Pinus Palustris and Wind

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by Poetry to Burn, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    This tree developed a forked leader at about 12-15 ft. Guess I might have forecasted a problem but I didn't. I noticed yesterday that one of the leaders broke off entirely. It's a section maybe 7 feet tall. Is there any action I might take to support the tree it or is it no biggie when a young palustris drops a branch?

    Pic 1 is the base of the branch does it already have lots of resin on it because it's been cracking? Pic 2 is the tree showing the point where the break occured, Pic 3 I was trying to give a sense of the scale.
     

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  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    A forked leader? It may have been a codominant trunk, where two trunks of roughly equal size are competing as leaders, generally their connection is weak. The remaining trunk may be ok on its own or you may want to consider removing the tree and replanting with a better specimen.
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    It does look to be a weak point where the branch broke off; I'd not be surprised if the other top breaks off in the next year or so. If it does break, the tree won't be worth keeping. But if it survives more than a year or two, thereafter it will be safe as new wood growing over the wound will be uniform and strong.

    Rather more significant perhaps is that to me the pine looks very thin and poor from being in too shady a position. That may well be the reason for its developing a forked stem in the first place. Pinus palustris won't do at all well with anything less than 100% sun, few trees are more light-demanding than this one.
     
  4. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Guys thanks for info.

    Paul,
    I think you're correct about the co-dominant trunk. We don't have much wind in Spring and Summer so the tree may strengthen at that point before next windy season.

    Michael,
    I think the picture is a little misleading. The tree is in full sun and it is robust. It's a quite beautiful plant, better looking than the tree at the National Arboretum in DC. It catches a bit of shade form the poplars but I expect they will be short lived as I take every opportunity to weaken them.
     
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Still looks decidedly thin and straggly to me - even just a little shade from taller trees to the side will do this. With 100% full sun it would be looking much thicker-foliaged and densely branched with stronger, more upcurved branches, like in this photo:
    http://www.forestryimages.org/images/768x512/0908063.jpg
     
  6. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Hmmm

    Ya i agree they look different. I can tell you though that my tree gets more sun than those (in pic) because i have not nearly that level of competition in the soil or in the canopy.

    Maybe because I am at or close to the northern limit for the plant? Or maybe more nutrition that natural stands?

    My friend has a plant in central NJ it is in a completely open spot and my plant looks far more robust.

    Michael check out the photo Dax posted of the plant in DC looks to be in full sun
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yours has some shade from above; with the plantation photo, any shade is only on the lower branches, so has less effect. But yes, your northern location could well be a significant effect, as the species is notorious for its liability to damage by heavy snow or ice storms - I gather that limits its northern range more than low temperatures do.
     
  8. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Ya good point.

    It could have been snow or ice related. I was away from that location for a month or so and in that time there was some weather. I guessed it was wind but very wet and heavy snow or ice makes sense. I know that the branches can be brittle or weakly connected. I once tugged on a morning glory vine and brought down a 4 ft branch.

    Here
    it says susceptible to ice and storm damage.

    As far as sun light there is a bit of shade but in that same location, P.thunbergii, densiflora, bungeana flourish.
     
  9. pinenut

    pinenut Active Member 10 Years

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    Why would the tree not be worth keeping?
    Carl
     
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    If it lost its top, it would never develop into a good shaped tree again.
     
  11. pinenut

    pinenut Active Member 10 Years

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    Agreed. No longer any chance it would be a perfect specimen. I'd keep it anyway to see what kind of character it develops. If I lived long enough.
    Carl
     

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