Saturday, April 18, 2009

Prune or Not? And a contest winner

I noticed a strangely growing limb on the Saints Cypress Tree in our Georgia Garden. The limb is growing upward. It is a bit difficult to see in this picture so I put a circle around the weird limb.
Here it is up close so you can see how strange it is compared to the rest of the limbs. I believe the limb should be pruned but the Saint says to leave it alone and let it grow as it chooses. Since we don't really know too much about trees, we are putting the question to the Garden Blogger's...

Should we PRUNE OR NOT? In the Garden...
Note: Since the photos of the tree were taken, the tree now has green growth on it. Does this make a difference if we should prune it?

Blogiversary Give-away winner:

The recipient of my One year Blogiversary give-away is, Drum Roll please......
The Saints hand went into the magic hat and out came Gardenjoy4me! Please send your address to Tina at so she can forward me the info. Your coffee mug and accessories will be in the mail as soon as possible!


  1. Good Morning Skeeter, I would say prune it out. If it gets to be a large branch it will rub against the main trunk and other branches. That would not be good. I say PRUNE IT! :-)

  2. I prune out cross-over branches in my crape myrtles, cherry tree, willow trees, vitex and Japanese Maple tree. I don't have a cypress, but I would just find out what time of year to prune (probably late spring/winter when dormant or first growth?)

    On page 58 of the May issue of Fine Gardening Magazine, there is an article (3 pages) on pruning conifers. There is also an online video (per the article), but I've not gone to the website to view it.


  3. Congrats to Gardenjoy4me!! I'm a prune when I feel like it type of gardener!!

  4. Hi Skeeter, congrats to Tina. If it was me I would take the branch off. Funny coincidence: the word I need to type in for verification for this comment is sawntem: seems to me that could mean "off with the branch"? Cheers, catmint.

  5. I'm like Darla - prune when i feel like it - very different to Cameron, who is methodical and planful. I am always fascinated by the wide range of garden styles and methods - different things clearly work for different people ...
    In the comment above i meant congrats to Gardenjoy4me, not Tina, although I do congratulate Tina (and Ms Skeeter) for a great blog.

  6. It looks really odd to me. It is getting a lot of nourishment from the tree and I suspect it was growing in the exact opposite direction when you first planted it.

    I know that you should always plant the tree in the same position as it grew in the nursery to avoid things like this.

    When a tree grows and a very special bud becomes a limb, that limb says to itself, I am supposed to grow in this direction (east, west, north, south) and it does. Then the whole tree is moved and nobody tells the limb it should start growing in a different direction, so it continues growing itself and will eventually grow in the direction it was intended to grow.

    I am saying that to provoke your thoughts.

    The rest of the limbs on the tree are not the very special type.

  7. I say cut it. I always do when I have limbs that want to grow straight up and compete with the main header. Two trunks are not welcomed.

    Congrats Joy! Time to have coffee with us in the morning-Canada is no problem.

  8. Skeeter,

    I would either cut it or try to adjust it. If you take a stick and put two small nails on either end then prop the branch into the position it should grow it it can be corrected. That is assuming it is pliable. If not just cut it out! Congrats to Joy!

  9. Skeeter,

    Hold the Saints hand and in the other hand place your lopping shears. Then lead him to the tree and get him to proceed and cut out that limb.

  10. I'm no tree expert, either, but I agree that this should be pruned.

    Congratulations to Joy!

  11. If you had posted this a few days ago, I probably would have said whack it off. Now, I'm inclined to think it deserves a chance to prove itself. Maybe the tree will need some extra stability for a future storm. Why does everything have to be symmetrical anyway? Good thing you're getting all of these "second opinions," Skeeter.

  12. Good Morning everyone! I hope your day is sunny as is our neck of the woods! Good day for garden play...

    Janet, I am with you on cutting the limb...

    Cameron, Ah, you do make me go to links and the such. lol Thanks for the research and I will check it out before we cut or walk away...

    Darla, you are kind of like me. I just usually whack what needs it but since the Garden Blog, I think twice as you all have such great advice for such issues...

    Catmint, Ah, maybe the word verification is a sign, hum, makes one wonder a bit. I used to just do as I pleased in the garden but as I was just telling Darla, since blogging I wait for answers to questions before things such as whacking a limb. I knew what you meant with the congrats and thanks for enjoying "in the garden" we enjoy our time put forth also...

    Abe, Hum, you do have me thinking this morning. If I had a child with a deformed leg, would I take it off? My garden is my love so maybe I should think twice on this matter. You do have me wondering now...

    Tina, I never thought of it becoming a truck to the tree! First Abe gets me thinking one way and now you another. Gee, What’s a gardener to do? lol....

    Dave, this limb is way too big to adjust at this point. It will either have to be left alone or cut and soon...

    Randy, That is so funny! You got my giggle bone vibrating this morning. Thanks for the chuckle...

    Rose, the over all consensuses seem to be to remove the limb. If we decide to remove it, I hope this was the correct decision...

