smoke tree

Have a big smoke tree in front of the house, but only the west-facing main brances are still alive, couple of big branches are dead (hard to tell from any distance!). Any chance of new growth there, when I cut them off? Or do I have to replace the whole thing?
Thanks.
(Long Beach, CA 90807)
J.
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wrote:

Scratch the dead looking branches and if they are dead they'll be brittle and brown. If there is still life in the plant on that side the scratch will reveal green. If they are dead branches, that's it.
What has happened near the root zone of that plant in recent years. Any construction, or heavy equipment driven over the area, or any herbicide drift from spraying on other plants nearby?
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wrote:

But if I chop off the branches at the trunk, is it likely to sprout again, or is there something I can do to encourage it?

Some adjoining shrubs were removed on one side, and some rosemary groundcover grew up on the other. Besides that, it's possible it was getting insufficient water from the irrigation system - if it's possible to harm a smoke tree that way, we did have a very dry year in 2007. I can't say quite when the branches died, likely a season or two ago.
J.
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wrote:

If y ou chop off to the trunk it will not branch out again on that side unless it has life on that side, thus my answer to figure out if the branches have green in them.

Sounds like root damage, stress and additional stress with drought. Not rocket science. If half is dead, it's not going to branch out on that side again. If the shrub is small enough to be taken out and replaced, that may be what you have to do. Still, check if it is truly dead.
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JXSTERN Good questions. When pruning I would suggest my site that I wrote for people with questions like yourself. The site is free of course. Its my way of paying my little debt to society. Once viewing the site if you have any questions, I'm sure you will, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will make the answer to your question a part of the website. Removing symplastless (often called dead) branches is a health treatment for the tree if done correctly. I call them symplastless to clearly address the living content of symplastless wood in a tree farm or forest. A downed symplastless tree could be made up of 30 some % fungi cells alone. Not very dead. I take it your goal is the health of the tree. Sometimes in forest management treatments not excepted for trees in an urban environment are beneficial for the system. E.g., a flush cut with wound dressing applied can cause rot or decay and a cavity for small wildlife. However it's not the best treatment for a common specimen urban tree, for health improvements. Great for the system though. So much to learn about nature, its rules, and its exceptions to those rules.
Sorry for the bother.
I have put together a website on pruning. I am still working on the section on branches and cracks. I will be getting some pictures of cracks to add. Any feed back (productive positive criticism) is welcome.
http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/tree_pruning/index.html
--
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr.
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More nonsense cut

