Tag for questions asking how to look after trees.

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27
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I revive a tree that's been stripped of bark?

I've got what I think is a cedar tree in my backyard that is missing most of its bark on one side from the ground to about 4' up. (Thanks to my puppy who is a shredding machine.) The branches next to ...
25
votes
11answers
69k views

Why do people paint some tree trunks white at the bottom?

I've seen trees with the lower trunks painted white in a number of places around the world but have never found a definite answer to why this is done. Some suggestions that I've heard are to make them ...
20
votes
3answers
4k views

Is staking young trees helpful or harmful?

I frequently see small trees staked with some support twine or rope, presumably to aid against strong winds. However, I've heard or read somewhere that staking small trees can actually be harmful, ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Does fruit on fruit trees need to be thinned?

Do fruits need to be thinned on the tree? For example, I have a young Pomelo tree that's producing fruit for the first time. In order to get bigger, nicer fruit, should I be thinning the fruit? How is ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

How should I prune lemon trees?

I have a lemon tree that is 8 years old. I didn't water it enough during its first years, and as a result it's only 2 meters (6 feet) high. How and when should I prune my lemon tree to stimulate its ...
15
votes
4answers
9k views

Can I move a self-seeded oak tree into a pot to keep it small?

An oak has self seeded in our garden. Has got to about a metre tall and seems happy. We don't have anywhere near enough space for an oak but seems a shame to kill it. Can we move it to a pot to keep ...
15
votes
1answer
8k views

What is my citrus deficiency, based on leaf appearance? And how to treat?

In the images of my citrus below, you can see the leaves are paling towards the edges. What is the deficiency and how can I fix it? The soil is clay-dominated with some sand and coloured red, ...
14
votes
4answers
11k views

How should a lemon tree with yellowing leaves, peeling bark, and small fruit be saved?

Our lovely lemon tree is in trouble... We live in Northern California. Starting mid-last summer our tree began yellowing. We've called an arborist out to the house but the advice has been pretty ...
14
votes
4answers
58k views

How far (on average) do tree roots extend out from the base of the tree?

I a looking to plot out my new garden site for next year and am wondering how far I need to be away from some nearby trees. The trees are a few different types (apple, oak, pine etc.) and anywhere ...
14
votes
6answers
33k views

How do I encourage my plum tree to produce fruit?

I have a victoria plum which I planted almost 3 years ago and hasn't produced any fruit. Last year (1st summer) it produced a small amount of blossom. This year it produced a lot of blossom but no ...
14
votes
3answers
978 views

Is this heavy blue-green growth on my tree trunk and branches a form of lichen?

I have a tree with a fairly heavy growth across its trunk and branches; I suspect that it's a form of lichen but I'm not sure. Is this something that will negatively affect the growth or health of ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Will a cedar tree grow new limbs?

I've got a cedar tree that divided into two smaller trees, and the previous owners tried to keep the twin trunks together by tying a rope around them. The rope eventually strangled one of the trunks, ...
14
votes
1answer
6k views

How do I care for potted apple seedlings over the winter?

On a whim, this spring, I planted several apple seeds in a large pot just to see if they would grow. Two seedlings have come up and are very healthy looking, despite being munched by deer, and the hot,...
13
votes
6answers
9k views

How to deal with suckers on a Bradford Pear Tree?

I have two Bradford Pear Trees at the front of my yard. They were planted ~1997. (The HOA requires all lots in the development to have them.) Little sprouts that keep popping up from the ground ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Paint dumping to kill tree stump, will it affect my nearby arborvitae or raspberries?

My neighbor must be advising her home painters to dump their leftover paint, for several days now, on a tree stump that she just last week said might need a pick axe to remove. This stump is along ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

How and when to plant young grafted fruit tree?

Our backyard is in a Mediterranean climate (Adelaide plains, South Australia) and we've been gifted a young grafted apple tree which has its root ball still wrapped in plastic. It's about 1.3m (4ft) ...
13
votes
1answer
288 views

How are Japanese Maple Trees cultivated?

