Pruning for a leader

Pecan tree with no clear leader

Sometimes we need to prune for a leader on our nursery trees. Here we have a Pecan Tree with no clear leader. Left to its own devices this tree will make several leaders from this point 2′ off the ground. The dominant branch is to the right in the picture. I will remove the other branches as seen below and tie up that branch as the new leader as seen at the bottom.

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Pecan tree pruned to regain a leader
New leader tied up on a pecan tree

Trees lose their leader for various reasons. Insect damage, winter injury, wind breakage or sometimes the tree just puts more energy into another branch rather than the leader. The principle here can be repeated as necessary any time a tree needs pruning for a leader.