Hello, I have a flowering dogwood I am trying to save from my boxer's
attempt of killing it. Last fall this tree stood about 4ft tall and
through the winter my boxer puppy started bitting off the branches. I
thought I could teach her to leave it alone (wrong) but she got every
last branch and at that point I thought it was a goner and so I just
let her use it as a chew toy. She got the main trunk down to about
1ft. This spring I pulled it out so I could put in a new tree and the
roots looked great, I checked under the bark and amazingly it was
green, so I planted it into a pot to see if I could get it to grow and
sure enough a few weeks later a few buds started sprouting from the
trunk. I have now planted it back in the yard and it is doing great,
although it now looks like a small shrub. My question is should I cut
all of the branches off except one (the highest one?) that will become
the new trunk or do I just let it grow as is? I am not sure if the
main trunk will gain height with it being severed and all. Thanks for
The growth sounds more like suckers than normal growth. Are the sprouts
coming from anywhere near the bottom? If so, give it a nice funeral, buy a
new tree, and shoot that stupid dog. Attacking plants like that is pure
It most likely was not buds but meristematic points forming sprouts.
I have now planted it back in the yard and it is doing great,
Wait until the next growing season before pruning the tree.
John A. Keslick, Jr.
Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology.
Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us
that we are not the boss.
Thanks- Are meristematic sprouts isolated to roots only or can they
form from the trunk? The growth is occuring all along the length of
the tree, with the most established branch/sprout being right under
the point where the trunk was severed (about 1ft from root ball).
This is now 6inches long and has started to harden like the original
branches, I hope this is a good sign.
I'd just let it all grow until early next spring. That's when I would
select the most upright branch to be the trunk and remove the rest.
OR, leave it as it is and as it grows taller it will shed the lower
limbs on it's own. I have some that are branched at 3 feet up and
others that are branched at 15 and 20 feet up. It depends on where
they are in the forest cover.
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