The weather today in Orlando was a high in the lower 90′s and sunny. However in my back yard it has turned Fall for my Trident Maple. Our growing season lasts for about 9 months here, and in the middle of Summer trees slow down a great deal and practically go dormant. During that time we are able to defoliate our deciduous trees to gain a second growing season. In effect, we can get two full growing seasons in one.
If you remember last year I let this tree grow for the entire year without really doing much to it, but you’ll also remember that I had areas along the trunk that failed to produce new branches. I defoliated it this year for a number of reasons. First to get a good look at the growth along the trunk. Second, to let more light in so that branches that are developing can get more sunlight (these branches I left the leaves on). Third to take advantage of our long growing season.
I had a set back this year as my first (and most important branch dies) however the great news is that a new branch has begun to develop in an even better location. With the leaves removed this branch can begin to thrive while the rest of the tree grows back its leaves.
However don’t worry this tree will recover. When a leaf is pulled off a new one will grow a thrid smaller. This is good to know for when the tree is ready for show to reduce the leaves. In the picture above you can see the new leaves ready to grow. It should only be a few weeks before the tree is once again leafed out.