Mountain Ash Tree Top Has Sagged To One Side

Question From: P. Brodie - Homer, Alaska, United States
Q: I have six mountain ash trees, three on each side of my small lot in Homer Alaska. I planted all at the same time, eight to ten years ago, all seem to have the same basic growing conditions. All are doing well except one. It has not grown nearly as much as the others, and this summer, the top of the main stem drooped to one side, and has not recovered. A new branches is now growing straight up, to replace the main trunk sagging to the side. Should I pull up the tree and plant another? Or cut off the drooping main stem and let the upright branch take over? Or is there something I can do to perk this tree up? (It is surrounded by raspberries, but so are two of the other trees that are doing great.)

A: I'd replace it. It can't look too good and corrective pruning will make it look worse. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy