Old Stumpy

Look at this poor thing,

 hasn’t he taken a lot of abuse from me, and of course, Mother Nature, herself.  He was one of the first trees I planted at Kilbourne Grove, way back in 2007.

Cercis canadensis

This is the first photo I have of him flowering, May 2009. By this is a blast from the past, look at the Flora Glade, I haven’t even got the cedar hedge planted yet, or perhaps they are so small the weeds just tower over them.

He came through his first two winters beautifully, but the third was a bit hard on him. When he didn’t flower, I was worried, but when he didn’t leaf out, I was very worried.

Finally he started developing leaf buds, but they were from the main trunk, and quite low down. The leaf buds turned into long whippy branches, but the leader did nothing. So I finally cut it out. The next summer, those long branches, just got longer and longer, they were practically touching the ground, and it was showing no sign off branching, so I decided to take the ends off, in hopes that it would force some of the dormant leaf buds to spring into action.

This spring


 I finally got some flowers for the first time in a few years,

 and  hopefully soon you won’t be able to see the place where the amputation took place.

But if you are looking for it, follow the line of the garage from the top of the wheel barrow to the Cercis, this is the spot!


17 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    paulinemulligan said,

    Sometimes it pays to be cruel, your surgery seems to have done the trick and soon you won’t know that anything was done. Like the hostas that you are growing underneath!

  2. 3

    It looks great – lopping off the top of a tree is always hard, but in this case it’s working! I have a tiny redbud seedling that I’m waiting patiently for some growth. Can’t wait for it to be as big as yours!

    • 4

      I am sure yours will do so much better in the sunny south. Funnily enough, I also have some rebud seedlings, gifts from my landscape design teacher when I was living in Toronto.

  3. 5

    Laurrie said,

    After all that struggle it is looking so much better, and you should feel good that you could save it. I have had bad luck with cercis. Two specimens were lost in a heavy snowstorm, and a third out in the meadow performed like your little guy for years until I took it down. But I just replaced one of the lost ones — can’t be without a redbud in springtime!

    • 6

      They are such beautiful trees, and I do love trees. I wish I had as much space as you do, I keep reading on your blog about the most interesting ones, and I want them all!

  4. 7

    Alistair said,

    Looking like a new lease of life for old stumpy. I am often tempted by Cercis when I see them at our garden centre, obviously too risky so far north.

    • 8

      I figured if the garden centre was selling them, (and they had a 1 year warranty), they might be safe to try. I seem to have zonal denial, hope there is a cure for it, lol.

  5. 9

    PJ Girl said,

    Stumpy lives! Your bravery has paid off and hopefully you’ll be rewarded with extra blossoms in the future x

  6. 11

    Your redbud has really developed a good habit even if it took a few years. It looks beautiful.

  7. 13

    Marguerite said,

    Great job bringing this tree back to such a beautiful form. I would have been lost how to fix it up but you managed beautifully.

  8. 15

    I would say your tree surgery has more than paid off. Ol’ Stumpy looks much better. Maybe I need to take a blade to the Cercis I planted. I think some are just slow to come into their own, but they’re beautiful when they mature.

  9. 17

    […] This glorious Cercis canadensis ‘Appalachian Red’  had me wanting to dig up Old Stumpy. […]

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