Norfolk Island Pine Tree
I have 2 Norfolk Pines; one , I planted myself,the other was maybe 6 feet tall when I moved into this house. Neither tree has ever been topped, pruned or otherwise trimmed. Both have a fork in them, maybe 6 feet from the top. (Both are about 50' feet tall, now.) The guy I've hired to trim the taller of the two, after wind damage has stripped off many branches, insists that these trees cannot form a fork unless they've been trimmed. I assured him I would know if that had been done, but he's adamant that they had to have been topped or those forks would never have formed. There must be another explanation for the forks, can you provide any help? This is a silly argument but the guy thinks I'm nuts or ignorant and I'd like to be able to explain how these things formed. Thanks, James Waite Sarasota
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
I know Norfolk Island Pines can develop multiple trunks, but these would usually emerge from the ground. Aboveground trunks usually grow without branching. But since your trees' forks emerge from so high up in the tree, it seems unlikely that they would have developed because of pruning. Is it possible that wind damage caused this? Norfolk Pines are (as you already know) very susceptible to wind damage. Perhaps a few years ago wind caused a break in the main trunk high up in the tree, and this led to the fork?