Dormant bud attachement strength on 4ft tall tree

toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)May 24, 2011

Pretty much I have yet another Nyssa Sylvatica suffer die back then regrowth the year after it was planted. In the past I thought "boy I did something wrong planting or caring for this one". This year I'm inclined to leave the fella in place and see what happens its second year in the ground.

If I prune back the top three feet in a week or two will the lower branches all grown from what I guess are dormant buds along the trunk be firmly enough attached the tree stands some chance?

Nyssa doesn't get huge huge and it isn't over my house or the road so.

Oh, background. This is a grafted "wildfire" I bought locally about this time last year. The remaining sprouts there are all "wildfire" red. I did snip a couple greens which started way low. Gallon, 3 gallon pot, whatever. Amazingly NOT root bound. Just did a little teasing and it looked ready to plant.

Clay base soil...10 to 6 sun...right on the edge of the wet spot in the yard...thanks to the mulch trapped in the fence it looks like the tree is planted lower than it is.

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Dan Staley

are dormant buds along the trunk be firmly enough attached the tree stands some chance?

Crapshoot.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 1:31AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

reduce to one.. above the graft if possible.. and wing it

the trick is cutting off the dead without knocking off the live ...

perhaps cut the dead back to a foot or two high .. and worry about the precision cut in a year or two ...

part of your loss problem is that trees should have been planted in very early april .... not a couple weeks before the heat of summer ...

ken

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 7:52AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

IMHO, let it grow as is for the summer, so that you get as much leaves as possible to photosynthesize as much as possible, so that the roots don't starve. Then next spring wait to see that they are budding properly, then select a single leader to become the new trunk. FWIW, I have done this with several trees that had various issues, and you can ultimately recover a tree in this way. Long term attachment will be fine, this is very similar to bud grafting. There will be some additional shaping in the future, but you should be able to recover your tree.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 10:00AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

BTW .. was that mysteriously the level of snow cover.. or dont you get snow???

do you recall any hard frost or freeze.. earlier than normal.. before the tree started shutting down in fall ...

did you continue deep thorough waterings through late fall ... or too much water late in the season???

did you plant with fertilizers ... which may have triggered late lush growth instead of allowing fall shut down ...

doesnt look like it.. but did you apply a late fall lawn fertilizer ???

all issues to contemplate when wondering why it failed back to that level ...

ken

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 4:12PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

toro, does it have live buds within the canopy or is that all dead?

Both the species and 'Sheri's Cloud' started to leaf out a week ago for me. Nyssa is extremely sensative to root disturbance...although you'd think a #3 with a little teasing would be fine.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 4:45PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Thank you for the words of optimism. We will give it another year. Then assuming it does not die back again I will prune for structure.

No, no fertilizer lol. That grass is entirely on its own. The location is probably 100 to 150 feet downhill from the septic though.

This is the largest transplant I have done. My method for potted plants is pretty simple. Remove the zoysia from an area of soil about the size of what you see mulched. Cut the pot away, tease out the roots and plant. I do not bring it back to bare root but I do try to tease or stretch out any curling roots.

Snow cover was pretty steady this winter now that you mention it Ken. We had up to a foot down at different times. Interesting. We had some solid cold spells but no real negative numbers. A solid zone six winter with much above average snow.

Too much water is more probable than not enough. With the similar Nyssa aquatica I figured this one would not be that sensitive to some dampness. But heck, a regular species Acer palmatum did five forty feet away but it has been in the ground five years or so.

whaas, it has buds. I have taken the pruners to a couple branches with poor structure and have found nothing but death up above. Perhaps it was just that root disturbance.

Good word about the bud grafting. Makes me feel better.

So my plan is cut that dead top back to about a foot above the growth next week than prune for structure next year if it doesn't die back again.

Dies back again and POOF! Its getting uprooted and planted in the walnut row out back.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 9:44PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Here is what i have this year. An attractive nyssa bush! Lol

I must say the fella grew back a couple feet. Assuming it leafs out normal in the spring the plan is to cut off the lowest rung of branches.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 8:46PM
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j0nd03

I am doing the EXACT same thing with a seedling nyssa. My nyssa bush has not turned color yet but did have 4 suckers grow over 3' this year. Good luck with her! I am taking notes. ;-)

John

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 9:24PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

Snow cover was pretty steady this winter now that you mention it Ken. We had up to a foot down at different times.

