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Thursday - March 24, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Trees
Title: How can I prune my Texas Mountain Laurels to be more tree-like?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


I planted several Texas Mountain Laurels last spring and would like to train them to be more tree-like rather than shrub-like. Each is around 36" tall with 5-10 trunks coming from the ground. Where do I make my cuts to remove the smaller trunks and encourage a tree-like shape?


The Texas Mountain Laurel Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) is a popular native evergreen that is described as a multi-trunked shrub or small tree that can range in size from a few feet to over 30 ft tall. Generally, 10 - 15 ft is the usual mature size. I am going to provide several links that give general information about growning Mountain Laurel, and suggestions about pruning. The common theme is that it is a slow grower. To train it as a tree, cut the smaller trunks at or near ground level, leaving from one to five trunks to grow.


Houston Chronicle  (this is an abbreviated version of a previously answered Mr. Smarty Plants question)

City of Austin

Texas Gardener  (scroll down to Mountain Laurel)



From the Image Gallery

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

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