Cornelian Cherry (cornus mas)

I bought a 3' bare-root tree this spring, and it has just now really started growing. It has probably been growing roots all this time, because it didn't have many when I bought it. The most vigorous growth is near the bottom. It has little branches coming out all over the trunk. I want this to be a small specimen tree, not a shrub, but multi-trunked like an river birch might be nice. I definitely want it open at the bottom and not all twiggy.
Do I need to leave all these new twigs for now and then start trimming it next year? I'm hesitant to remove any leaves this late in the season. I'm in the southern part of zone 4, which is pretty far north for this tree.
If I let it grow 2 or 3 trunks, will these be from suckers that come up from the ground next year, or this year's new twigs that are right at the ground level?
Thanks, regards, Bob
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Hi Bob

that the case, you should train it that way. Letting it have multiple trunks usually is not a good idea because they will compete for sun light to be the lead trunk(or limb) for the tree. When this happens all the limbs grow to the outside of the limb making it unbalanced and susceptible to wind damage. The Y were the branch (extra trunk connects to the trunk) is weak because of the angle being to sharp. Well your probably saying what do I do? I know the last thing that you want to do is prune it right now but that is what should be done. The tree didn't have enough roots when you bought it and it has been building it's root system. It's hard to figure what caused the problem but the sooner it is corrected the better. Always keep in mind about that limbs are always competing for light when your pruning anything. When you cut those suckers off the smaller they are the better it is for the healing process to lake place. look at where the sucker is attached you should see like a little donut right at the base of it. on the sucker side is where you want to cut it. The tree will heal the fastest and therefore have better chance of not getting infected or bug infestation which also takes longer if you wait. Their sucker probably will try again but they will stop if they are cut off young you could be setting yourself up for fighting a loosing battle.
Hope that helps Dave zxcvbn wrote:

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--
Bob: Cornelian cherry, in my experience, wants to look like a shrub. Mine
tried hard to be one, and I had to trim it constantly to get it to look like
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Re the Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas) I have grown C mas for many years and have four trees in my yard. I do not feel that they are a single trunk tree. All nurserymen that I have talked to say that it is a multi trunked tree. I know some people that have tried to keep it pruned to one trunk and it is a constant pruning job. Also as you prune out of season you have wounds that can get infected. My point is not that you can't keep it pruned to a single stem but it is more beautiful in most cases when you let it bush out and has more flowers in early spring. I call it my ChristMAS dogwood because of the C. mas and it blooms here in late January or early Feb. It is a beautiful tree to be covered in yellow blooms that time of the year when other things are not blooming. Good luck in trying to make it a single trunk Neb
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craterr wrote:

Can you keep it a multi-trunk tree without constant pruning, or is it always trying to revert to a giant shrub? (like an old-fashioned lilac) All the pix I've seen have been a ball-shape that branches all the way to the ground. I don't want to try to force it into an unnatural form.
I'm not going to remove any of the new twigs coming off the trunk this fall (don't want to remove any leaves), but I may pinch the growing tips out to divert energy to the upper growth. I will thin the lower growth this winter, or maybe remove all of it.
Bob
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