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Anyone know anything about Gleditsia trees that are dead from halfway upwards?


By Lint

United Kingdom Gb

Hi fellow gardeners, I have a problem that I wonder if someone knows the answer to. We bought a Gleditsia (yellow honey locust) tree last year. It stands about 9 foot high and it looked a bit spindly but was a good shape and we thought we'd give it a home and a chance. Well where we live is quite exposed and windy. This Spring, it appears that the lovely yellow shoots are coming all out of the young trunk up to about 4' high and nothing at all from the branches! It all looks totally dead, no life whatsoever. Sooo, my question is, what will happen if I chop off all the branches and am just left with a trunk covered in yellow blossom? Will it branch out again and recover? Or should I leave it and see what happens? It looks a bit odd. Any advice appreciated. Thanks.

On plant Gleditsia



is there a graft point? if shoots above graft cut out the dead bits and the tree will grow and flower as it was last year. In time it will become 'normal'
if below the graft then it will still grow but not be the same variety. again cut out the dead bits there is no point leaving them on.

19 Apr, 2009


I think you'll find that the 'yellow blossom' is actually foliage on new branches starting into growth. If it is 'Sunburst' it is not as bone hardy as is said and has probably been damaged by this winters cold. Prune off all the dead branches and it should recover.

20 Apr, 2009


I can't see a graft point. It was an attractively shaped tree, just a bit spindly. Now, if I cut off all the dead bits, which is every single branch, I will be left with a thin stick with yellow flowers on basically, but I don't think there's much else I can do. So suppose I do this, and the side shoots are new branches, they are all now quite low, like from 4" off the bottom up to 4 foot high. What is the best way to grow a "normal" height tree again, or do I have to accept I will have, at best, a bush?

20 Apr, 2009


you can raise the canopy by removing the lower branches as and when. probably better after it has flowered.

20 Apr, 2009


OK, will give it a go! Thanks for the replies.

20 Apr, 2009


I had a gleditsia for a lot of years, in its infancy and at approximately two yrs old it was transplanted twice, believe me, these trees as beautiful as they are and as fragile as they initially look, are indeed very hardy..I doubt very much whether your tree is dead and would urge you to be patient. After transplant the first time, this tree that graced my garden where I once lived, showed decline, then it regenerated itself, second time it was actually damaged big time when an upturned 3'x2' paving stone fell on it, and still it fought its way back to become the strapping 30' tree it still is today. .

21 Jun, 2012

How do I say thanks?

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