Tiger eye sumac

Asked June 9, 2019, 5:44 PM EDT

I've had a beautiful tiger eye for about 9 years. It has always been a robust beautiful shrub which got to be about 5 foot wide and maybe 8 foot tall. It's now nearly mid June and only one branch leafed out. The other large branches got fuzzy like buds, but never leafed out. Some of the small branches are brittle and broke off. Are these branches dead and can I saw them off?

Stearns County Minnesota

1 Response

Scratch the branches without leaves and see if there is still a green layer just under the bark. If there is, the branch is still alive. The cold weather killed lots of buds (and more) of sumacs. If they have no green layer or are obviously dead, like the brittle ones, cut them off. You may find yourself cutting everything back but the one good branch, but if the roots are OK the plant should eventually recover.