Mid Atlantic Gardening forum: When to select tree shoots from stump

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Name: Annie
Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a)
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LysmachiaMoon
Aug 7, 2014 5:06 AM CST
Several weeks ago, the power line cleanup crew came thru my area like the wrath of god and cut down two lovely little dogwoods and a flowering crabapple INSIDE my fence line and well away from their right of way. I was "promised" replacement trees but have yet to see one. The stumps, which were cut right to the ground, are sprouting new growth. The new shoots on the dogwoods are about 12-14 inches tall; there are about 8 of these sprouts coming off of each stump. The shoots on the crab are about 1-2 feet tall and there are about 6 of them (varying height). I'm hoping to get my trees back from this new growth. My question is: When should I select one of these sprouts to become the main trunk of the new tree? There is no problem about these being grafted trees and sprouting from rootstock. They are not. All 3 trees are growing from their own roots.

Do I select the best sprout NOW and prune away the rest? Or should I wait until next spring to see which one(s) have survived the winter?

My biggest worry is that removing any of this new growth might kill what's left of the root systems. The dogwoods were both about 6 feet tall (2 inch diameter trunk); the crab was about 10 feet tall (4 inch diameter trunk).
It's getting late in the year (I'm zone 6) and I want the new growth to harden off a bit before winter if possible. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.
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[Last edited by LysmachiaMoon - Aug 7, 2014 5:09 AM (+)]
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Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
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frostweed
Aug 7, 2014 6:42 AM CST
I would wait till spring, to make sure they survive. Also you now have a choice of having multitrunk trees, that can be very pleasing too. Smiling
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Aug 9, 2014 7:43 PM CST
I totally agree with Frostweed, especially after the winter we had last year!! I can't believe how many trees and other plants were killed here, not just new ones but well-established, hardy trees. Sticking tongue out
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Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Aug 9, 2014 8:16 PM CST
It is also possible you will not get the same trees if they were grafted.
Name: Annie
Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a)
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LysmachiaMoon
Aug 10, 2014 6:44 AM CST
Thanks everyone. I think I'll provide a little wiinter protection to the new shoots as well, in the form of burlap wind barriers. No chance of a different tree, these were all growing on their own roots. I'll let you know how it goes! Thank You!
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Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Catmint20906
Aug 10, 2014 8:07 AM CST

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hi, Annie! I'm so sorry to hear about your trees. Sad

A friend of mine had a similar problem when the leader branch on her magnolia tree was damaged and she had to create a new leader branch. I'll ask her for more info about that.

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Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

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JB
Aug 10, 2014 2:19 PM CST
I know very little about dogwood propagation but I do know that each species is not always propagated the same. The cuttings are different too in different species. There are almost as many ways to propagate dogwood as there are different dogwoods.This is what I do know about flowering dogwood... June and July softwood cuttings 5 or 6 inches long; Tip (terminal) cuttings are the easiest to grow, and they produce a straight trunk tree, hardwood cuttings are the more difficult........that is not very much but it is all I can remember....would you possibly be able to get your hands on a book called "The reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation" by Michael A. Dirr and Charles W. Heuser, Jr. We used this as our bible for many years and it is so worth it if you can find a copy. I realize in your case it is a once and done thing but maybe your library has a copy, or you can find a nursery that has one you can use to make a copy of whatever species you are trying to grow again. My first thought is why not just leave it grow where it is and see what happens? It just may come back even better if it is not that old a tree. Six feet should still be a pretty young tree. I wish I could help you more. nodding

Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Catmint20906
Aug 10, 2014 8:13 PM CST

Moderator

LysmachiaMoon said:My question is: When should I select one of these sprouts to become the main trunk of the new tree?
Do I select the best sprout NOW and prune away the rest? Or should I wait until next spring to see which one(s) have survived the winter?


Agree with waiting till the spring and seeing how it looks then! My gardening friend with the damaged magnolia tree said she did some research on creating a new central leader for her tree, and she ended up using a stake as a splint to force another branch or limb to become the central leader. She used a wooden stake, and then secured the new leader branch with soft garden ties. She has been gradually tightening the ties holding the new leader upright as it begins to grow more upright.

Of course, with the regrowth so new on your dogwoods I agree it makes sense to wait and see.


"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Annie
Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry
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LysmachiaMoon
Aug 11, 2014 6:04 AM CST
Thanks everybody! Here's the plan: I'm going to weed/mulch around the sprouting stumps to give them as much sunlight/nutrients/room as possible. I'll give them some minimum winter protection (burlap screen to prevent sunscald/wind damage) and then I'll see what they look like in the spring. once I see the sprouts are growing, I'll select one or two (probably one for the crab; two for the dogwoods) and remove the others. Then we'll just wait and see what happens.
The end is nothing, the journey is all.
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Aug 11, 2014 6:08 AM CST
Sounds like a good plan Annie Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Aug 11, 2014 5:37 PM CST

Moderator

I agree
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Aug 12, 2014 7:27 AM CST
I agree

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