====>>>

so.. snow is a great insulator.. under the logic of get it dormant .. keep it dormant ...

the part protected by the snow.. retained its viable buds ... and survived ...

the part exposed to the elements.. failed .... perhaps repeated freezing and thawing over the winter.. warmish days.. darn cold nights.. throw in desiccation from the winds ... and recent transplant ... and bingo.. it dies above ...

no reason. as the root mass increases.. that your little bush.. with some selective pruning.. shouldnt take off like a rocket next year ...

it all kinda argues against large transplants.. this being your largest transplant ... i guess it showed you..

ken

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 8:52AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Looking good toronado. BTW, when did it stop growing? Has it had time to properly "harden off"? It looks like it did from what I can tell from the pictures, but when you get regrowth like this, sometimes they keep growing for too long, and you will end up losing the tip due to that portion not completely maturing before leaf drop.

FWIW, I think you will be fine.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 8:57AM
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j0nd03

Ark may or may not be referring to my experience. A hard frost got the leading 2-4 leaves on each stem last week. Never stopped growing from April. It looks like it might try to push another leaf or two out on each stem still as it appears as if new leaves are trying to emerge. A little too vigorous maybe? We have had a couple more frosts since the hard freeze including last Friday night and last night. Hopefully it will slow down now.

John

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 10:03AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

I did think of John's Blackgum while posting, but it is a common problem when trees are trying to recover from this sort of damage. I just wanted to try to make sure that tip lose due to late growth, was not confused with the die back that occurred before.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 10:36AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Thanks guys.

It has gotten into the 30's here a couple times but the lantana is still growing so nothing hardy should be affected.

I ASSUME the nyssa is hardening off as it is changing colors for fall.

The more I think about last winter the more I think it was consistently cold which in a way is abnormal for StLouis. Nothing much below 0 F though. The Japanese maples and Prickly pear cacti did fine so it better have been transplant shock.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 11:01AM
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j0nd03

We had a late frost that killed the central leader of my nyssa (about 3-4' section). It had began leafing out then WHAMMO hard frost as new leaves were emerging. Central leader died, canopy was riddled with small leaves and the mechanical damage from a poor staking job at the nursery was looking very bad. So I cut it way down to where the suckers were going gangbusters. Looks almost identical in shape/form to yours.

We had quite a bit of snow here, too. Maybe around 8" a couple times??? We also never dipped below 0*F with our lowest low at 3*F.

Are you going to take pics after the leaves fall off for pruning advice?

I do not mean to hijack your thread! Tell me to go away if I am intruding :)

John

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 11:47AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Oh, no problems.

My plan is to prune in the spring. Seems safer in the event something dies back or gets attacked by hungry rabbits over the winter.

Figure i would like to take the branch with the highest attachment point but what if a lower one is taller?

Who knows lol.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 1:01PM
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j0nd03

My thinking is the trunk is between a quarter and a half dollar in thickness. The new growth is considerably narrower than that. I think I am going to prune to the growth nearer the ground almost out of site cause it is gonna look really ugly for a few years.

I think it is a very good/prudent decision to wait until next spring to prune for the reasons you mentioned. I still need to put up a browse deterrent cage around it BUT the cage would have to big enough to keep deer out as they are the only animal that has eaten the tree so far. They did quite a bit of "natural" pruning for me about a month or so ago.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 2:10PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Duuuuhhhhh, The other thread on storm damage just joggle my brain enough to realize this link would be useful to you guys as well. Sorry I didn't think of this sooner.

Arktrees

Here is a link that might be useful: Restoration pruning

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 5:48PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

^It seems like you would follow the rules for topped/cold-damaged trees and let it grow for for a few years and then pick a desired stem to be the leader.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 1:23AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Now that is a pretty decent link! I especially like the pictures!

So think it says i should cut off the bottom third of the new growth?

Here is a link that might be useful: curbing

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 11:43AM
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j0nd03

Link is b0rkEd toro

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 12:26PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Arktrees, you asked about my nyssa. It is doing ok. I snipped off a couple slow growing but highly placed buds. The old trunk wood was half dead where they were attached I found.