    Everyone have a good day! We are off to the garden for play and a bit of work as well. I just heard the lawn mower start so the Saint is up and at em...

  13. Walk2write. Darn you, now here you go with another aspect on the limb. lol, I “think” I have my mind made up then here comes an analogy such as a storm and stable tree. We did have a tornado hit near us a week ago and now I wonder… Gee, I just dont know what to do, maybe flip a coin! :-)

  14. Definitely cut off that limb. Be sure you don't cut into the collar on the trunk though. My pruning teacher said not to prune if it is going to rain in 3 days (water borne germs)--other than that, sharpen those loppers and go for it (or pruning saw).

  15. Morning All.
    Congrats Joy.
    I'm no tree expert skeeter but if it were me I'd visualize how it might look in the future & decide if I wanted it to look like that. I have learned that if the limbs cross each other one needs to be cut out. I learned from experience that large limbs that cross can be dangerous as well as spooky in a wind. Rubbing & screeching, especially at night.
    Good luck.

  16. Holy Moses !!
    Skeeter .. are you sure about sending something across the border girl ? .. it can be a bit expensive and I don't want you spending a mint to get the mission done : )
    Thank you so much though !! I never win things like this .. well I actually did win something way back a few months ago .. but it never came .. so I just thought it was the bit about the border cost.
    In any case .. you are a sweetie and I am appreciating the fact I got picked !! Now maybe I will have someluck with my lottery ticket tonight after being lucky with your draw ??
    Thanks bunches and bunches : )

  17. I seem to not be going with most of the group as I would leave it till I see that it was causing a danger to any other part of the tree. Then it would come off.

    Since my mother was a blue nose and I was brought up on the border, I sure have to give a big congrats to Joy!!!!

  18. I pruned a decorative plum for this exact reason yesterday! Hope I didn't kill it!

  19. Prune it - unless there's something special about cedars. When the county forester comes out to our house every year, she reminds us of the value of cutting these odd limbs like this. Like someone else said, not a good idea to be having crossing limbs. Not so pretty.

  20. I say cut it out, I'm with Tina, it is competing with the main trunk, evergreens do that all the time, least the ones up here. It's pretty when mature but in my opinion it does weaken the tree. Time of year is bothersome, you will have sap and it will attract unwanted bugs, maybe a wound bandage if for a short while.
    Congrats to garden joy for me!

  21. I'm in agreement with the rest, I would trim it out. Congrats Joy!

  22. Don't ask me! I know nothing 'bout pruning...When the arborist and crew were here doing serious tree work they did prune my little trees...Wow, to me it's an art.

    Congrats to Joy!


  23. Cut it, cut it! Or you could try to retrain it with a stone tied with twine to the end of the branch? That's way to much work for anyone but the Japanese, though. I've read about them training their maples into fabulous shapes with creative tactics such as that.

  24. I would prune it, but then again I love to prune, almost too much sometimes!

  25. I would prune. Although I prune everything relentlessly.

  26. I have not slowed down since leaving my coffee cup this morning! Pressure washing, planting, boat cleaning, pine straw spreading, weed pulling, trimming and grocery shopping to name a few of the things accomplished today. Whew, glad this day is over as my body needs a good nights sleep to revive...

    I am going to sit the Saint down and read all the wonderful comments to him about the Cypress tree. Then let him make the last decision on the tree as it is "his" tree. I do believe the limb should be cut but I must do a bit of research first. But in the end, the Saint will have the final say though.

    Joy, I will have your package in the mail by Monday if the post office will assist me in sending a package to Canada. This will be a first for me as I have never mailed but a card to Canada! I have sent many things overseas though so this should not be too much of a hassle for me...

  27. I'd probably prune it too and CONGRATS to Joy for winning that beautiful coffee set!

  28. Kathleen, You were up late last night lol. I do think it may be prunned but as I said earlier, the Saint will be the one with the final say... Have a good day...

  29. I say whack it. :) It's way out of line.

  30. I would prune it, since it'll be crossing other branches, and I'd do it this year rather than wait and see, since the bigger the branch is, the bigger wound you leave that could allow disease into the tree.

  31. I'm not good when it comes to trees, but I'm a person who lets things go wild and pruning isn't my kind of thing (I'm trying to get myself out of this thought though and give my cutters some exercise). My current opinion is to let the tree learn (My opinion might change in few weeks, though :D)

  32. Flipping coin would give you the right decision. LOL! I know it's such a difficult decision!

  33. Tough choice, isn't it? I always ask myself if the plant would look better after the clipping. I do think this branch might appear the odd branch out, so I might weigh towards making the plant more uniform.

  34. Hi Skeeter, standard tree pruning procedure would say to take out anything growing into the center. It is not too late, but do it while you can still reach it without a ladder and chainsaw! Congrats to lucky sweet Joy too. :-)

  35. Saint has read all the comments and still not made up his mind as of yet. My man, just cant make a decision on this one...