Blue Spruce has two leaders

Asked June 14, 2016, 10:26 AM EDT

Our blue spruce tree is 19 years old and stands 20 feet high. It is perfectly shaped for a blue; a beautiful tree. This year it has developed a second leader on the top. The main leader is dead-center but the other is off to the side of the main leader. The second leader seems to be growing faster than the main leader. Both leaders are about 10 inches tall. How do we correct this situation without hurting the tree? We appreciate any help you could give us. Thank you,

Steve and Barbara Snook

Grand Island, Nebraska

Hall County Nebraska

1 Response

If safe and feasible to do so, the second one could be removed at the point it attaches to the trunk or another branch. When trees are smaller, it is best that co-dominant leaders are not allowed to develop and that one is removed. However, at some point, the tree becomes tall enough that if two dominant leaders develop, we have to let them go as it is not safe nor feasible to remove one. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for using eXtension.