Q: I planted 12 Leyland Cypress trees approx 3 years ago to grow as a privacy hedge between me and my neighbors. They have done very well and were approx 8-10 ft tall. Today, I found 2 of them vandalized by the neighbor kids. From the top of the tree to approximately 2 ft from the ground, they stripped the tree of all of its limbs.
Will these stripped trees regrow any branches or am I faced with digging them up and replacing them?
A: They look pretty sad right now but I hate to lose the three years of good root growth they’ve put on.
1. Cut off the trunk of each plant an inch above the highest remaining healthy branch.
2. Use wide strips of cloth to tie a broomstick or large dowel vertically to the trunk. The top of the stick should extend at least a foot above the pruning cut.
3. Gently draw the nearest healthy branch upwards towards vertical and tie it in place next to the stick with more cloth strips.
4. If it begins to put on new growth in summer, it will take over the duties of being the central trunk of the tree.
After a few years you won’t notice the kink in the trunk.