Dead tree leader #747993 - Ask Extension


Dead tree leader #747993

Asked May 04, 2021, 3:29 PM EDT

Hi, I bought a honey locust for my front lawn a year and a half ago. Last spring, the tree came back, but the leader didn't. Since it's a locust tree, there is a gnarly kind of structure to the branches. Without the leader, though, I'm worried that the tree isn't going to be the beauty I was hoping for in my front yard. Do you have any input please? Thanks much, Andy

Dakota County Minnesota

Expert Response

Hello Andrew, happy to help.

Actually, your tree will probably have a nice form with several branches stretching out in all directions now.  One of the topmost ones will take on 'leader' responsibilities and send out newer branches.  I'd give it some time.  It may become one of the best looking honey locusts around.

Send an update in a year with a photo.  If you reply to this submittal, it will get back to me. 

Ellen Campbell Replied May 04, 2021, 4:07 PM EDT

Sounds great! Will do!


Should I prune the dead leader off?





Andy Tix, Ph.D.

Department of Psychology

Faculty Advisor, Christian Student Fellowship

Normandale Community College



“Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.” (William Butler Yeats)


From: Ask Extension <>
Sent: Tuesday, May 4, 2021 3:08 PM
To: Tix, Andrew P <>
Subject: Re: Dead tree leader (#0017924)


Tix, Andrew P Replied May 04, 2021, 4:16 PM EDT
Hello Andrew, 

It's probably fine the way it is.  Pruning may result in cutting into live material.  Eventually the tree will be engulfed in expanding side branches.  You won't see it for all the leaves in the meantime.

Ellen Campbell Replied May 04, 2021, 4:25 PM EDT

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