Flowering Almond, Dead Wood - Knowledgebase Question

No. Attleboro, MA
Avatar for kell815
Question by kell815
May 2, 2000
I have a flowering almond that grew nicely for about 15 years. Approximately 8 years ago we thought it was dead, then it was burned during a brush fire. The following year it came back beautifully. The last four years or so I've noticed more and more of it is dead and doesn't bloom. The branches with blooms this year are nicely covered but those are only about a quarter of the plant. What do you suppose the problem is and what can I do to help this shrub. The plant gets full sun and always has. Thank you.

Answer from NGA
May 2, 2000
As with many of the larger spring flowering shrubs, this one does better with an occasional renewal pruning to try to keep it growing vigorously. You might consider cutting it off at the ground to rejuvenate it by forcing new growth. This type of drastic treatment should be done about every five years or so -- when you see it going into decline. Alternatively, you can remove some of the oldest stems each year so that the shrub is always sending out new growth. You would also remove any dead wood annually. Another possibility is that voles have attacked the roots or some other problem is occurring, but unless you find anything unusual, I would suspect it simply needs to be renewed.

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