Chinese Elm - Browning Leaves :( :(


Old 05-11-01, 01:05 PM
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My chinese elm has browning leaves and some leaves don't even brown but rather just fall off the tree. The browning seems to happen at it's inner growth, the areas shaded by the outter greener growth. It's spread is about 40 ft in diatmeter. It is continually sprouting new growth. Five years ago it was butchered to it's trunk knubs. A truck used to be parked under it before I became it's keeper now 3 years. It now has St.Augustine grass growing under it and was fed 15-15-15 in March. I've also put in spikes near its perimetry just recently. It seems to be browning and shedding a bit less than last year but I'm still worried. It provides such a bounty of shade to the house and front sitting porch.
Joe in Pasadena, Calif. 91104
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Old 05-11-01, 09:24 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Improper pruning of trees

Pruning a tree back to its "knubs" is not a good thing. Trees don't like to be pruned. Pruning reduces energy reserves and ability to process and store energy. Severe pruning, as you describe, severely reduced the trees energy and ability to restore it. Poor pruning can quickly lead to the demise of a tree. Pruning also opens the tree up to disease. Some species do not tolerate major pruning. Improper pruning results in an unattractive specimen that tends to be covered with small shoots. The tree may not have the energy to support all its new shoots, thus the browning. You indicate that it seems to be doing better than last year. Then, perhaps, it will do even better next year. When a tree has outgrown its space, then it should be replaced if removal of selective limbs and branches to not improve its situation. Whacking off the ends of limbs and cutting them back to the "knubs" is devastating to a tree.

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