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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Irish Trees & other trees grown in Ireland

should i top my ash trees?


 
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powera24
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 03 Mar 2013
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Location: Portrane

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 8:40 pm    Post subject: should i top my ash trees? Reply with quote

I have ash trees along my drive that I planted 2 years ago. They are thin but tall.. about 12ft high. They were sparsely leafed last year and looks like they are doing a bit better this year but the top few feet are still bare.


My question is should i top them to try get bushier growth? They look very dangly at the moment.

As a side note I originally ordered native cherry trees but the guy gave me ash. Was half considering lifting them and planting something more floral ... how do you guys rate ash as a driveway liner?
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Good guy
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Location: Donegal

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How big is your driveway? Are these the native Ash, Fraxinus excelsior, which can grow fast to 25 metres? If so, you will need a driveway on the scale of a 'big house' avenue. Or are they Mountain Ash, sometimes called Rowan, Sorbus aucuparia? If the latter they may well make useful driveway trees, with blossom, fruit and attractive foliage.
Let us know more about them and/or the site - photos help.
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powera24
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Location: Portrane

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think they are mountain ash.. they have pinnately toothed leaf and clusters of green/white flowers are starting to form. I'll have a look for a pic now
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powera24
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pic looking up my drive


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Good guy
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They look like mountain ash all right, but what kind, I've no idea. Close ups of leaves and flowers might let more knowledgable people than me identify them in more detail.
Personally, I woudn't top them, but let them do their own thing. I prefer not to prune trees unless branches are growing awkwardly and spoiling the shape. But I would keep the ground around the trunks completely clear of grass for at least a two foot radius, more if you can manage it. Grass is a very hungry competitor for water and nutrients.
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Good guy, they do look like Rowan. I would leave them alone, they will thicken up on their own. If you prune them the resulting re-growth might not be to your liking (not very natural looking).

Cut a circle in the grass and, if it was me, I would put a low stake on them just for a few years. It looks like you have quite a prevailing wind and they are leaning. A bit of help while they are young might help them grow straight. Nothing too rigid, they more they flex, the stronger the roots. This has worked well for me in the past.

When they mature, you will have lovely blossom in the spring, berries and, depending on the variety, good autumn colour too.
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Dr. Sunny Thomson
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rowan are a beautiful tree. Sue Deacons advice will make them even more beautiful. Id do that.
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tippben
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely keep them weed free, as suggested above. One of the most common causes of the symptoms you describe is suffocation. If the root collar (the place where the main stem turns into roots) is not at surface level, the tree will not thrive. If this is the case, then replant immediately, or the tree will continue to decline.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lay lines can make trees bend over too.
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powera24
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 8:23 pm    Post subject: thanks for the info Reply with quote

Thanks for the help and advice guys. Will be sure to cleat around the base. Here is a close up so it defo looks like rowan which I'm happy about


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Good guy
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad to be of help. If you follow Sue's advice and stake them for a year or two, consider using two stakes per tree, each positioned well away from the trunk. Fix a horizontal bar to them and use a tree tie to secure the trunk to that. There will be less likelihood of damaging the root system, that way.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a practical tip for their protection. Get yourself a few 6-8 inch lengths of ordinary brown 6 inch plastic drain pipe. Saw it lengthwise on one side. Open each one up and slip it over the trunk, high up, and drop it down to ground level. That way you'll protect them from mower damage etc. However careful you are, you'll inevitably knock them with some tool or other and damage the bark. I've done our fruit trees this way.
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ones on the left look worse the rear one looks like it has a double stem it will always be a problem if it survives, the near one on left is leaning looks like it was growing somewhere else before transplanting it will always lean, the ones on the right are leaning with the wind never got a chance to buttress near the base will suffer later in life because of this, looks like the were bought as large trees from a nursey, if they were mine i would root out and start again, with smaller trees , Stake properly, keep weed free and feed, I would stick with Mountain ash on the right but plant something like Amelanchier on left, or Specimen hawthorn or Malus it would give a bit of variety and contribute to bird and insect life in the garden.
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