I have an oak tree that I have managed to make survive long enough to get
about 6' tall. It's been in this spot for about a year and lately I notice
it is sending up shoots around the base. That new growth looks fairly
vigorous..the leaves on the upper part are not unhealthy, but don't have
that youthful glow. I am wondering if I should trim off the new shoots, are
they taking energy nutrients away from the whole tree? This was a stowaway
that was born in a flower pot and then got transplanted to the yard. I'll
take photos and post them in alt.binaries.pictures.garden.
Don't trim the new shoots. Young oaks often grow like shrubs.
They also can be slow to become significant trees. Be patient.
Your great-grandchildren will thank you. :)
Unless the top was grafted onto a different rootstock, the shoots
at the base are as important as the top growth. Watch the growth
for about 2-3 years. Then select the most vigorous shoot and
remove the others, even if this means cutting away the 6' top
Then, allow the remaining shoot to grow and develop side shoots.
Once the main shoot is sturdy enough to stand without being staked
or tied, you can then remove some (not all) of the side shoots near
the bottom. When the main shoot is about 10', you can remove the
rest of the shoots within 2' of the bottom.
Yes, this is a very slow process. But you are dealing with a tree
that might live 500 years.
See my "Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns" at
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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