Ask a Question forum: TLC for redbud tree after aggressive fall pruning

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Name: Lee
Central Massachusetts (Zone 6a)
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ldadams
Oct 27, 2016 5:39 AM CST
I have a 5 year old small "weeping" redbud tree - specially bred to have a truely weeping aspect. I have neglected it for several years until it looked like "Cousin It". So, this is October and just I pruned it very aggressively (I am worried I may have been too aggressive.) What can I do to try to ensure that it recovers and flourishes. I am in Massachusetts and it gets cold here but I know Redbuds are native so okay with cold.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Oct 27, 2016 6:17 AM CST
Welcome! I would say just leave it alone.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
Oct 27, 2016 6:20 AM CST
I don't know that any special care is needed, assuming they are clean cuts. Seems like a good time of year to do it, next spring the tree will leaf out with enough root to support what used to be bigger.

I will be watching for other opinions, out of curiosity. I'm fond of redbuds, have 2 big ones, 4 several years old (preschoolers) and foster many of their babies to give away.
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Oct 27, 2016 11:37 AM CST
Leave it alone for now, but you could give some good fertilizer when it starts growing in the Spring.
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Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN, USA zon
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Leftwood
Oct 27, 2016 4:22 PM CST
Yes, leave it alone. If you made any bad cuts - left short stubs or torn, rough cuts rather than clean smooth cuts: now would be the time to fix them, rather than later.

No fertilizer, no extra water. The tree now has a bit of an imbalance: a higher than normal ratio of roots to top growth. You are likely to get stronger and faster growth next season because all those extra roots will pump up more than ample water and nutrients. Fertilizing next spring will make it grow even faster - something I sure wouldn't want. This kind of fast growth tends to be uncharacteristic of the normal growth pattern of a tree. Next year you are likely to get very long, unbranched growth. Cutting the tips off a bit won't stop the fast growth, but will make it look more normal because you will be forcing it to branch.

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