Careful crown reduction and skilful pruning was order of the day for this beautiful old Judas Tree, Cercis siliquastrum, in a garden in Marlow. We estimate this tree may be around 200 years old with a stem diameter of 65 centimeters at breast height although the lower trunk swells to a diameter in excess of 1 meter. The height and spread of the crown is equally impressive as the photo shows.
Our intentions were to carefully reduce the crown to reduce risk of storm damage as the structure of the tree becomes increasingly weakened with age and the inevitable process of decay that happens in all trees.
A balanced nutrient feed was also given to gently boost the trees energy resources which can really help older trees to maintain vigour and resistance to disease. The photo below shows the lower trunk of the tree, now completely hollowed out with aerial roots beginning to form within the cavity. This is a feature that often develops in veteran trees.
Our arborist, Ben Marsh has done a great job, working around the outer edges of the crown to carefully reduce the over extended limbs and to maintain the natural grace and beauty of the tree Pruning cuts were kept small in diameter to minimise the risks of decay and accurately to maximise growth of formation of new wood to occlude the wounds.
The Judas tree is native to Mediterranean countries and eastwards across Asia. It is highly valued as a garden specimen for its stunning Lilac flowers that open in the Spring before the fresh green heart-shaped leaf unfolds. Long purple pods develop in the Summer that persist into the Winter months giving a clue to the tree’s botanical roots in the ‘pea family’, Leguminosae.
This tree has deservedly been given the Award of Garden Merit by The Royal Horticultural Society and is a tree that is now readily available from good nurseries. Indeed, we have planted several new specimens of this stunning tree in various gardens over recent years.