I have mature Japanese maple trees in my yard that are extremely fertile. I find dozens, if not hundreds of saplings all over the yard. Some have even grown several feet tall. Is there a way I can ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Will my avocado tree produce fruits in my non-tropical climate region?

I have successfully germinated an avocado seed and am now willing to bring it outside and plant it in the soil. I live on the coast in Northern Portugal, so we never get negative temperatures. ...
12
votes
3answers
175 views

What are the best practices for keeping trees healthy in a construction area?

I frequently see trees that are in construction areas where roots have to be pruned or grade changed. What practices are most likely to keep trees healthy in the long term where there is root or ...
11
votes
4answers
763 views

Any way to save a large tree that's starting to split/crack down the middle?

I have a large tree in my front yard and last fall I noticed a crack down the middle. Six months later, it appears the crack is getting larger (see pictures below). Is there any way to save the tree, ...
11
votes
2answers
859 views

Should trees be staked when they are planted?

Horticultural practices do change and research can be a driving force. It wasn't too long ago that standard practice to stake a new tree was a six foot T bar and and a strand of wire. Should all ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a traditional method/style for pruning a Chocolate Silk tree?

I have a containerized Chocolate Silk (a.k.a. Summer Chocolate) tree that is two years old (i.e. it was planted in its present container from a branchless and rootless stalk two years ago). It has ...
10
votes
3answers
642 views

What is a general rule of thumb for when to prune plants and trees?

It seems like every plant that I come across has a different (and seemingly random) best time to prune. Is there some sort of generally rule that I could apply to any plant and have a pretty good idea ...
10
votes
1answer
735 views

Damaged Tree Heather: can it survive?

I have a tree heather (Erica arborea) in my rockery (acid soil) which I grew from a seedling about twenty years ago. Until it was severely damaged by a prolonged freeze-up last winter, it was about ...
10
votes
1answer
682 views

How should I prune my pomegranate trees?

I have a pomegranate tree that is 6 years old. It didn't get enough water for several years, and was growing under a canopy of other trees, so it only grew about 1 meter (~4 feet) high. How and when ...
10
votes
1answer
190 views

How to “correct” uneven trunk widths in a cherry tree?

I have a cherry tree that is about 2 years old. Strangely, the width of its trunk above the grafting joint is much thicker than that of the rootstock (mazzard) below and I have not seen such a ...
10
votes
1answer
178 views

How should I choose which trees to cull?

I harvest firewood from a small woodlot behind my house. I almost exclusively cut "culls" -- dead, dying, or diseased trees that aren't going to yield much additional wood in the future anyway. My ...
9
votes
3answers
8k views

How should I prune this overgrown pear tree?

I have a pear tree, which is very zealous. Whatever it decides to do, it does in excess. First in the spring it sends out all sorts of new branches--all of them vertical. I snipped them off after they ...
9
votes
1answer
99 views

What is this bonsai tree with serrated elliptic leaves and why has it lost all its leaves?

My son bought me a bonsai tree for Father's day in June last year. It grew new leaves and shoots for a while and has been watered regularly. It has now dropped all its leaves and there does not seem ...
9
votes
1answer
200 views

How should I care for a young cherry tree?

We recently had a cherry tree planted in our garden. I don't know the age of the plant nor the exact species but it's currently below 2m (6 ft) tall, including the branches, with a thin trunk. There ...
9
votes
1answer
5k views

How can I determine which trees are unsafe in strong winds?

We had some fairly extreme weather in the UK, enough wind to blow over a tree. Luckily nobody was hurt as the trunk rested larger branches, narrowly missing the neighbours fence. The trunk and ...
9
votes
2answers
143 views

Can I plant my maple seedling in the fall months?

I have a maple seedling about a foot tall. It has not been planted in the ground yet, but it has changed color to its fall colours. It's is in a small pot. Since I may have missed the window to plant ...
9
votes
2answers
462 views

What is a sucker and how does it differ from a water sprout or branch?

In a post about renovating mature pear trees there is a diagram (below) showing tree nomenclature as it pertains to pruning. In it, the letter "A" indicates suckers, and "E" marks shaded interior ...
9
votes
1answer
87 views

Why is the base of the stem of my persimmon tree turning brown?