He is neither forester, or arborist.
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What are you? see when you say forester you really mean tree farmer. I do not know what you mean when you say arborist. Well, I am a tree farmer as well as a consulting forested with a thorough understanding of tree biology. How about you?
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John A. Keslick, Jr.
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I am a forester, you are a fraud, grasping for identity.
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Well then please answer these questions if you are such a professional so we can all see your knowledge. I am even listing the pages of where the answers can be found in MODERN ARBORICULTURE. lets see how fast you can answer these questions. Its 4-11-2008 and 10:12 PM EST
A- What is a forester? You say you are one. How do you define it?
1.. What is the major difference between wood cells and animal cells? 26 2.. List five ways to resist stress and strain in a living system? 31 3.. Name the major parts of a tree flower. 34 4.. Where do buds get the energy to start growth? 35 5.. What is meant by excurrent and decurrent branching? 37 6.. What are three basic nodal patterns. 39 7.. What are the major differences between sapwood and heartwood? 47 8.. Define epidermis, cortex, and parenchyma. 49 9.. Contrast ring porous, diffuse porous, and conifer wood. 50-52 10.. What are two types of coniferous wood? 52 11.. What are resign ducts? 52 12.. What 3 tissues make up the periderm? 53 13.. What is wood? 53 14.. Contrast symplast and apoplast. 54 15.. Describe the development of vessels. 55 16.. How do tyloses form? 57 17.. What are contact parenchyma? 58 18.. When fusiform initials differentiate, what do they form. 57 19.. Describe reaction wood, compression wood and tension wood. 63 20.. Contrast heartwood and discolored wood. 64 21.. Contrast wounds in sapwood and heartwood. 65 22.. What is vigor and how can it be measured? 67 23.. What is meant by microbial succession after wounding? 70 24.. Contrast the concepts of heartwood and compartmentalization. 73 25.. Describe the 4 model walls in CODIT. 74-75 26.. What is a barrier zone? 80 27.. Describe how to date a wound. 81 28.. Describe the development of fire blight. 85 29.. What are branch collars and trunk collars? 86-87 30.. What is the branch protection zone? 90 31.. What is meant my natural target pruning? 92 32.. Why is there no set angle for a correct cut? 93 33.. If cavities for wildlife are wanted, what is the best way to prune? 95 34.. Why are flush cuts so injurious? 104 35.. What is included bark? 104 36.. What are the two types of epicormic sprouts? 105 37.. What are codominant stems? 107 38.. What does excessive sprouting indicate? 115 39.. What is pollarding? 116 40.. What does 90-3-90 mean for utility pruning? 119 41.. What does natural directional pruning mean for utility pruning? 122 42.. What are suppressed and elite sprouts? 127 ? 128 43.. What are rusts? 136 44.. What are rams horns? 137 45.. Give 4 basic ways microorganisms infect stems and roots. 139 46.. What are cankers? 140 47.. How do canker rots develop? 141 48.. Contrast stress and strain. 144 49.. At what phenological period do wounds cause the greatest injury? 145 50.. Contrast callus and woundwood. 147 ? 149 51.. What is the correct way to scribe wounds? 150 ? 151 52.. Contrast ants and termites. 155 53.. Contrast mites and insects. 156 54.. What are nematodes? 157 55.. Why should drain tubes not be inserted to drain water from cavities? 161 56.. What portions of a trunk are the strongest against the spread of infection? 165 57.. What is wetwood? 173 58.. Contrast wetwood with sap flow. 173 59.. How do trees wound themselves? 175 60.. How does black sooty mold develop? 177 61.. What are yeast? 178 62.. What are the two basic types of trunk cracks? 180 63.. What are ring shakes? 184 64.. What is protection wood? 189 65.. Name at least 5 types of protection wood. 189 66.. What is energy? 190 67.. Describe very briefly how energy comes from the sun to green plants. 191 ? 192 68.. What are 2 major abiotic factors regulate photosynthesis? 193 69.. Why are manganese and iron important in photosynthesis? 194 70.. What is ADP? 195 71.. What are the four major ways energy is used by trees? 197 72.. What is respiration? 200 73.. Name at least 5 major survival factors for trees. 209 74.. What are the 3 major ways trees die? 210 75.. What is meant by infection? 212 76.. What are enzymes? 216 77.. Give the major cell types in a leaf. 219 78.. What are two functions of guard cells? 220 79.. Describe briefly how water and elements enter roots. 222 80.. Describe briefly transport in phloem. 226 81.. What is meant by potential and kinetic energy? 229 82.. What is the first major substance formed by nitrogen in roots? 234 83.. Why do some clays expand and shrink greatly? 242 84.. Name the 13 essential elements found in most soils. 244 85.. What are ions? 245 86.. What does pH 7 mean? 246 87.. Describe briefly osmotic pressure. 297 88.. What is plasmolysis? 248 89.. What are root hairs? 250 90.. What are mycorrhizae? 251 91.. Discuss briefly the mass, energy ratio. 256 92.. Describe briefly, tanning of leaves. 259 93.. What is a young tree? 264 94.. What are 5 major phenological periods? 268 95.. Describe briefly how the Shigometer measures vitality. 279 96.. How can you determine starch reserves in cells? 277 97.. What is meant by cluster planting? 305 98.. List at least 10 early signs of tree hazards. 318 99.. Describe briefly, 2 major ways branches fracture. 323 100.. What are dwarf mistletoes? 341
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Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr.
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