(Okay, so I missed July but it was much the same.) For those of you who do not regularly follow my blog, I am following a tree with Loose and Leafy. My tree is a young Tulip Tree who this year, after three winters, began to wilt. I asked the advice of my cooperative extension and we came to the conclusion that the tree may have been planted too deeply, not suffering from verticillium wilt. (It came to me as a very young sapling – twig, really – swaddled in Myrtle so it is possible it was planted too deeply.) So, I dug around the base of the Tulip Tree and removed some of the Myrtle. What I found was a twisted trunk – as if the tree tried to grow out from underneath the Myrtle, and a lot of suckering at its base. I followed some of this “twisting” to make sure I wasn’t dealing with a girdling root and I think not. So, I removed the suckers, let the bare soil breathe for a few days around the tree, and then mulched. The tree proceeded to lose its upper leaves and now looks like this …
The original leader seems to have died along with the two main side branches, but all still seems flexible so I’m hesitant to cut it back. It could be this tree suffered cold damage like many of my other shrubs and died back? Only the leader and side branches did leaf out in the spring, unlike my other shrubs whose branches remained bare.
The Tulip Tree is growing from the base again and this time I am letting it go as the original stems are not in leaf. I suppose it is possible it will grow a new leader? I think it is young enough to grow this way and still remain structurally sound so I am leaving it alone to do its thing. If the original leader becomes brittle I will cut it back as far as I can. The new growth looks healthy.
Those big leaves, gorgeous.
What do you tree followers think? Cut my losses, plant something new? Tulip Trees grow extremely tall so structure is important.
Hang in there with the Tulip Tree? Wait another year? I’m listening and value your opinions.