM
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jowall(Z6 Nashville TN)

So do I cut the entire limb or do I cut only back to the living piece?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 6:58PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Dead limbs should be removed by pruning immediately beyond the branch bark ridge/branch collar. Larger limbs with plenty of growth on the lower portion of the limb can be addressed with reduction/drop-crotch cuts. Reduction cuts are often "discouraged" for really large trees because of the large wounds that are left and get covered over slowly. You can definitely, safely use this type of pruning on your tree and it's relatively small branches.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 10:36PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

So do I cut the entire limb or do I cut only back to the living piece?

==>> i dont understand brandons answer in any sense..

post a pic and we can help ...

if we are talking about a couple inches of die back on a 3 foot branch ... there would be no reason to remove the whole ...

if we are talking 90 per cent.. yes..

you have not provided enough info for a good answer

ken

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 7:50AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Ken, my answer was similar to yours with the addition of recommendations on how to accomplish the pruning.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 9:45PM
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