damaged sugar maples

greeniowaApril 30, 2007

Hello. I purchased three sugar maples 2-3' tall from the Arbor Day Foundation and they were taller than the box they were mailed in so the packager cracked off the tops of all three trees to make them fit. The one top was still hanging on by a little bit and I taped it together to see if it will grow back. (Does it have a chance?) These were not cut, but obviously cracked, as they were quite rough and torn looking. I planted them but do not know what to do. With the leader clipped, what will happen to these trees? Should I prune them to the next bud and try to reestablish a single leader to be the future trunk? Should I demand new trees? I paid a decent price for these and want some nice upstanding shade trees for my lawn. Your help is genuinely appreciated.

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spruceman

Yes, just cut the damaged tops back to the next bud. The loss is totally insignificant--the ultimate growth of the trees will be unaffected. In all probability you will need to do some pruning of these trees, as you would for any tree, as they grow to ensure a good leader and overall structure. You would have to do this whether or not the top of the trees' present leader were broken or not.

But I can see why this is disturbing, but the problem is simply that the box specified for these trees is too short. Poor PR on the part of the grower, but not a problem for the trees themselves.

--Spruce

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 9:18PM
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