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Two trees in one?

We have a tree in the front yard that has me puzzled. At the base of the trunk there are branches growing out and the leaves produced are nothing like what the tree leaves are. The tree itself produces a narrowish jagged leaf that is dark green whereas the leaves growing from the branches out of the bottom of the trunk are wide large (about 2-3 times larger than the tree leaves) and are bright green.

When you look at the tree it looks like a bush growing around the tree but when I went in to chop away what I thought was a bush I saw all the branches growing out of the trunk. About a month after I cut everything away most of the growth returned to where you couldn't tell I cut anything away.

Any ideas what is going on? I'll try to remember to take and post pictures to give everyone a better idea of what is going on.

What is the best way to prevent this growth from continuing

Re: Two trees in one?
asc2078 wrote:

You did not say what type of tree it was. That would be helpful in answering your question.

When I get home tonight I will take some pictures and get that information on here.

Re: Two trees in one?

Ok, I now have pictures. I'm not sure what type of tree I have but maybe someone here will have an idea - I want to say the main tree is a Cottonwood but I'm not too sure.

Hope these help.

As you can see in the second picture, there are two different types of leaves on the tree branches, a long narrow leaf and a wide leaf. There are also little 'berries' on the branches as well. The leaves growing on the bottom of the trunk are the very wide bright green ones as pictures in the third image. Many of these leaves will grow to be 5-6 inches wide. These leaves aren't growing on vines because the last time I went through to cut them down I had to use some lopers to cut the branches they were stemming from.

Re: Two trees in one?

You have a tree that has been grafted. It looks like a basswood-linden graft. What this means is that the top part of the tree is a different cultivar than the bottom. When the tree was young, the top part (scion) was inserted into the rootstock of a cultivar with stronger rooting behavior. What you are seeing are the leaves of the rootstock cultivar. This can mean that the top part is failing, and that the tree is responding by trying to put out more growth. On the other hand, this can happen with any grafted tree. As long as the top part of the tree is healthy, you can continue to remove the rootstock growth. There's not a whole lot you can do to stop it.

I hope this helps.

Mike Riley
Asheville, NC

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