Distorted Smoke Tree

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by Tedward, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. Tedward

    Tedward Member

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    We moved into a home with an well-established smoke tree, which has several trunks that have grown horizontally, some re-rooting themselves before branching out at a 45° angle to the ground. Over the winter it became so heavy with snow & ice that it collapsed. My question is how to go about pruning it so it grows straight.
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    It is realistically a shrub, rather than a tree. You'll be fighting a losing battle to try and get it to imitate a telegraph pole. I'd be inclined to let it do its own thing, and enjoy the interesting shapes it develops with age.
     
  3. Kevin_5

    Kevin_5 Member

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    Could be Cotinus obovatus--you never know!
     
  4. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Ted--we spent years cutting a smoke tree to the ground, trying to kill it (growing right outside front door, bad spot, etc.).

    It not only kept growing up from the stump/roots, it actually looked better during those ensuing years! The new growth is very vigorous, and the purple colouring is more intense in all the newer growth, making it quite stunning. Guess my point is, you have a super easy-going plant as far as pruning, just remove whatever you like and it will grow back with interest. Pruning in winter will encourage more growth, and the resulting extra spring growth is the prettiest to my eye.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I find stooled Cotinus unpleasantly whippy and serpentine in appearance.
     
  6. Andrzej

    Andrzej Active Member

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    Location:
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    I just planted one Royale Purple this spring (about 3 ft tall). It is very pretty.
    It can grow up to 15 ft tall and 12 ft wide with age. I realize it is going to take a lot of pruning to keep the spread in control or maybe let the nature take care of it...
     

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