My potted persimmon tree is almost 2 months old and it's growing fast, but the place where the stem comes up from the soil is turning brown. Is it serious or just a normal part of growth? Please look ...
9
votes
1answer
183 views

How can I rescue my tree?

I moved into this house last year, so I've only seen this tree with leaves once and I do not know what kind of tree it is (I live in Iowa). I noticed this spring that the leaves didn't seem to come in ...
8
votes
3answers
317 views

How should I save an oak tree wounded by ground root removal?

I had somebody remove some oak tree roots from the ground one month ago. Now a couple of branches look dried. Others have no new leaves growing and the old leaves are dropping. This is in Houston, ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Can I put a compost pile under a tree?

The most convenient spot for my new compost pile happens to be under a young apple tree. I would put it there, but I have a few questions first. Will I be able to make successful compost in heavy ...
8
votes
4answers
173 views

Dwarf Apple tree in heavy clay

Today I planted an apple tree grown on dwarfing rootstock (M27). The soil at my allotment is very heavy yellow clay. But it's on a decent slope. I dug a hole the depth of the container in which it ...
8
votes
2answers
229 views

What to do when an animal dies inside a hollow tree?

We have a beautiful Shag Bark Hickory next to the house with a large hole about 18' up. A family of raccoons moved in a few weeks ago and had a litter. Recently we've seen a lot of domestic ...
8
votes
2answers
702 views

How do I care for grapefruit seedlings?

I got two tiny grapefruit seedlings for free and I don't know how to care for them. They are in very small pots and all the care they are getting is watering. They are 2" tall. I don't live in the ...
8
votes
1answer
600 views

Is it okay to top a redwood tree?

Our redwood is about 30 years old and about 4 stories high. I would like to shape and top it to keep under control. Would it be fine to top off about 10 or 15 feet and also shape it? A tree trimmer ...
8
votes
1answer
9k views

Why are my honey-locust tree leaves turning yellow in mid-summer?

As hot as it's been I've been worried that the tree was not getting enough water, and it seems with increasing the water amount the leaves have turned even more yellow. How can I tell if I am over- ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What is happening to the leaves of my avocado?

I have an avocado plant in my outdoors balcony. It's been growing nicely, but there are small brown dots/holes in the leaves for some time now. I don't see anything in the underside of the leaves, and ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

what care should I give my lemon and orange tree after 8 months neglect?

In July I moved into a new house with an established lemon tree (about 4-5 m high) and orange tree (3-4 m high). Apart from collecting the last crop we have left them alone. The previous tenants grew ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I prune a cork-screw willow?

I would like to have a small "cork-screw' willow in my front yard. I don't want it as a bush, but with a strong middle trunk. It currently is about 1.5 feet tall. It has three fairly equally tall ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

How should young honey locust trees be pruned?

I have four young (2-3 yrs) Honey Locust trees which seem to be doing very well this year. By that, I mean they've shown lots of growth and the leaves are very green and healthy. The trunks of these ...
8
votes
1answer
109 views

How should I care for my multi-variety apple and pear trees?

I am a novice gardener living in the San Francisco Bay Area. When I created my vegetable/fruit garden, the landscaper recommended grafted fruit trees (ones which produce 6 different varieties of ...
8
votes
1answer
553 views

Is this a normal amount of sap from an apricot tree after pruning?

My apricot tree is secreting what seems to me as copious amounts of sap. Is this a normal amount of sap after pruning about a year ago, or is my tree sick?
8
votes
1answer
737 views

Should my spruce tree roots be covered?

This Norway spruce's roots have always been on top of the ground. The soil it is growing on is very hard white dry soil with a layer of decayed needles on top. It has been growing fine so far, but ...
7
votes
4answers
14k views

Why is my new Acer tree dying?

I recently bought a small red Acer and moved it into a more permanent pot. It's about 2 1/2 feet tall and since I've moved it, the leaves have started to brown and shrivel like a dead leaf would in ...