Chain Tree Maintenance - Knowledgebase Question

Wilson, NY
Question by stroxg
October 17, 2002
I purchased a chain tree as a bare root seedling. I originally planted it at ground level with little growth. I then transplanted it to a raised bed of its own. It then grew some, but has a very odd shape to it. The bottom of the actual trunk is approx 5 inches, it then branches off into 5 branches that are only about a foot long and at the ends of each there is a brown spot with no further growth. the odd thing is that these branches are all the same length. The center trunk continues up and approx 2 foot up from the previous mentioned branches the tree branches out again. Should I prune off those five lower branches?? I have been pampering this tree for 5 years and am not having much success. What am I doing wrong. It has full sun, and I fertilize it with miracle grow, and water regularly during dry periods.Could those bottom branches be stunting the growth, or should I prune just above these lower five branches, basically topping the tree?? I have had absolutely no flowering in the five years I have had the tree. Please help. Thank you.


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Answer from NGA
October 17, 2002

0

and which might be actually lacking. You would also want to check for any extreme in the pH. Although you are using a foliar feed, trees generally respond well to a granular application to the soil in very early spring along with applications of compost in fall and spring. I would recommend using a good quality compost to try to ensure that as many of the minors are supplied as possible and to also add organic matter on a regular basis. (The mulch will also help provide organic matter since it rots down over time.) This is really important in a raised bed situation. Often, a raised bed leaches quickly and is not very fertile after a time, the organic matter becomes depeleted, and sometimes too the mixed ingredients used to fill the bed can be unbalanced in an unexpected way. Testing is the only way to tell for sure about the soil. Your county extension should be able to help you with the tests and interpreting the results.

There are several botanic and public gardens in your area, perhaps one of them might have a tree and/or could offer some suggestions as well. Best of luck with your tree, I only wish I could be more encouraging. and which might be actually lacking. You would also want to check for any extreme in the pH. Although you are using a foliar feed, trees generally respond well to a granular application to the soil in very early spring along with applications of compost in fall and spring. I would recommend using a good quality compost to try to ensure that as many of the minors are supplied as possible and to also add organic matter on a regular basis. (The mulch will also help provide organic matter since it rots down over time.) This is really important in a raised bed situation. Often, a raised bed leaches quickly and is not very fertile after a time, the organic matter becomes depeleted, and sometimes too the mixed ingredients used to fill the bed can be unbalanced in an unexpected way. Testing is the only way to tell for sure about the soil. Your county extension should be able to help you with the tests and interpreting the results.

There are several botanic and public gardens in your area, perhaps one of them might have a tree and/or could offer some suggestions as well. Best of luck with your tree, I only wish I could be more encouraging.

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