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Where to cut this tree (copper beech?)

makecoldplayhistory says:


My mother in law has asked me to cut back her tree I think it's a copper. Approximately a third of the tree has very few leaves and has had fewer and fewer for the last 5 years or so. The rest of it has leaves and pink flowers in the spring. 

If it should be cut back, where should I cut it. As it's basically a 'Y' shape, should it be where the non-flowering bit begins?

I don't seem to be able to attach photos to my post so here is a link to a couple. 

Thanks in advance,


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  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 36,192

    Hi Mike. I do not think that the tree is a copper beech - they do not have pink flowers. I think it may be Prunus cerasifera Nigra or the Black Leaved Plum. This is definitely the time of year to do any pruning of the Prunus family but that seems to be quite a big tree. It looks as though someone has already started to cut the tree but I think it would be best to consult a professional tree surgeon.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • BobFlannigonBobFlannigon Posts: 619

    It does look like a copper beech to me although the photo's are a bit dark.  A close-up of a leaf would confirm it.

    If it were me I'd just take of that entire right hand fork that looks a bit weak and is far too big.  I'd read up on when the best time to cut it is as you might need to wait until it's dormant.

  • Thank you for the replies. 

    I don't think the tree is quite as big as it looks in the photographs. Cutting it isn't going to be a problem as far as size and weight of it goes. 

    It it was me who cut a little off. Not much though. About the size of my forearm And a metre or two long. 

    Ive vey googled that ladybird24 and you're right as to the type of tree. 

    Thanks for all replies. 

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 36,192

    Well now I know it isn't as huge as it seemed then I would trim all the cut spurs right back to the main trunk or branch to begin with. Leaving big spurs will spoil the shape of the tree and as BobF said, I would remove the whole of the right hand section (as we look at it). This shouild reinvigorate the tree, Good luck Mike.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
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