top of tree dying

Asked August 25, 2016, 2:43 PM EDT

We bought a Deodara cedar that we planted in our backyard. A few weeks later the top of the tree died off. I cut the top off that was dead. Now the tree is doing very good. The branches next to where I cut the dead branch off are turning upward like they are trying to replace the top branch I removed. I have 2 of these growing upwards. Should I pick one & remove the other one or just leave it as is?

Thurston County Washington trees and shrubs horticulture

1 Response

Good morning!

Like many evergreens, deodar cedar doesn't resprout past the point of its green growth. Branches are green at the tips and can die off at the inside as the limb moves toward the trunk, when you prune, look before you cut to make sure you don't cut into old wood or it won't produce new shoots. For a thick hedge that doesn't get excessively wide, shear the trees after new growth has sprouted and hardened off, to avoid prompting an additional growth spurt. A hedge should always be trimmed so it is narrower on the top than at the base, which should come naturally when working with this pyramidal tree. Trunk/bark/branches droop as the tree grows, and will require pruning for vehicular or pedestrian
clearance beneath the canopy and should be grown with a single leader needs little pruning to develop a strong structureLoppers can handle branch ends up to 1 1/2 inches in diameter, while a pruning saw is needed for anything larger. Hedge shears are used on thin branch tips. Always use clean pruning tools to avoid spreading fungal disease from plant to plant. Either soak the blades of the tools in household antiseptic cleaner or a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water for five minutes, then dry them thoroughly.

Thank you for your great question!