Its back to maybe five foot tall (1.66 meters Resin). The japanese beetles are hitting it up still and just now after our month of drought do I see some burning foliage. Of course on what will probably be my choice as a leader lol.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 9:15PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Arktrees, how is yours doing? Your weather is equally hot and dry I believe.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 9:18PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Toronado,
Sorry for the LONG delay. Looks like your tree is doing much better. Now is a hard part though, choosing a leader. It's hard to cut off all that nice new growth so that you will have a more structurally sound tree. I had to do this with our Paperbark. It will be a a number of years before it looks "normal".

Our Blackgum is doing well. It is next to a drainage ditch, that while dry since April, is a low point for some extra water to collect. I've also made sure it's gotten supplemental water weekly since the worst of the heat and dry have hit. We were -11.5" (56% of normal)of rain on the year last week, but got a good rain over the weekend. Now were only 10" below normal. Watch for possible cankers on your tree. I've had to prune out a couple of small cankers over the last couple years, one of which removed the central leader 2 years ago. I think the canker problem is due to the tree being highly stressed when planted from being VERY pot bound, followed by me hacking the crap out of the root system. It sat for a couple years, but is growing nicely now. I established a new dominate leader, that has put on about 2' of growth so far this year, with a second flush of growth likely for later in the summer.
John, how is yours doing?

Arktrees

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 8:34AM
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j0nd03

Well... this late winter/early spring before bud swell, I selected the uppermost growth to be the leader. It was not the most vigorous sprout by quite a bit. Sprouts from the base originating a foot or more below this one were about 2' longer at the end of the selected leader growth. I then removed some of the sprouts with poor attachment and then trimmed the remaining sprouts back to a horizontal branch all at least 6-8" below the selected leader tip. This is what has happened this growing season. Looks all too familiar... the new growth from below just grows too darn fast for the selected leader. Advice appreciated otherwise I will just redo what I did this past spring until the new leader is too tall to be out grown by the sprouts.


By jp_42_82 at 2012-07-10

John

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 9:22AM
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j0nd03

Forgot to add the deer have already top pruned the bush this year although it shot out more new growth and the damage is no longer visible.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 9:29AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Obviously, the selected leader hasn't established goo apical (top) dominance over other buds. Also the fact that it is not growing as fast, and has not from the beginning, COULD be a clue that it's vascular connection to the root system, may not be completely intact. Having been in the ground a while now, at the end of the season you potentially could be able to see differences in the way the remnant trunk adds caliper (i.e. a side that has obviously not added caliper) if you have dead tissue. From your description, you possible have one side living (with the selected leader) and one side not. In the end you may have to select one of the other shoots instead for best results.

If however, the above is not the case, I would likely completely remove the other shoots (next spring or late winter), so that everything gets channeled into my leader (next spring), and it's branching. If you do this, there will likely be more buds sprouting from around where you removed the other shoots, but if you remove those as they form, then the leader will have an easier time to attaining dominance, and once it does and grows enough leaves, they will stop sprouting. I had to remove some low branches from our Acer trifloum last winter. Many new sprouts formed around where the old branches were attached. I removed them about 3X, and there have been none since.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 11:44AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

John, the top branch of mine only put on six inches of growth where one under it was maybe two feet tall. So I pruned just below the top branch. Upon inspection there was a good amount of dead wood in that inch thick trunk.

Maybe that is happening in yours. I suppose my dieback did not end at an exact point but ended gradually.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 12:17PM
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j0nd03

Thanks guys. I got in there yesterday and took a look. Sure enough, the branches I pruned to lateral branches this spring are nearly as thick as the top of the trunk stub so it probably is not getting good nutrient flow that high. When I pruned it last year, I also removed about 2" above the leader shoot and there was a lot of dead wood in that section but everything below the chosen leader look good at the time.

John

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 9:19AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

John,
I my experience, it is not unusual for there to be additional death of a branch once pruned. I did something similar to our Smoketree. Made sure I cut only at all green wood, just above a new growing point that was vigorous. Guess what, yeap, on the side opposite the the shoot, there is a strip of tissue death 2-3 inches long. It is not encapsulating it. So IMHO, it's not unusual. If you notice on plants fresh from a tree farm that have been pruned to create a new leader, there is almost always about a 1" stub beyond where the shoot was selected, and my guess the above is the reason why.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 9:37AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

John, how is yours looking this fall?

