The Q&A Archives: Transplanted Maple Tree

Question: I transplanted a young maple tree 2 years ago. Tree is about 10 feet tall and 1.5 inches in diameter. The tree shows no sign of growth anywhere from the top to about one foot off the ground. There is only growth at the base of the tree 1 foot off ground and it's seems to appear as healthy growth. Can I somehow lead the tree to grow back towards the top. Should I cut the top ? What should I do ?

Henri Setton

Answer: It sounds like the tree suffered transplant stress and/or as a newly planted tree suffered badly from last year's drought and consequently has died back almost to the ground. The dead wood of the top will not regrow, so it should be removed. However, it will be difficult to impossible to develop a healthy and well-shaped tree from such an unfortunate base. You might consider starting with a new tree altogether. Otherwise, select the best of the sprouts and encourage it to become the "replacement leader" by making sure the other new branches are kept a bit shorter. You may also splint it or stake it gently into a more upright position. I'm sorry about your tree.

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