Removing top growth on yamadori

Kahless

Sapling
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Hi! I recently collected some wild plum trees. They didn't have much of a root ball when I dug them up. Most of them had 2 or 3 giant roots that had to be chopped. My question is: should I remove most of the top growth in order for the tree to not have to supply the leaves with water, or do I leave some growth so that the leaves feed the tree and help aid the development of roots. Thanks!
 

BrianBay9

Omono
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My approach has always been to leave everything alone after collection. I cut back what is necessary to get the tree into the car, but generally leave everything alone to regrow roots. Usually deciduous collecting is done before the foliage comes out, so you don't have to make these decisions. But since you have leaves, I'd still let the tree will drop the foliage it can't support. There are exceptions for some species. My coast live oaks do better with total defoliation after collection, but they're a special case.
 

ShadyStump

Chumono
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I keep missing the prime times for everything this spring, but I'm planning on digging a couple wild plums as soon as foliage replaces the blossoms. They tend to put off suckers from the roots fairly easily, so as long as you keep the root healthy you should not have completely wasted your time. Over all, it seems like a 1/4 root mass to foliage mass ratio should be a very safe outside limit for these, even outside optimal collection times.
 
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I would remove some of the leaves. Plums are pretty tough, I collected one as a raft and it's doing pretty well now.
 

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