Mine did pretty well with the drought. To be fair I did water the nyssa a bit but only after my Metasequoia dropped its first set of foliage and Cornus controversa started wilting. Perhaps because the roots have an additional couple years of growth on the foliage but it never looked sick this summer.

Deer browsing pending I am going to prune about a couple of the would be leaders away in the spring and see if it doesn't make a tree yet.

It is kinda surprising me how late my small fella is staying green. The big regular nyssas in my sister's neighborhood are in full fall color. Perhaps because of the cultivar's southern roots (southern scion should I say lol?) or perhaps just because sometimes smaller trees seem to stay green longer.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 4:45PM
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j0nd03

Toro, I also have noticed growth from blackgum suckers stays green very, very late. Last year mine never even changed. Just stayed on the tree until frost finally knocked them off. It is doing similar this year staying mostly green so far. There was some color but two consecutive nights in the mid to upper 20's browned the leaves that had color. The rest are still just as green as can be.

Mine is now about 6' and above the deer browse level. That is a solid 6' of growth in two growing seasons NOT TO MENTION all the current leaders were pruned about 2' shorter than they were at the end of last year as I was encouraging one leader and trying to force the pruned ones into lateral growth. That didn't work out so well. On all the pruned stems, a bud (or 2 in some cases) just apical to the lateral branch shot up and made a new leader(s). Take note how many crossing branches and new growth there is even after a heavy pruning this spring. The pruning is now only noticeable at the lateral/leader junction. Also note how the suckers are now as thick or thicker than what was the central leader trunk. This tree has been vigorous to put it mildly. Once I get this thing in tree form, its gonna fly! But getting it to that point has not been easy. Still, a fun project in my early arbor education =)

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 3:36PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Hey Guys,
Just a little FYI. Your trees were transplanted AND had large canopy lose. I would not expect normal fall coloration (whatever that is with Wildfire) for at least a couple years yet. To give you examples, our seedling Blackgum did not color at all for a couple years after planting, and it has gotten better each year since. The biggest Blackgum I know is oustide the building where my significant other works. Probable a 20"+ trunk. She has worked there for 20+ years, and said it always turned the brightest purest red every year that you have ever seen until.......... after the ice storm of Jan 2009 where it took MAJOR damage. Luckily the tree was able to be saved, but it lost probable 40-50% of it's canopy. It has had next to no fall color since until this year, it began to developed some. It has taken a few years of it pouring all it's energy into regenerating lost canopy, that it did not spend any generating fall color.

So I would expect your trees to generate fall color in the next couple of year. JMHO.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 5:17PM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

Your nyssa's shoots are extra invigorated because of it having lost its top. It will take a while before the growth becomes more "normal", i.e. when the roots and crown are in better balance.

As far as getting it into a normal tree shape, you want to gradually cut out the other suckers FROM THE BASE over a period of several years. You can limit the growth on the others you intend to cut, but haven't cut yet, with some top pruning.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 8:05AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Looks like another spring of good growth. Man this fella is red. Rivaling my nearby crabapple. I removed a couple of the side branches after I could tell the buds at the leaf tips made it through winter and before the tree broke dormancy.

Ignore the mess of a lawn. Tomorrow if I get home from work early enough I promise I will mow, and maybe trim.....at least mow lol.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 12:15AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Halloween again and I am updating the old thread.

Looking back it seems I have deeper color and more spots on the foliage this year compared to others.

With the annual round of pruning early next spring I bet it starts looking like a real tree again.

This post was edited by toronado3800 on Thu, Oct 31, 13 at 1:41

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 1:40AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

why not take a couple of the lowest branches now???

why waste energy.. next spring .. on budding out that which will be removed ...

if the tree is dormant... what difference does it make if you do it now.. or late march???

i like to SEE progress ... no delayed gratification in my pruning world

ken

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 7:25AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

I understand Ken!

My theory, the new buds are made already. They are just hardening off.

I will prune at the first sign of life in the spring before they open. There is a color change in the buds I swear I can see.

This leaves all them extra branches on hand all winter. That way if a deer or whoever comes by to nibble them side branches I do not want anyways might be easier to get to than the leader. At least there is a greater chance of the critter not picking the leader.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 9:30AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Probably a couple weeks early but I made another round of pruning cuts. I left the leader and two other branches in an attempt not to remove too much more than a third of the foliage.

