Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Naturally Stunted

This tree has never been in a bigger pot than its current home.

October 2018

It hasn't been repotted since it was a seedling either.

That's not the way I usually do things, but when a tree is too vigorous, stunting its growth has its benefits.

The tree above is the smaller of two Coral trees (Erythrina lysistemon) which I grew from seed about 8 years ago.

It's never been to a workshop, unlike its big brother which has been to a couple.

When I took the bigger one to its first workshop a few years ago, I felt compelled to get it out of its small pot because it kept growing so tall and top heavy that the wind was continually blowing it over. I took two pots to the workshop and was advised to put it in the larger pot. That's a decision I've come to regret because it grows much too quickly for my liking.

In April (autumn) I gave it a hard pruning to get it short enough to fit under frost cloth for winter. No styling was attempted at that time.

April 2018 - after rough pruning

I hadn't touched it since then and by last week the new growth was totally out of control.

October 2018 - six months growth

I decided to take it to a workshop, primarily because I knew that someone there wanted the thick cuttings. But first I had to remove most of the new growth so that it would fit in my car.

Cut back to a manageable size

After proper pruning it looks like this.

October 2018 - after pruning

I'll shorten everything further when I get some back budding.

Now I need to see that I keep its growth under control.

The little one was shortened in April too, but had produced much finer growth over the last six months.

October 2018 - before pruning

It needed a lot less work.

October 2018 - after pruning

Note that the fatness of both trees at soil level is pretty similar though the larger tree has gentler taper. The smaller one has a large bulge at the base, but that has been there since it was a seedling, so I'm not sure a bigger pot would have changed that. It also has no visible nebari, something that will have to be taken care of when I finally decide to move it to a more suitable pot.

But I fear that will have to wait until next year because it's a bit late in the season to repot it now.

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