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Twig Dieback in a Schefflera

This issue is adressing a schefflera I've had for over a year. I had unwisely removed half a branch a year ago, and I wanted to get it growing again. So I cut it down to a bud, and even 6 months after, when the rest of the tree is growing, the bud didnt grow. So I thought maybe the bud is dead, so I cut it down AGAIN to a leaf. For unknown reasons, that leaf died, and then the stump turned black until it reached another leaf (so aprox 1/4 in of dead stump on end of branch). Now, the leaf that stopped the black dieback (the last leaf in the branch, too) is now dieing, and there are more buds that are dormant on the branch, but I only have a centimeter to work with, and I don't want them to turn black too. What is the best thing I can do at this point?

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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:07 pm
Location: Minnesota zone 4


The only thing I can think of is to cut the remaining leaf off. Cut it about a ½ inch above the leaf axil (where the leaf joins the stem). Cut the stem back a ½ inch above that and seal with a little vasoline.

You may also want to nip the growing buds on the other branches.

When you cut a branch it's best to cut a ½ inch above a leaf axil, make sure the cut is at an angle facing up, then remove the leaf as I mentioned before. The new latent bud is just above the axil. Seal with vasoline or cut paste to keep the cut from drying out.


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Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

I've noticed as well with Schefflera that they do not respond well to pruning of lower branches. Where you'd like to do this to split or get newer growth isn't always an option as the Schefflera seem to concentrate more on getting new growth to the topmost and outermost branches. So, even in a best case scenario, most often the branch just stays as you've cut it. Or, at least that's what they've done for me.

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