I also have a suspicion trees put on more growth/girth near or down from live branches so I left a live branch on each third of the tree. I did make a "heading" cut on the two non leaders.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 10:23PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Looks like an actual tree now - good work! The one trunk definitely shows dominance over the other two and appears it will make a nice, permanent single stem soon.

You can probably take those two other small "trunks" out entirely next year, or at least one of them, anyway.

This post was edited by hairmetal4ever on Wed, Mar 12, 14 at 9:00

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 11:09PM
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j0nd03

Looking good there, Toro! I got tired of pruning mine and swung for the fences this spring - removing all of the competing suckers. Mine is now just a single trunk specimen.

From this:

To this in one growing season:


That first pic was taken in the fall of 2012. I did subsequent pruning on the tree in the spring of 2013 to eliminate most of the clutter you see then just a couple weeks ago I removed what was left. So it didn't get hardcore pruned from pic #1 to pic #2

This post was edited by j0nd03 on Wed, Mar 12, 14 at 11:27

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 9:41AM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Looks great, John!

It's nice to see multiple pieces of evidence that the resprouted trees do look like real trees again after just a few years.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 11:00AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

IMHO, this has been an excellent learning experience, and VERY instructive for whomever may come across this thread in the future trying to address this or similar issue. It is certainly true attachment from a "sprout" can be very weak, but it is not as straight forward as that IMO. In this case, the sprout relative to the original trunk is a relatively small ratio. By the age of 10 years, the new spout may be 5" in caliper, and the original trunk 6", with any weak attachment long ago taken over by new more solid wood. The difference is basically meaningless at this point. This is in fact is no different than our grafted redbuds, sugar maples, oaks etc. However if you are cutting 6"+ branches with new spouts coming out at 1/2-1" size and they are very likely to fail/rot set in, before there's any possibility of complete recovery/sound structural support.

JMHO,
Arktrees

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 11:58AM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Very true. Both John and Toronado's Nyssas were probably (from what I can see) no more than 2" caliper, max, at the time they died back to the ground and resprouted. It appears each season that the thickness difference between the old trunk and the new sprout also shrinks over time, as the sprout "overgrows" a bit to "catch up" so to speak.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 12:51PM
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j0nd03

Oh, Toro - that color change in the buds you mentioned previously is on full display at my house. Things about to get poppin

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 1:21PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

John - give that tree maybe 2 more seasons and a casual observer won't be able to tell anything ever happened.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 11:38PM
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j0nd03

I hope you're right, hair! If you think the way our blackgums have healed is neat, I might send you a photo series of some ash trees I cut in half and left for dead (before I knew anything about trees). They were 1-2" caliper and how quickly they compensated for being cut is pretty amazing. I did it on some oaks as well and they were almost equally impressive.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 8:18AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

j0nd03, I bet you see some growth off that one remaining trunk. It's going to be green until December! It looks amazingly good for the amount of surgery you did. Let me know how it grows this summer.

hair, my plan is to remove the remaining two trunks this time next year. Maybe they'll distract the deer from the main leader by giving them something to munch on besides the leader I care about.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 11:38PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Any spring pics to share? Probably not much growth yet (the Nyssas here have only about half-full size leaves as of yet) but it would be interesting to continue to follow these trees as they recover and grow.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 11:41PM
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j0nd03

Hair, a late freeze completely fried about 1" of new growth a month or so ago. The whole tree was filled with crispy black leaves. It has since fully recovered and the new growth is about 3-4" and still pushing.

I have had to remove suckers from the base twice so far this year.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 9:12AM
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thapranksta(Mid TN 7A)

I'm in a similar boat as what is described in this thread. It's possible that I may have lost my entire tree and am re-starting from a tiny sucker. My tree is the ungrafted main species tree, only 42'' tall and the trunk is not very thick.

My question is...is it possible that I can get away with just pruning off all of the suckers next Spring assuming others pop up and just keep the dominant one? Since the tree is relatively young, it seems that there is not much reason to wait for years for the sucker to thicken up to more closely match the base. I would not cut off the possibly dead portion until next Spring along with the non-dominant suckers.

