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Tree was about 15 ft tall. It has sentimental value as my mom who passed gave it to us and helped us plant it. Will it ever look like a normal tree? thanks


3 Answers 3


From my own experience, a new leader will emerge, but you may need to prune back some other branches to encourage the shape you desire. I would recommend pruning back to the main trunk, instead of tipping the branches, which typically stimulate more branching from the pruned branch.

  • thanks for the advice Jul 26, 2023 at 16:13
  • Would you prune now or wait until winter so remaining leaves can do photosynthesis / make energy to recover? Jul 29, 2023 at 1:08

Catalpa will readily regrow.

Catalpa will give you new growth willingly. It's up to you to prune for the shape you want. Right now, cut the bruised stub cleanly for aesthetics and watch for new growth where you want it.

Remove growth where you don't, because your tree will be bursting with energy to rebuild its chlorophyll-capturing leaf surface.

  • 1
    Not sure what you mean by "never very tall". The relatively mature Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa) a few hundred feet from my house is over 50 feet tall. True that this is not "land of the giants" territory, but plenty tall for a tree in a residential area. University of Minnesota and many other sources give the tree's height at 40-70 feet, with the large range due to environmental conditions. The Southern Catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides) is much smaller, topping out at 40 feet - were you thinking of that species?
    – Jurp
    Jul 26, 2023 at 13:15
  • 2
    I see them grow many leaders , depending on the size of the tree. You will need extensive pruning to get a single leader tree . Jul 26, 2023 at 14:36
  • @blacksmith37 ok thanks Jul 26, 2023 at 16:15

Observation: We lost half a peach tree once, no idea why it broke. If you were to look at it today it would take close inspection to find the places branches snapped, the tree looks normal. (Three separate breaks, I assume the shock of one breaking triggered the others.)

  • Welcome Loren, this site doesnt work like a forum and your answer is more of a comment. It will probably get deleted. You are welcome to edit it and improve it. Jul 28, 2023 at 3:40
  • @RohitGupta I thought I was going to go over the size limit for comments. Jul 28, 2023 at 3:52

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