The Q&A Archives: 2 trunks on Japanese Stewartia

Question: We planted Monrovia Japanese Stewartiain 2001. It looks very healthy, however, it is developing two trunks from the ground. Should we cut one back? It so how do we treat the wound so insects do not invade it?

Answer: Based on your description I am not certain quite how the tree is growing. It is not uncommon to have a stewartia that is grown as a multi-trunked tree or very large shrub in the 15 foot range, so what you are seeing may be normal. If however you have a tree with a single trunk with good caliper that is suddenlly sprouting new shoots from the roots, then that would be abnormal. It could indicate there is a problem underground with the roots or some other type of stress. Since I am not able to see the tree and its growing site, I would strongly suggest you consult with a professionally trained nurseryman at the retailer where you purchased the tree, and/or with your local county extension, and/or on site with a professionally trained and certified arborist who can help you determine what is happening and why, and based on knowing that, advise how to proceed. I'm sorry I can't be more specific for you.

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