This post was edited by thapranksta on Mon, May 12, 14 at 16:43

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 4:42PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

Thanks for keeping us in the loop. It's fascinating to see the journey.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 1:45AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

j0nd03, yours must be happy. That is quite a bit of growth considering the freeze.

The pic of mine is from 5/3. It seems to have flower buds this year. I did some more pruning and next year should have a tree form going again.

thapranksta,

"My question is...is it possible that I can get away with just pruning off all of the suckers next Spring assuming others pop up and just keep the dominant one? Since the tree is relatively young, it seems that there is not much reason to wait for years for the sucker to thicken up to more closely match the base."

Mine was a little different. The regrowth was from just above the graft. I let everything that would grow grow at first because I wanted to keep the nutrients flowing up and down the trunk for fear if I did not most of the root system would die. I always read its bad to remove more than 30% or whatever of a tree's canopy and that had me thinking. It will probably be 2020 before the base of my tree looks entirely normal so I am not disregarding your idea, just saying what I did.

I also think by the end of June it will be obvious if any buds are going to sprout from the trunk of yours so you may as well prune off the dead of the trunk then. Flush with the ground perhaps!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 1:47AM
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beng(z6 western MD)

Flower buds! Look like male flowers tho.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 11:06AM
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j0nd03

Beautiful leaves, Toro!

I wish my Wildfire had turned out to be true. It ended up either a plain old seedling that was mislabled or the Wildfire graft died long before I purchased it and the rootstock had taken over. I bought it dormant of course. It was not the blackgum that I am retraining.

Also, I have planted 4 blackgums and only one has suckered. It was also the largest transplant.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 11:21AM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

Awesome update!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 1:22AM
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j0nd03

Another quick update - shoots have grown about 10-12" and still extending - callus formation is evident on all the pruned branches. The first two pics were taken yesterday.


It will be interesting to see how this repair process plays out. This pic was taken a couple weeks ago.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 9:14AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Neat perspective. i will have to get a peek at mine. With all the pruning we have each done I suppose a good amount of growth on the remaining branches is to be expected.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 11:44PM
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j0nd03

Almost 2 weeks from the last pics and the callus' are really thickening up nicely B)


This post was edited by j0nd03 on Thu, Jun 19, 14 at 14:15

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 2:11PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

By the end of this summer, or at worst, next summer, you probably won't be able to tell anything happened. At least not without specifically having to look for it.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 2:29PM
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thapranksta(Mid TN 7A)

I've now officially joined the 'Blackgum Baby Bush Club'. lol. I went ahead and cut the dead main truck down to the ground. Now I have about 5 or 6 suckers competing to become the new leader. The longest two are maybe a foot tall.

You guys have definitely created an excellent case study and shown what can work for this situation.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 9:30AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Not a great picture, I am back to the old Galaxy S after breaking my Note twice lol. But it shows how red my Wildfire is.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 10:33AM
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calliope(6)

I also have a black gum baby bush. Some sort of animal took it down two springs ago, the spring after we planted it, and we didn't have much to work with, but mine looks swell this spring and growing well. I'll add a pic to the gallery soon. It survived the winter without missing a lick, and probably because it was under deep snow most of it.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 4:31PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Bump to the top for new posters that are having similar issues.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 9:07PM
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j0nd03

The progress continues...


    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:08AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Thanks for the update John, your baby is doing well. It doesn't seem to be minding all the extra rain you are getting.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:34AM
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calliope(6)

Here's my Baby Blackgum Bush so I can join the club, too. Taken to within a foot of the ground sometime during the first winter it was planted. Probably deer, maybe rabbit.......could be both. It was just a small one, maybe two or three gallon size but had put on great growth after a May planting. We did the pick out a leader routine as well. I think we are now on third year in situ and put up wire fencing in winter.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 4:57PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

calliope, I kinda like the look of yours! Almost graceful.

This fall I am going to carefully saw off the two subordinate leaders left on mine. The heading cuts I gave them in the spring seems to have driven more energy to the main leader I picked.

j0nd03, yours is ahead of mine far as sealing off the pruning cuts. Especially after next year mine is going to have some encapsulation to do!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 11:47PM
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j0nd03

A couple weeks from my last update. The branch callus' closed about a week after my last update. The large wound is still slowly closing.

