Tree about 80' tall, formerly on wooded lot, abused in construction, has multiple shoots growing vertically from spots along long bare trunk, several shoots per location
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2 Answers

You  prune it just like you would any other tree. -Birdy
by (24.3k points)
Need more of an answer. This is a mature tree with many water shoots growing up a very long previously bare trunk.  It doesn't look like any other tree I've ever seen.  Worried about what happens to scaffolding branches, since multiples grow vertically out of each spot along trunk  to about 1 1/2 feet from ground.  Do I leave the strongest in each spot and hope that it grows more horizontally, or just cut all shoots off?  When do I prune, now or fall?  Do not want to further damage tree, but hope it will become a good shade tree for yard.  Thanks!
So let me answer this further question.  If the growth is mostly vertical with other growths both vertical and horizontal, chose the strongest growths to keep and the little ones to cut at the base. Don't cut now, the best time to trim a tree is in the middle of Fall, or a week or two before Fall is over.  By the way to lessen the shock to the tree, it would be a wise thing, to cover the ends of the cut shoots with a paper or plastic sack, secured  so that it will stay in place for a month or two.  And when you do decide to cut or trim the tree, leave 1 1/2" to 2" of that trimmed branch left, and always make the cut at an angle. -Birdy
I don't know that you are aware that in the spring & summer this tree has big blossoms that blow around and make a mess.  You could just trim off the shoots in the fall  and spray specricide prunning spray on the places that the bark is missing.  If you have any kind of allergies this is the tree that could make it worse for you.  we bought this property with 2 of these trees 50 ft high maybe more in 1998 and we just had them taken down 2013 because of the flowering buds making such a mess on the porch daily and it was getting in the house on our shoes even if we wiped out feet well.  Our trees had every thing at the top with 3 ft trunks measured across the middle when cut down.  I was a very difficult decision, nice shade tree but who ever planted them they were way too close to the house about 30 ft away.
by (150k points)
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