Monday, 12 June 2017

One little Bougainvillea - three options

Over the years I haven't had a lot of success with flowering trees.

One of my early purchases was a Bougainvillea "Smarty Pants", a variety which doesn't have thorns. Soon after I bought it I took it to a workshop and came away quite happy with the styling that was done. Unfortunately, being inexperienced in transporting trees it didn't enter my mind that the tree might topple over in the car - the outcome was that one or two branches snapped off before I even had time to take a photo of my newly styled tree.

I've been battling with that tree ever since, primarily because I later discovered that I'd chosen a tree with a really bad root system. All is not lost however because I've propagated a few cuttings from it over the years.

I started this one from a thickish cutting three or four years ago.

Front - June 2017

Above is my front and below is what I've always regarded as the back:

Back - June 2017

On Saturday I took it along to a club meeting, keen to get some suggestions for its future.

I received three very different suggestions and have created a rough virtual of each option using Photoshop.

Virtual 1

This is fairly close to what I had in mind, though the back has become the front and I hadn't planned on removing the second branch on the right hand side. Although the leader is coming forward from this side I'm not too keen to have that huge scar facing forward and the right hand side looks rather bare.

Virtual 2

I'm not sure I've got the slant quite right here. This is supposed to be a semi-cascade. I'm not sure whether the tree's root system will support this style but may look into this option when I repot the tree in spring.

Virtual 3

This one is supposed to be a windswept tree. Are Bougainvilleas really suited to this style? Based on this virtual I'm not totally convinced.

Right now I've got a lot to think about but I won't be cutting anything until my little tree loses its bracts (flowers). I think a slight change of slant may be a good idea, but probably not as drastic as what's shown in virtual 2 or 3. I'm also considering a change of front to minimise the gap between the two trunks.

Here's a 360° view which may show better angles than in my unedited photos.

All suggestions are welcome.

Which option would you choose for this tree?

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