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Hyacinth Plant

Q.Trimming a Kapok Tree

Zone Merced, California 95340 | Teletha1962 added on June 2, 2016 | Answered

I have a Kapok Tree that is approximately 60 feet tall. It desperately needs trimming and we are not at all familiar with this tree. It was given to my father about 1991 and was only around 6 inches tall at that time. In the last year, it seems to be growing rapidly and I just read that it can grow 13 feet a year. The trunk is probably 12 feet around. We live in California, the Central Valley, and our temperatures range from approximately 28 to 110 degrees. Our weather report for the next few days is 102 to 106 degrees. I’ve called a tree service, but don’t know if they will even know how to handle this thorny, massive, gorgeous tree. Help!!! Would appreciate any advise you can give me, as I don’t want to lose this tree, but I also don’t want it to destroy my well (if it has those kind of roots?). Thank you!!!

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Answered on June 5, 2016

Hopefully your Kapok is not too close to your well as these trees, depending on its variety, can reach to 80 feet or more. Typically the roots of a tree will extend to the width of the trees canopy so definitely keep that in mind. As long as there is a strong central leader then only light pruning is necessary. Any branches that are crossing over another can be taken as well as any branches pointing downwards. I am attaching a link that has some more pruning tips. If only light pruning is done the high temperatures should not hurt the Kapok as it is a tropical temperate loving tree.


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