sugar maple question

peterc38May 12, 2008

I have a question about damage to a young sugar maple I planted. Tree is (actually was) about 7-8 ft. tall. One of my 1 1/2 yr old great danes decided he would chew on it. He snapped it off about 3 ft of the ground. All of the growth was above the area broken off except one branch emerging about 1 ft below the break.

Will this become the new leader? Should I just leave it alone? Should I cut it slightly above this emerging branch? Is it likely the tree will recover?

It is bad enough having to worry about deer. The tree cost $40, about the same as a bag of his dog food. Hmmm, I could deduct....nahhh.. he might eat more trees.

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Yes and no.

More than likely, the maple has enough reserved sugars in the root system to push out new growth this season. However, this will have a major effect on the aesthetic appearance and may present structural problems down the road. If the tree is highly visible or a "feature" of the landscape I would recommend cutting your losses now and replanting.

If leaving the tree, it is a waiting game. The damaged leader should be pruned back to just above the lateral branch. I would not fertilize the tree this season but would monitor for dry soil and water as needed.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 9:45AM
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