Gardener topped my 20ft skyrocket juniper

seerenoDecember 17, 2008

Hi there, My gardener thought he was doing me a favor by "trimming" really topping my 20-25ft Juniper skyrocket trees(3). I was curious to find out if my Skyrocket juniper tree will come back from being topped? Or what will happen to them now that they are about 10 feet tall?

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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Go top one of his trees and see what he thinks. After all turnabout is fair play! ;-)

Now your Skyrocket's will continually need to be maintained at their 10' current height or you will need to remove them and start again. Plus now they are opened up for the entrance and spread of disease. Not a good story, I wish I had a better one for you.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 9:54AM
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Require him to replace them with 3 new ones the same size as yours were before, at his own expense.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 9:58AM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

"Require him to replace them with 3 new ones the same size as yours were before, at his own expense."

Good luck...In this day and age nobody is held accountable for their misdeeds. Anybody stupid enough to top a Skyrocket has both shoes on the wrong feet. This guy calls himself a Gardner??? Three guesses where he came from... Better replace him with a real Gardner.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 10:56AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

To be specific, if you let them gain height again it will be by growing secondary leaders but those will never be as strong or reliable as the original. Their shape will also likely be affected.

Seems to me there is a question of survival for the relationship as well as for the trees. Taking 10 feet off a 20' tree is not a case of a well-intentioned snip gone sideways. How did he come to think this might constitute a "favour?" Perhaps it is time to assess just how you provide instructions, or clarify the parameters of the job. If it's "general maintenance" then there is a lot left for interpretation, especially if the trees are in hedge-like format, and you can't entirely blame him. If you don't fire (which I'm not advocating, as I believe in people's capacity to learn, and it is right before Christmas!), it seems time to lay out the assigned tasks more clearly.

To help keep a cool head, keep in mind that these plants are neither rare nor that expensive...


    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 12:04PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Maybe he does in fact consider himself a "gardner".

If cut in half your trees probably aren't likely to recover well, anytime soon.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 5:29PM
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Hey Karin, Just imagine the guy was trying to do himself a favour by acquiring a few cheap Xmas trees .Or worse,imagine him selling the tops on a street corner to make a few $$$...Now THAT would be a reason to get peaced off,even at Xmas time! T.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 5:34PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Someone taking those kinds of liberties would leave me wondering what other liberties may be taken. What's the phrase...oh, yes, "Bye-bye now".


    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 7:03PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Many people working in landscape maintenance operations have little, if any horticultural training.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 8:01PM
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Well to say the least the guy has been let go. I am not expecting to receive any compensation, so I will just have to move on. Thanks for all the advice.

Now on my new problem, how deep is the root system on these types of trees? Will it be difficult to remove? It has only been a day but I have a feeling seeing the topped trees will bug me everytime I pull up to my house, so easiest way is to remove them and replace them with either the same thing or something similar. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 11:30PM
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I agree the best thing is to remove the plants and start over. I have used Reciprocal Saws in the past to do this. Use the longest blade possible and go slowly around the plant. If need be you can dig down about 10" with a spade and then start the saw action holding the saw at an angle so that the tip of the blade will eventually reach the middle of the root ball. Once completely around you should be able to remove the plant with ease. The saw is a very fast way of digging. Works real well with hostas. You are able to cut through hostas leaving 1/4 to 1/2 of the plant in the ground and still in tacked.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 7:56AM
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Hi. I have used a heavy-duty trolley-jack to remove tree stumps.Dig a sloping hole at the base of the tree as far under the stem as is possible.Put a sturdy plank in the hole and slide the trolley-jack underneath the stump.Jack up and 'Bob's your uncle'.Usually the stump comes out with most of the roots still attached.Most important,especially if you're in an area where Bootlace fungus (Armillaria something) is lurking. T.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 2:25PM
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need to know the width to space two of them - thinking of 18-20 inches on my front corner cause i see 2-3 ft wide? up to 6 feet? but nothing on how far from foundation is it invasive? one site said ok near close to foundation but how close is close? another showed to transplant remove 3 feet of root - i have an elevated bed with a dwarf alberta spruce i want to move out back about 2-3 ft off corner then i have a coral bark japanese maple at 6-7 or so - please help if u can much appreciated - Corey in NY - whats the closest i can get it and how far are the roots out?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 6:12PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hey cpalm...

i am glad you used the search function.. but you should have started your post.. mostly so this reply would come to your mailbox ... instead to a 4 year old post... i often wonder if the poster ever comes back and reads the reply ...

your babes should be 3 to 5 feet from your foundation ... if not 5 to 8 .... if you wish to enjoy them for a few decades .. technically.. you should plant so they NEVER touch the house .. AND.. you can walk behind them.. to maintain the house ...... size estimates are at 10 years.. at 20 .. they will be TWICE AS BIG ... 30 years... 3 times

DAS can be had small for 5 bucks.. i dont know why you would invest substantial time and effort in moving an old large one ...


    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 8:46AM
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