trees - Knowledgebase Question

Big Rapids, Mi
Avatar for chrissyarms
Question by chrissyarms
October 7, 2010
2 trees,smoke tree got partially hit by late spring frost,some branches did not yeild leaves,should i cut the branches off? 2nd tree also hit by late spring frost,did not leaf out,but now has saplings growing up from bottom,this is a redbud tree,should i cut saplings down 4 winter,in hopes the tree will leaf out next spring??? not sure what 2 do,ty

Answer from NGA
October 7, 2010
If the branches did not leaf out on your smoke trees, it's likely the branches are dead and should be pruned off. Before pruning, though, scrape the bark to see if you can find green tissue beneath the bark. If so, the branches still have some life left in them and may be able to leaf out next spring. If the tissue beneath the bark is brown, the branches are dead and should be removed.

Your redbud sounds as though it was completely compromised by the cold snap and it may be dead. That would explain why the roots are sending up suckers. Do the bark scrape test on the branches. If they are dead you may need to prune them off. Continue this test on the trunk, as well. I suspect it is also dead and will need to be cut down. The suckers at the base of the tree can trained into a new tree if the original tree is dead. Choose the tallest, healthiest looking sucker to save and prune the rest of them down to ground level. The one you saved will become the new trunk of your redbud. Best wishes with your landscape.

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