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Mr. Smarty Plants - How can I prune my Texas Mountain Laurels to be more tree-like?

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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

QUESTION:

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?

ANSWER:

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.

Plantanswers.com

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)

Aridzonetrees.com

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

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