The Q&A Archives: Senna tree

Question: My Senna tree has grown to its full capacity and is beautiful. Do I need to trim it back after it flowers this fall? I am worried that the branches which reach out quite far will break off.

Answer: Cassia fistula, or Senna tree, can be pruned back after it has finished flowering. It's a member of the Legume (pea) family and as such is typically fast growing and tolerant of annual pruning. If you're concerned about the branches breaking off, reducing their size will certainly help avoid such disasters. Remember, though, that wherever you make a pruning cut, you're likely to get several new shoots. If you cut back too far, you'll have an unattractive tree with large stumps and tiny little shoots growing out of the cuts. If your tree has never been pruned, you may want to have an arborist do the pruning so the tree maintains the proper shape without producing suckers (upright growths). Best wishes with your Senna tree!

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