Help Identifying and rescuing tree

nealyakMarch 29, 2014

Hi all, first post here and complete garden newbie.

I would like some help identifying this tree we have and possibly if you have any suggestions on how to revive it. Previous owner had badly neglected the tree. I dont want to have to cut it down. Thought I would get some help here.

Thank you for your time.

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Juttah

Welcome! Not sure about the specie - possibly a Jacaranda?

I see it's been topped -- not only is this an ugly way to "prune" a tree, it's bad for it's structure and health. Unfortunately I see topped trees all over town, and it makes me mad!

If it were my tree, I'd remove it and start over with a new tree (sorry).

What a shame -- if only the previous owners had neglected the "pruning" along with the tree itself. Sometimes I think people top trees just to give them an excuse to use a chainsaw.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 5:55PM
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Juttah

PS, here's a link about the effects of topping on a poor tree.

Here is a link that might be useful: Why Topping Hurts Trees

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 5:58PM
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Fascist_Nation(9b)

Actually it looks pretty healthy. It has just been brutally topped at one point and will NEVER look the way its genetics intended.

If that dead branch at the top is part of the tree it should be removed. But otherwise unless there is borer damage looks OK to me.

Mimosa? (bipinnate leaves for sure) Pink flower? There is a AZ native but I don't think that is it.

https://www.google.com/search?safe=images&as_st=y&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=mimosa+tree&oq=mimosa+tree&gs_l=img.12...0.0.1.339708.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0....0...1c..38.img..0.1.158.1N026tlNXek

Here is a link that might be useful: Velvet-pod Mimosa (AZ)

This post was edited by Fascist_Nation on Sat, Mar 29, 14 at 19:18

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 7:14PM
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AJBB(9b)

It's a jacaranda that's been hit by multiple frosts and improper post-frost pruning. I have a bunch of similar looking trees in my neighborhood.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 10:26PM
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nealyak

Thank you all for your reples. Its good to know about topping.

I am going to try and water it and fertilize it and see if it revives. Can always hope for the best. If not out it comes.

Yes, Fascist_Nation (can't shorten that nickname!) the top part of the branch is dead.

Should I also remove the branches closer to the ground. My neighbour suggests I remove all branches up to head high to encourage the tree to grow upwards

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 11:44AM
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carolssis(9)

I live in Arizona also. I can think if 3 species of tree, Jacaranda, Acacia, Mesquite. Maybe Mimosa. Any way,my suggestion is take a photo and leaves to your local co-op extension. I would not do any pruning on anyone's advice unless they were an expert. Arborist or Master Gardener. Find out what you can do to save it before deciding to cut it down. If it's a native tree to Arizona, that would be a sad loss. Even if it's not native, it's a nice tree, and you may regret removing it. Find out what you can first from people in the know. Has it bloomed yet, do you have seed pods? These things may help an expert identify it for you.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 11:57AM
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cold_weather_is_evil(9)

To me it looks like it got set back hard from a frost at a bad time and it died back. Is the "healthy" growth just suckering out randomly from the bark? When that happens to these trees the old growth will dry out as EVERYTHING is being fed at bark level. Sorry about the highly technical terms...

My guess is the original owner cut off what appeared dead. It's not improper pruning, per se. It's survival pruning. With some careful cutting it may eventually work. If the bark starts to slough off, however, it's a goner.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 1:11PM
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nealyak

Oh, thats too gad. because yes, the healthy growth is just coming out at random from various parts of the main trunk. And yes, the bark is very loose and sloughing off in parts.

Might be the end of the tree. But as Carolssis suggests, I should take it to a nursery and have an expert evaluation before doing anything drastic. Thanks for all your help.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 5:30PM
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lazy_gardens

Jacarandas all over the valley were badly damaged a few years ago, and then they recovered and were hit again year before last. Even mature ones died way back.

Your best bet is to remove it and start over.

Yes, it's a tree, but it's been frost-damaged, badly pruned, and topped. Sometimes you have to declare them too damaged to rescue.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 2:25PM
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desertplanter67

It is a Jacaranda.

My sugestion would be to remove it and start over with a more desert adapted tree. The new growth on the sprouts from the tree are water sprouts and their attachment is weak. When the winds pick up these branches will splinter off and fall.

Long story short, remove the tree and start over.
Good Luck

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 4:49PM
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aztreelvr

My vote would be to remove it and start over. Topping permanently destroys a trees natural scaffolding branches and it can never recover. What you don't see is the decay on the inside of those topped shoots. The tree can't heal topping cuts and that results in bacterial and fungal pathogens finding their way into the tissues.

You might consider a thornless honey mesquite. It has a graceful, weeping appearance and leaves somewhat similar to your jacaranda's. Follow the guidelines below for planting.

Good luck!

aztreelvr
certified arborist

Here is a link that might be useful: U of A Planting Guidelines

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 6:31PM
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aztreelvr

My vote would be to remove it and start over. Topping permanently destroys a trees natural scaffolding branches and it can never recover. What you don't see is the decay on the inside of those topped shoots. The tree can't heal topping cuts and that results in bacterial and fungal pathogens finding their way into the tissues.

You might consider a thornless honey mesquite. It has a graceful, weeping appearance and leaves somewhat similar to your jacaranda's. Follow the guidelines below for planting.

Good luck!

aztreelvr
certified arborist

Here is a link that might be useful: U of A Planting Guidelines

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 6:42PM
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