Dwarf for a full sun in a z6 (cdn)

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by copperbeech, Apr 22, 2019.

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  1. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member

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    It will replace the Flowering Almond standard that you see in the photo.

    Given its important location it needs to be an extra interesting specimen ;).

    What might you suggest?
     

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  2. Michigander

    Michigander Active Member

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    Poncirus trifoliata contorta, Flying Dragon Bitter Orange. Slow growing with striking appearance of curved branches and large thorns, and small orange inedible fruits (in the distant future). Caragana arboresciens 'Pendula' , Weeping Siberian Peashrub, graceful foliage with small yellow flowers. Syringa meyeri 'Palibin', Korean Lilac, several other named varieties including 'Miss Kim', in various colors, all fragrant, with attractive foliage. Witch Hazel comes in a wide variety of colors. Rhododendron yedoensis, Korean Azalea, can be trained to grow upright as a column of a few upright branches. Stewartia pseudocamellia Japanese Flowering (false) Camellia, mid-summer white flowers. Magnolia stellata, Royal Star Magnolia. Carpinus coreana, Korean Hornbeam doesn't have conspicuous blooms, but has lovely foliage, but is hard to find.

    All of these are smaller trees, but you have to do your part, too, to keep them small. I see by your photo that you have allowed your Flowering Almond to get out of hand. Anyhow, you are pretty far north, so any tree that flowers and matures seed does so at a disadvantage because your season is too short to both mature seed and set flower buds for the next year, resulting in a pattern of flowering well every-other year. You can short-cut that process by immediately cutting off all spent flowers/seed-heads so the tree can skip to the next part of the cycle right away: growing next year's flower buds. Also, You need to "steal" the ability of the tree to grow as much or as big as it would unimpeded, so also immediately after blooming, you need to reduce the branches by ~half~. demoX.JPG It's taken me hours and hours to carefully depict how your tree should look after your prune it every year. Thank God for computers! (I didn't have to break out the Crayolas.) Early in the tree's life you need to choose an architecture, that is the main branching structure. You need to save the heaviest branches in strategic locations as pictured. They should radiate out from the trunk like a spiral staircase as viewed from above. Ideally, each ascending branch rotated ~130° and about a foot higher along the trunk. This maximizes light getting to lower branches. This sounds more difficult than it really is and doesn't have to be exact to look just fine. The branches you choose will only protrude half way to the edge of the brick border on the ground. That will give you just enough room for new growth from the main branches each year. No twigs can grow straight down; nothing can grow out beyond the imaginary red canopy line. When it does, you trim it back ~half way~ or off at its origin. Leave no stubs, but don't gouge the mother branch either. Cut branches and twigs off flush. Branches will grow approximately straight from the tips. When you see that a branch is pointed where you don't want it to go, you remove it, or trim it back to a bud or twig growing in an acceptable direction. No branches are allowed to grow towards the interior, or crossing another. In all cases you are keeping it smaller by removing anything growing in the wrong direction or too congested. You are making space. Empty space between branches. Ideally, you will have flat fans of twigs and foliage growing sideways from the main branches, plus some growing up from the mains, but you maintain space between branches by not allowing anything growing down from the bottom of a main and nothing growing up that interferes with the branch above. To stop or slow down linear growth, trim the bud on the tip of the branch and growth will be encouraged from buds on that branch closer to the trunk. Leave the tip bud on to encourage more growth from the end and less from buds on that branch closer to the trunk.

    Over time, the tree will get a little taller each year. You will intentionally chose how tall. If you keep it short enough to prune it from your standing on the ground position, it will be easier to keep it in-bounds for years and years. You will also choose to cut off older main branches in favor of new, smaller replacements every few years to keep everything in scale. You don't want to have a big blank spot in the design when you do that, so look ahead, and nurture a replacement for a couple years in a good location to be a replacement for the one that's getting too big. And that's all there is to it!
     
  3. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    This was originally posted in Maples, but did not state a request for a maple, hence @Michigander's reply. I checked with @copperbeech, who says that it is indeed a maple that is wanted. That request is over in Maples now, at Dwarf Japanese Maple for a full sun in a z6 (cdn). Michigander has written such a detailed reply that it seems a shame to lose it, but no-one would find it in Maples for the trees he suggests, so I have copied that posting here with the reply.

    Note that there is NOT now a request for this information regarding any non-maple.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Esteemed Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    This (duplicate) thread is closed to replies, the maples thread is open (and also includes Michigander's reply).
     
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