Honey Locust Tree

Asked June 25, 2013, 11:41 PM EDT

After the harsh late spring snow storm, the upper branches of the honey locust (planted 1 year ago), appear to be dead. The lower half of the trunk is very much alive with lots of bushy green leaves coming all around the trunk. The entire tree is about 9 feet high. Should I prune off all the dead branches in the top portion of the tree? I continue to water it. I don't want to lose it but am unsure what I should do.
Any advice would be welcome.

Denver County Colorado

1 Response

Since the top died back, there are no auxins (hormones) to inhibit the "emergency buds" in the trunk, so all of these sprouted out...that's why it looks like new leaves are coming from the trunk rather than off of branches.
Prune out deadwood - branches and twigs that have no leaves or growth shoots, to just above healthy leaves or shoots. No need for pruning paint or "wound dressing". Upper new growth shoots from trunk may try to assume vertical or leader position.
Continue to water and water during dry spells in winter.
At some point (in 2-3 years or after the honeylocust is better established) you may need to prune out some of the many new shoots along the trunk as there are too many of them. But leave them all for now - all the leaves are making foods for the tree.