Tulip Poplar Tree Pruning

GoBlue13June 29, 2013

I have a tulip poplar I planted 2 years ago. When we bought it, it was about 3 feet tall. It is finally starting to take off! My question is, branches seem to be growing about 18" off the ground. Should I prune these off to allow faster growth, or is this normal in this type of tree? If I do need to prune them, how and how much.

This post was edited by GoBlue13 on Sun, Jun 30, 13 at 12:39

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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

They really do not NEED to be pruned for the tree but in most situations folks want to mow under them. I vote for after Valentine's Day as the right time unless google reveals some reason associated wih disease or infection particular to this species.

When you prune, two cuts. One to remove 75% of the branch, the next to remove alll but maybe a half inch stub. Don't get into the trunk with your cut it slows the encapulation process.

......anything else.....

If by branches you mean individual leaves just rub em off before they become branches.

Oh, only remove a couple branches a year. Never more than a quarter or third of the leaves at a time. It stresses the tree and it is always easier to remove more than to put a branch back on!

FWIW, I prefer this tree when mature to have sone branches relatively low, maybe five or six feet high. The flowers are excellent but can be difficult to see if the lowest limbs are thirty feet up.

Enjoy it, nice tree.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 10:24AM
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nurseryman33(4/5)

Toronado is right - never remove more than a third of the canopy or leaf area at a time. Each year, as the tree grows taller, you can remove the lowest branches until they are where you want them. Leaving lower branches on actually helps the trunk get thicker and stronger faster. Google how to correctly prune a branch so you can see a picture of the branch collar, which you want to leave on.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 7:58PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

give us a pic.. and we can even be more precise ...

down here in adrian MI... i do NOT prune when there is feet of snow on the ground ...

and i do it.. when i walk by with the saw ...

how far is this thing from any structure .???

you prune ANY tree.. to any height you want... you are in charge.. not the tree ... unless you have a couple thousand acres.. and can let nature take its course ....

ken

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 8:06AM
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GoBlue13

Thanks for the input! Greatly appreciated. Here is a picture of the little guy!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 12:41PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i would take the bottom most two branches ... and be done with it for this year....

i would also look inside and remove any crossing branches.. one of the two ... and just study it for my future plan ...

if you wait until leaf fall.. and you could post an upright pic;... we could photoshop it and argue about it for you ...

there is never any hurry at this size.. you can always cut them off later.. but you cant staple them back on .. eh???

use you phone upright.. instead of turning it like a camera.. and your pix will pop upright ..

and if thats a stake back there.. get rid of it after two years ...

ken

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 6:18PM
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Dzitmoidonc(6)

I have pruned them in almost every month and no harm seems to have come from it.

For crossed branches and all that, it is easier to see what you have to work with once the leaves are not on the tree.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 9:55PM
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