Help me Recover this Redbud Tree (Photos Attached)

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by Brian2412, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. Brian2412

    Brian2412 Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Richland, WA
    I've recently moved to Richland, WA (Eastern Washington) and have a struggling Redbud tree in the back yard. We are zone 7 (although, probably closer to a high 6). My soil is like beach sand when I dig. I have plenty of water available, but this is a desert (hot summers, cold winters with minimal precip ~7 inches a year). At the recommendation of the local nursery, I added soil amendments to try to help the tree (cutting out grass around the base) and mixing native soil with compost. I've also staked it to help with our high spring winds.

    Attached are photo's of the tree. The first photo is unedited. The second photo includes labels of the branches for easier discussion. The third photo shows my proposed pruning cuts (in red). One thing of note is that branch A (right above the Y) didn’t produce any leaves this year and appears dead. The house was built in 2005 so I can assume that the tree was planted some time since then… I plan on pruning all of my trees in the late winter, but before spring (probably early February). Can you please give me advice? Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,033
    Likes Received:
    259
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Many have problems with dying back or failure of redbud plantings. Snipping at the tops of newly planted trees in the manner shown does not assist establishment, nor does mixing organic amendments into planting hole backfill. There may be some commentary of interest linked to on this page.

    http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~Linda Chalker-Scott/Horticultural Myths_files/index.html

    Note also this page from the same site.

    http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~Linda Chalker-Scott/FactSheets/Planting fact sheet.pdf
     
  3. AceofClubs

    AceofClubs Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ionia, MI., U.S.A.
    Your redbud looks forlorn indeed. The tree lacks balance, obviously, and that is too bad. My first impression was to buy a new tree. But redbuds love the company of other trees. They are at their finest where their spring beauty fills niches in the edges of natural forests. If you treasure it, please plant some other winter hardy deciduous trees around it, and eventually watch it peek through with its flowers in the spring. These can be cantankerous, but with some soil ammendment each fall, of leaves and compost and manure, and possibly a few bags of sphagnum peat, to acidify the soil, it may take off and become the beauty you'd like. Nah, don't trim it, unless of dead branches only.
    Ace
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,033
    Likes Received:
    259
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Cantankerous, or con-cankerous? Mulching likely to be helpful, amending (digging in of additives) not - you don't want to damage any fine roots. And amending of small areas of soil around large-growing plants not beneficial. You want the same soil texture throughout the entire potential rooting area - no pockets, pits or zones.

    Peat as a soil amendment is discussed here.

    http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~Linda ...ral Myths_files/Myths/Horticultural peat.pdf
     

Share This Page