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Pruning & Stumping


Stumping a frangipani tree

The art of cutting a frangipani tree back is often referred to as stumping, it is done for various reasons, the most common one is to have the flowers all at face height and not way above your head. When done properly the tree will be spread out so that it resembles more of a hedge than a tree, you can keep it growing like this with further pruning in the following years. Apart from this you may also have to do it due to bad growth, disease, ants or simply for aesthetic reasons. Stumping can make an old scraggy tree look really great provided it is done right. The one in the photo below was originally 4 mtrs tall and not very good to look at, it is now 1.8 mtrs and has a much more appealing shape with flowers all at face height, it was stumped in September '08 so it is 4 1/2 years since it was done, a strong tree will recover and put out re-growth very quickly.

To do it properly you need to plan out your shape, a wide spread is more desirable so you need to stand back and work out which branches to cut and at what height, this is very important. Once you have decided which ones you are going to remove mark them at the place you are going to cut, remember you need to cut away a join for re-growth to happen plus you need all the cuts at a fairly level height for symmetry, somewhere around 1.2 mtrs to 1.5 mtrs is perfect. If you do not want growth from a particular area make the cut flush with the branch join, this should stop any re-growth. A look at the one above will give you a good idea of how and where to cut. First remove as much upper growth as possible so that you only have to contend with the lower branches, also remember that these can be grown on so do not just chop off the tops, see if you can shape these branches as well. Using a good clean saw cut the branches off at the desired marks, have a very slight incline on the cut so water does not sit on the cut, once you have removed all the branches paint the cuts with wound seal to stop any fungal growth, ants etc from entering it. I just place the removed branches so that they have their base on the ground and lean them against the tree, they should take root from above the ground over a period of time then you can simply remove them and plant then elsewhere or give them away. A stumped tree can also be put into a pot, they make a great feature and can be maintained at their height.



Pruning & Stumping

stumped tree(sept 09).JPG