Question: The tip of my jack pine, probably 5 years old, had been broken but not severed from the tree. It was hanging, still half attached. Is there some way to repair the tree tip so it can perhaps heal?
Answer: Coniferous trees such as pines and spruce are well known for their pyramidal shape. The reason for this unique growing form is the specialized growing point called the terminal bud. This is in the very top growth of the tree. Unfortunately, they often lose their central tips due to animal damage or storms. If a new central leader isn’t established a new shape takes form. Usually this is more shrub-like on younger trees or larger trees become shorter and more rounded in shape.
Should damage occur careful selection and remediation can provide a new leader and help restore the excurrent growth pattern. Details can be found in the pruning publication for mitigation options, Pruning Ornamental Trees and Shrubs, HO-4-W.
Other Helpful Resources:
Borers of Pines and Other Needle Bearing Evergreens in Landscapes, Purdue Extension – Entomology
Yellowing Pines and Needle Drop, Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory
Phomopsis Dieback of Spruce, Purdue Landscape Report
Tree Installation: Process and Practices, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Planting Forest Trees and Shrubs in Indiana, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Subscribe: Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel, with over 195 videos regarding wildlife, forestry and natural resources
Lindsey Purcell, Urban Forestry Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources