How about we start at the beginning? Let me ‘splain. We have three trees. Here are two:This is one I’ve been pruning for shape for about 8 or 10 years. All that movement is from chopping, regrowing, healing, chopping. Repeat.
That’s better. You’ll hear nowadays to make a square cut instead of an angled one like I just did. If this shoot wasn’t here:I would be making a straight cut. You don’t know where the new shoot will pop from and, as likely as not, if you made an angled cut, it would pop from the bottom of the cut instead of the top.
I can get rid of some there are so many.
A bit of wire.
Here’s a tip, the skinnier the branch, the more movement you put into it with wire. Especially close to the trunk. As the branch thickens, those exaggerated curves will grow out and be more natural. And I’ll be chopping the branches back to the first curve anyway.
Now, normally I wouldn’t be fertilizing at this time of the year, but I want to accelerate that new leaders growth, which will then accelerate that chop healing. I am expecting it to get about 4-5 feet tall this year.
Now, the second trident.I’ve been building this tree for maybe ten years. The first cut is healed, as are all the subsequent ones. Keeping a strong leader growing makes the difference. Some call it a sacrifice branch, some, an escape branch. Call it what you want, it works.
I’ll do it by a thread graft. Basically, drill a hole all the way through the trunk and insert a branch through that hole and let it grow, filling the hole and grafting with the tree, and then you cut off the donor tree.
I like to seal the wounds with a cut paste (the snot variety) that stays flexible when dry. I also like to secure the grafts with wire and, of course, put a little movement in them. I also tie the pots together to minimize movement.
Here’s a short video to let you see what I did a little easier.
I’m digging the music.
I’ll cover some approach grafts in a future post.