Catalpa growing too fast?

I grew this Northern Catalpa from a cutting about 4 years ago. This spring the top 7- 8 inches (last years growth) see the picture, started to bud out but died. There were plenty of shoots below that and I let the top one grow. It has now grown 4 feet from that point. The trunk is " thick below the new shoot and above. I'm afraid now that it has grown too fast (soft) and might now survive an Eastern Ontario winter. Last year I removed all but 3 levels of leaves as it grew (there are always 3 at each level). I'm not doing that this year because I have the feeling that the top did not survive because I forced it. Does anybody have any experience with this tree?
<img src="
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/Treacan/Garden/Swale010.jpg">
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
catalpas are notoriously brittle-branched in youth - they grow very very fast in most climates and are susceptible to breakage in wind or rain storms and in ice storms or heavy wet snow in winter. However, in spite of this, they are one of the more long-lived healthy trees from the list of fast growers (unlike things like poplars and silver maples). At least that is the case where I live, in the inland northwest (zone 5/6) I would say that you would probably like to get the central trunk quite strong - the tree has a tendency to be reluctant to get a strong leader going. I wouldn't prune side branches the first few years, until you can begin to see the main trunk getting very "secure" on its way - then begin selective pruning to get the shape that you want and to decide where you want the lowest branches to be. I planted one at my old house as a street tree in 1997 or 1998 as a 5-6 foot nursery tree - now it is about 20-25 feet tall - and that is after the central leader snapped in a strong windstorm when the tree was only 2 years old.
I grew this Northern Catalpa from a cutting about 4 years ago. This spring the top 7- 8 inches (last years growth) see the picture, started to bud out but died. There were plenty of shoots below that and I let the top one grow. It has now grown 4 feet from that point. The trunk is " thick below the new shoot and above. I'm afraid now that it has grown too fast (soft) and might now survive an Eastern Ontario winter. Last year I removed all but 3 levels of leaves as it grew (there are always 3 at each level). I'm not doing that this year because I have the feeling that the top did not survive because I forced it. Does anybody have any experience with this tree?
<img src="
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/Treacan/Garden/Swale010.jpg">
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.