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Avatar for Mahavirj
Jun 7, 2020 5:06 PM CST
Chicago, Illinois
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
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Jun 7, 2020 6:18 PM CST
Zone 8a
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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 Icon for preview
Avatar for porkpal
Jun 7, 2020 7:42 PM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX (Zone 9a)
Cat Lover Charter ATP Member Keeper of Poultry I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Keeps Horses
Roses Plant Identifier Farmer Raises cows Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2
The photo is a bit blurry. Do you know what kind of tree it is.
Porkpal
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Jun 8, 2020 6:56 AM CST
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
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.
Avatar for CalPolygardener
Jun 8, 2020 7:05 AM CST
California (Zone 9b)
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.
Avatar for porkpal
Jun 8, 2020 8:44 AM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX (Zone 9a)
Cat Lover Charter ATP Member Keeper of Poultry I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Keeps Horses
Roses Plant Identifier Farmer Raises cows Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2
Bradford pears are not exactly treasures in my book. If that is what it is, I would start over with something more desirable.
Porkpal
Avatar for Mahavirj
Aug 7, 2020 7:36 PM CST
Chicago, Illinois
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
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Aug 7, 2020 7:54 PM CST
Zone 8a
Bee Lover Salvias Roses Irises Foliage Fan Ferns
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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
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Aug 7, 2020 9:50 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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
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Aug 7, 2020 9:54 PM CST
Zone 8a
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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
Image
Aug 8, 2020 10:40 AM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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
Avatar for Mahavirj
Aug 8, 2020 5:07 PM CST
Chicago, Illinois
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
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Thumb of 2020-08-08/Mahavirj/800d32
Avatar for porkpal
Aug 8, 2020 6:18 PM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX (Zone 9a)
Cat Lover Charter ATP Member Keeper of Poultry I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Keeps Horses
Roses Plant Identifier Farmer Raises cows Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2
It looks to me to be an ornamental pear. The trimming suggestions would definitely apply.
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Aug 8, 2020 7:52 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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
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Aug 8, 2020 8:16 PM CST
Zone 8a
Bee Lover Salvias Roses Irises Foliage Fan Ferns
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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
Image
Aug 8, 2020 8:22 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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
Image
Aug 8, 2020 9:22 PM CST
Zone 8a
Bee Lover Salvias Roses Irises Foliage Fan Ferns
Dragonflies Butterflies Birds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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
Avatar for CalPolygardener
Aug 8, 2020 10:19 PM CST
California (Zone 9b)
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.
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Aug 8, 2020 11:18 PM CST
Zone 8a
Bee Lover Salvias Roses Irises Foliage Fan Ferns
Dragonflies Butterflies Birds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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
Image
Aug 9, 2020 11:42 AM CST
Name: Zoƫ
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Bee Lover Bookworm Cat Lover Composter Container Gardener Herbs
Region: New Mexico Salvias Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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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