Conifer Lost it's Central Leader

sandraveinneJune 19, 2009

I have 3 Iseli Foxtail Blue Spruce trees, and one has lost it's central leader. It is only about 4 feet tall, while the others are about 7-9 feet tall. Can I train a side branch to be the new central leader? There is a long side branch at the top that could be used for this. What is the best method for accomplishing this. Thanks.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

it would be easier to ignore it for two years ...

and let the plant sort itself out...

and then .... remove any excess leaders ...

yes you can encourage it...a picture would really help us help you

as you now know.. they dont all grow the same ...that is the nature of the beast ...


    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 7:42AM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

Since this is a concern of yours to get this new leader established...go for it... sure can't hurt anything.

Several different ways to accomplish this...with stakes.

Tie stake to trunk with stretch tape and gradually pull new leader into vertical or drive stake into ground near trunk and pull into position.

I prefer the first option but as Ken says "they don't all grow the same".

A photo would help with regards to giving you the best advice.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 8:27AM
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Thanks for the response. I will pull the side branch up and tie it to the stake. I like the stretch tape idea...I hadn't thought of using that and was concerned about using wire. The trees have been in for 5 years, and I sure would like to help this one along.

I would post a picture if I knew how to upload one here.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 9:15AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i would take 4 to 6 weeks to pull it to vertical ... or it might snap off right in your hand ...

picea pungens is not as flexible as say.. the pine family ....

nature doesnt always work as fast as we want it to .. in other words.. being retentive in the garden can do more harm than good ... work slowly ...


    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 11:12AM
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Picea pungens is a pine-family member, as are all spruces. I'm sure Ken knew this and meant to say the pine genus. Otherwise, good advice.

I know...pick pick pick! ;^)


    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 12:06PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

so family and genus are not interchangeable .. hmmmmm

regardless.. pine you can bend past 90 degrees ... others you can not


    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 11:51AM
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