Pics taken this morning.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 11:22AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

John,
Everything looks to be going well. Almost to complete recovery.

You also learned something else yesterday. Attachment is just fine, otherwise it would have snapped off in the derecho we both were hit with yesterday.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 12:11PM
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j0nd03

Calliope - what a cute tree!

Ark - That derecho was stout. It blew over several large mature oaks. The largest one I saw was around 50-60' tall and wide that laid completely over on its side!

Toro - As long as your tree is growing vigorously, I bet it should encapsulate the wounds pretty quickly.

2 week update - check out the taper on the lower half of the trunk!



    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 8:08AM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Lookin' good!

I heard about that derecho. We haven't had much in the way of severe thunderstorm weather like winds or hail this summer, but the 5" + of rain over the area did a number yesterday. Although it was more a soaker than thunderstorms, there was still a huge differential in rainfall totals - where I am we got 2.5" - the airport 15 mi away got 6.2" or so, and some areas maybe 30 mi north barely got an inch of rain, and areas 50 mi east or west got almost nothing.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:16AM
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j0nd03

Probably only have around a month left before its leaves turn. I don't know how much caliper it will gain in the meantime but it is still adding some now.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 8:03AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Final closure will be next year it would appear, still it has come a long ways in one season. I completely missed your last update, not sure how that happened except that it must have been in one of those weeks I was working entirely too much. In any event your tree is looking great and is providing an excellent education to many here.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 2:00PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

That is sealing up nicely. I am thinkin about doing my pruning of the other trunk sprouts in the spring. The heading cuts seemed to really let the leader I chose dominate. I THINK leaving the lower branches on deters the bucks from rubbing and if the tree does not grow in the winter then no difference.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 11:00PM
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j0nd03

I agree with you, toro. I also think multi trunked trees are not favored by bucks for rubbing. Even if a buck does fancy one, your odds of getting any particular trunk rubbed are diminished.

Your thinking for multi trunks and spring pruning were exactly what I had in mind with mine. I am pretty nervous now that it is one trunk a deer will ravage it this fall. I am going to protect it like I did my other trees and pray.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 7:53AM
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j0nd03

Sooooo close...

    Bookmark   October 2, 2014 at 9:52AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Four months and I'll be making the pruning cuts to turn it back into a tree.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2014 at 8:26PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Guys, how are yours looming this fall? The foliage on mine is a good red and stayed pretty good quality all year.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2014 at 8:30PM
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j0nd03

Your tree looks extremely happy, toro! I bet it takes the pruning cuts like a champ and continues to really take off. It appears to have grown at least 2' looking at the new growth shoots.

Most of my leaves that have fallen did so without color change. We had a warm spell last week/weekend that killed a lot of fall color around here. If it does get some color going, I'll let you know =)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2014 at 8:04AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)


Overall I am split on my cuts. That higher flat one MAYBE shoukd have been at a 45 degree angle. Can't believe how thick that co-dominate leader I cut back last year got.

Hey, it looks like a tree though and hopefully encapsulates those ugly cuts well.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2015 at 9:29PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

J0nd03, got any updated pics of yours? Even in the last one you posted it was close to sealed up. How long did that take?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2015 at 9:32PM
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j0nd03

Toro you are going to love the results with that pruning IMO. What a fantastic specimen it has already grown into with your help!!

I would only make one small change and that is cutting what I see as a stub a little lower. I was faced with the same situation on my tree and decided to make the cut more flush with the trunk. This happened on the large wound that is still closing but, as you can see, it is healing up nicely and faster I believe than it would have had I left a stub.
I'll take a pic of mine in the next couple of days and post it. I did some more pruning just this past weekend eliminating a few more branches that interfered with my mowing =)

    Bookmark   March 11, 2015 at 6:53AM
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j0nd03

2015 large callus starting point above and pics of the full tree below. I pruned the lowest 4-5 branches which I think is visible combining the pics. I goofed up and forgot to take a pic before I started trimming. Whoops!

Toro you asked how long that callus took and the answer is 1 growing season =)

    Bookmark   March 11, 2015 at 6:30PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

Looks amazing! I'll post a pic of mine this spring. 2014 was the 3rd spring for my forest farm Nyssa sylvatica and it leaped as expected. Over 1 foot of growth. Closing in on 5'!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2015 at 7:46PM
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