Trees and Shrubs forum: Pruning a Twisty Baby Locust tree.

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Name: LT Breeland
Roswell, Georgia (Zone 7b)
I think I should prune now before l
LT
Jul 30, 2016 6:02 AM CST
I have read your posted recommendation and several others with singular directions but, as you said pruning will stimulate rapid long shooters - this is what I am experiencing because, it was pruned by the garden center before I purchased the tree.....now I have the problem. When purchased April this year, the tree was 10 feet tall and had been pruned. Now I have about 15 limbs growing virtually straight 6 to 10 feet long and because of their length, horizontal to the ground. Now I need your best advise with this situation!
Thumb of 2016-07-30/visitor/6d3a78

Larry Breeland
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jul 30, 2016 7:18 AM CST
Welcome! I'm trying to see the shape of the leaves to know what kind of locust, I think it is honey-locust? Do you know the cultivar name, e.g. 'Skyline', 'Shademaster' etc? I have 'Shademaster' and it tends to grow long branches parallel to the ground but the problem in your case seems to be that it's all at the top? It may help if we could see the whole tree from ground up and maybe from another angle. It would be easier to see what to do also after the leaves fall.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
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Leftwood
Aug 2, 2016 8:16 AM CST
Umm.... in the title, LT said the cultivar is Twisty Baby.

You are right, LT, that heavy pruning (and extra water or fertilizer) can stimulate faster straight growth that is abnormal for Twisty Baby. Your goal should be to promote normal "twisty" growth by not treating it with extra care, as you might a perennial to get more flowers. As far as cultural care, just let it be.

That the growth is horizontal is not concerning, but I would want to conserve the somewhat contorted growth pattern that is normal for the tree. If it were me, I would first prune out one-third of the straight growths completely. Not 1/3 of each one, but 5 of the 15, completely. In another month or so, take 5 more off. Next year, take off the remaining 5. Hopefully, this slow-deliberate pruning will not encourage the uncharacteristic straight growth of the cultivar. Be sure to cut all the way back to where there seems to be the normal "twisty" growth that the cultivar is known for. If you only cut back a straight branch by half, the new growth that ensues will like be straight as well.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Aug 2, 2016 11:05 AM CST
Leftwood said:Umm.... in the title, LT said the cultivar is Twisty Baby.



Sorry, I read it as a baby locust that was twisty D'Oh! I had not heard of Twisty Baby, which apparently is not the cultivar name but the trade name, the cultivar name is 'Lacy Lady' so the OP was correct not to give it the single quotes that would have clued me in to a cultivar name. It's also not a honey-locust (Gleditsia) but a black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia). Glad you were able to straighten this out Thumbs up



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