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Chicago, Illinois
Mahavirj
Jun 7, 2020 5:06 PM CST
Hi,

I'm trying to find out if this tree can be saved. It has branches coming out from the ground but the ones above have stopped or reduced producing leaves

Thoughts?
Thumb of 2020-06-07/Mahavirj/4e40d2

Zone 8a
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OAP
Jun 7, 2020 6:18 PM CST
Poor tree.... Check your area to see if their is an arborist who will do a free consultation for you. S/he could tell you the best thing to do to save it if possible, and if it is possible, then s/he could help you to do it. There is a nice arborist in my area that I consulted some years ago whence a workman at the house next door drove a 6" nail into one of my trees to prop up the neighbour's falling fence! The arborist came out and spoke with me for free. It turned out to to be too awful, thank goodness.

I would hesitate to prune from the top. I did that once many years ago with a lot of boxwoods, and it stunted their growth. They never grew upwards again---seriously.
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts
[Last edited by OAP - Jun 7, 2020 6:19 PM (+)]
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Plant Identifier Raises cows Roses Farmer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
porkpal
Jun 7, 2020 7:42 PM CST
The photo is a bit blurry. Do you know what kind of tree it is.
Porkpal
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
Jun 8, 2020 6:56 AM CST
What can you tell us about this tree?
Did you plant it? was it on site when you moved in?

I see turf growing right up to the trunk... That's never good...

My first impression is that the roots ran into trouble.

Whether it was the heavy equipment packing down the soil during construction, or someone planting it into compacted soil with a posthole digger... I doubt much can be done now... except to do a better job planting the next tree.

What I would suggest is to create a decent sized bed with room enough for multiple trees, and maybe some shrubs and perennials...

Once you dig out enough turf to make the bed, you can get some of that compacted soil loosened... and everything will grow better.
California (Zone 9b)
CalPolygardener
Jun 8, 2020 7:05 AM CST
Is it a Bradford pear?
If it is, it is grafted and the rootstock is trying to take over and stunting the top. The thing to do is remove the sprouts from the rootstock as close to the base as possible. When new ones sprout cut them off too. A regular program of all-purpose fertilizer will help the vigor of the tree.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Plant Identifier Raises cows Roses Farmer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
porkpal
Jun 8, 2020 8:44 AM CST
Bradford pears are not exactly treasures in my book. If that is what it is, I would start over with something more desirable.
Porkpal
Chicago, Illinois
Mahavirj
Aug 7, 2020 7:36 PM CST
Thanks everyone - unfortunately I don't know the name of this tree. It's fragrant though on the higher branches - will check with an arborist

Thanks again
Zone 8a
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OAP
Aug 7, 2020 7:54 PM CST
Let us know what you find out. Good luck. Smiling
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Aug 7, 2020 9:50 PM CST
If you posted better and closer photos, we could identify your tree and answer your questions.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Zone 8a
Birds Salvias Roses Foliage Fan Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dragonflies
Bee Lover Ferns Butterflies Irises
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OAP
Aug 7, 2020 9:54 PM CST
Those branches all along the bottom are taking strength from your tree. I bet that is why it loos so sparse at the top. All of those bottom branches should be removed. Do not take my word for it, though. Do consult with an arborist. Usually, a first visit is free. Even ask some knowledgeable people at your county's extension centre. Do let us know what you find out. Thumbs up
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Aug 8, 2020 10:40 AM CST
I agree with everyone who has answered you. If the lowest branches are coming straight out of the ground or very low on the trunk, they are suckers from the roots and are draining the life out of your tree. Dig down and cut the suckers as far underground as you can.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Chicago, Illinois
Mahavirj
Aug 8, 2020 5:07 PM CST
DaisyI said:If you posted better and closer photos, we could identify your tree and answer your questions.


Thanks, I've uploaded a few more photos. Hoping they are clearer this time
Thumb of 2020-08-08/Mahavirj/729057
Thumb of 2020-08-08/Mahavirj/073cb8
Thumb of 2020-08-08/Mahavirj/6f48b1
Thumb of 2020-08-08/Mahavirj/d1d69f
Thumb of 2020-08-08/Mahavirj/c428b3
Thumb of 2020-08-08/Mahavirj/ca72fe
Thumb of 2020-08-08/Mahavirj/800d32

Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Plant Identifier Raises cows Roses Farmer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
porkpal
Aug 8, 2020 6:18 PM CST
It looks to me to be an ornamental pear. The trimming suggestions would definitely apply.
Porkpal
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Aug 8, 2020 7:52 PM CST
The venation is wrong for pear, but I'm at a loss for what it might be. The bark looks Prunus but the leaves don't.

Either way, the ONLY way to save ths tree is cut the suckers (preferably below soil level). All the energy the roots are producung is going into supporting the suckers. Your tree is starving to death!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Zone 8a
Birds Salvias Roses Foliage Fan Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dragonflies
Bee Lover Ferns Butterflies Irises
Image
OAP
Aug 8, 2020 8:16 PM CST
That was exactly what I thought the first time I looked at it, but I do not know much about trees. I think if the bottom is throughly pruned, and he might as well wait until November to do this, then the rest of the tree will flourish next Spring.

Mahvirj, I do know that trees are best pruned in November or December, so I suggest you may want to do some light pruning now, but wait until November to do any heavy pruning, and still seek local advice. Let us know what you find out. We would all be curious to know I am sure.
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Aug 8, 2020 8:22 PM CST
Cutting out suckers is not considered pruning. For the health of the tree, suckers should be taken out the minute you see them.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Zone 8a
Birds Salvias Roses Foliage Fan Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dragonflies
Bee Lover Ferns Butterflies Irises
Image
OAP
Aug 8, 2020 9:22 PM CST
Well, what would you call removing them other than pruning?? I do not see the difference in saying "pruning" or "removing." It is the same thing is it not? Dictionary definiition:

Pruning: trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth.

To my mind, that is exactly what we are talking about, no? I think "pruning" is the right word myself.
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts
California (Zone 9b)
CalPolygardener
Aug 8, 2020 10:19 PM CST
Right word, wrong direction. I'm with Daisy, normal "pruning" for shape would be done in winter or early spring but this is preventing death of the desirable part of the plant so should have been done last year or the year before when the suckers started growing. Removing them now is an urgent necessity to save what's left of the tree. The other option is as Porkpal says, get rid of it and start over.
Zone 8a
Birds Salvias Roses Foliage Fan Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dragonflies
Bee Lover Ferns Butterflies Irises
Image
OAP
Aug 8, 2020 11:18 PM CST
I advised light pruning and more severe pruning in November. If the tree has survived this long, I think it will survive to 8-12 more weeks. In any case, it is up to the OP to decide what he wants to do.
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts
Name: Zoƫ
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
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NMoasis
Aug 9, 2020 11:42 AM CST
Daisy, Calpoly, et al are correct. Cut the suckers out now.
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.

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