A Tree Given a Second Chance…

Sissoo tree

Last winter, we suffered a severe cold snap.  Okay, for those of you who live in more northerly climates, it wouldn’t seem all that cold to you perhaps.  But, we had temps that ranged in the low 20’s for three days in a row, which is definitely below normal for us.

As a result, many trees and plants that normally stay green in the winter, suffered severe frost damage.  That included my mother’s young Sissoo tree (Dalbergia sissoo).

frost damage

Frost damage

I wrote about her tree and how the top died back to the ground.  However, there were some new growth coming up from the bottom.  So instead of taking out the tree, we opted to cut off the dead portion and let one the new growth take over.

frost damage

We re-staked the little tree and waited to see how it would do.

That was in the beginning of June.

Now, just 4 1/2 months later, look at it now…

Sissoo tree

Doesn’t it look so much bigger?

That’s because it is.

Why has it grown so quickly?  Well, that is because it had a great root system – actually the root system of a grown tree, so it had many resources to help it to grow quickly.

Sissoo tree

It is still hard to believe how quickly it grew.  But, we are so happy with the decision to give it a chance instead of buying a new tree.

Sissoo tree

If we had planted a new tree, it would never have grown so quickly.

So, next time you have a frost-damaged tree, wait a few months to see if there is any re-growth – even if it is on the bottom.

You never know, it might end up with a fast-growing tree and save yourself some money at the same time 🙂  


5 days and counting until my daughter’s due date.  We had a ‘false alarm’ on Monday.  But, I guess our little granddaughter wasn’t ready to come yet 😉

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
10 replies
  1. Rohrerbot
    Rohrerbot says:

    Great post. I did the same with my Jacaranda and everything is wonderful today. No purple flowers…but I'm so glad it survived as are the birds:) Hopefully we don't have a repeat winter.

  2. FlowerLady
    FlowerLady says:

    Second chances are great! This tree has grown because someone, you, saw the potential.

    I can just feel your excitement about your grand-daughter's entrance into this world. Enjoy and I know she'll be loved by one and all.

    Hugs ~ FlowerLady

  3. Kathleen Scott
    Kathleen Scott says:

    Great advice. I'm hoping it works on drought-damaged trees too. We have a couple that have lost leaves and look bad. Hoping for rain over winter and new growth in spring.

  4. Aimee H.
    Aimee H. says:

    What a great thing! Do you think the trunk of our neighbor's tree might regenerate itself and give me back my fall beauty? 😉

  5. Desert Dweller
    Desert Dweller says:

    What a great story – tenacity, frugality and good horticulture meet!

    Freeze-damaged mesquite, chaste trees, pomegranates, and figs here, some >50 yrs old. All left and dead pruned out came ROARING back, including esp the young ones. I completely agree – big root system, happy times on the way!

    But please – no more winters like the last few…

  6. Emily
    Emily says:

    Look at that tree. It really grew well. I like what you did on that frozen tree. You really made a second chance for that tree to live and grow with vigor and healthy parts possible. By the way, you also have a great looking landscape.

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