The Q&A Archives: Trees

Question: After we had a freeze this January in Florida- my Jacaranda (very young-about 1 year old) & Macadamia Nut trees (about two years old) are both getting new branches way down at the dirt level. Is it ok to break these off or should I leave them? There are no leaves left on these trees. As a matter of fact the jacaranda tree does not have any branches. It is just one trunk about 3-4' high

Answer: If there is no growth at all at the tops of your trees, they may have died down to ground level. If so, and if you want to keep these trees rather than replace them, allow the branches to grow. As they leaf out they will provide the roots with energy (through photosynthesis). Eventually one of the branches will take over as central leader and grow straight up. At that time you can prune away the dead parts to make room for the new central leader. Jacaranda trees often become multi-trunked so don't be surprised if more than one of the branches begins to grow upward to become a second trunk. If that is not the look you want in your landscape, you may want to think about replacing your freeze damaged trees.

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