Guest

New: Trunk chop help

I'm new to the group and I'm looking for a little direction. I recently picked up a Ruby Loropetalum to play around with after reading some threads about trunk chopping. I wanted to get some opinions on a suitable locations on the trunk. It appears I may be able to separate the left and right trunks, won't know till I get in. Here are a few pics, hope they suffice.

Front view
[url=https://img501.imageshack.us/my.php?image=frontux1.jpg][img]https://img501.imageshack.us/img501/6855/frontux1.th.jpg[/img][/url]

Right view
[url=https://img508.imageshack.us/my.php?image=rightlr1.jpg][img]https://img508.imageshack.us/img508/7574/rightlr1.th.jpg[/img][/url]

Left view
[url=https://img508.imageshack.us/my.php?image=leftdj1.jpg][img]https://img508.imageshack.us/img508/3628/leftdj1.th.jpg[/img][/url]

Main trunk
[url=https://img508.imageshack.us/my.php?image=mainhv3.jpg][img]https://img508.imageshack.us/img508/8637/mainhv3.th.jpg[/img][/url]
[url=https://img508.imageshack.us/my.php?image=nebariop1.jpg][img]https://img508.imageshack.us/img508/5825/nebariop1.th.jpg[/img][/url]

Second trunk
[url=https://img501.imageshack.us/my.php?image=secondad0.jpg][img]https://img501.imageshack.us/img501/4170/secondad0.th.jpg[/img][/url]

I had a few questions in addition. First, do you need to use that wound healing cream or something special after a chop? Should I wait till the tree recovers before pruning to root ball? I've had several trees, but I'm still relatively new at this. Any opinions will be appreciated. Thanks

niug
Last edited by Guest on Thu Jun 07, 2007 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

constantstaticx3
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Welcome sguins,

That is a nice looking tree, is this from a bonsai nursery or a Home Depot or something? You have a great looking nebari so far.

Why do you want to split them apart?

I am not familiar with the species but if it back buds well, I would chop them way back maybe to 2 or 3 inches to induce some taper.

Although it is a tropical, I feel it is too late in the season o do anything to it right now. Next spring though, depending on how hardy the plant is, you may be able to root prune and chop it back at the same time. Once again I'm not really sure.

Did you do any previous research on this species, are you familiar with it?


Tom

Guest

Thanks Tom. I actually picked it up at a local garden center. I originally intended to get a cypress or black pine but I found the nebari very interesting and kept coming back to it.

I've actually never heard of the species before today. It's an evergreen shrub so I would think that it back buds pretty well. :?: It's not in terrfic shape at the moment, as you can tell in the pics. It's suppose to be a fairly hardy bush though. From what I've read so far, you're suppose to be able to prune it after blooming in early ti mid-spring. I'm still researching it. This is the best site I've found so far:

The only reason I was thinking about splitting is a "two for one". Now that I think about that, it may have a better presentation if I leave them together.

niug

constantstaticx3
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Thats great that your doing research, not many people do. Now that you understand a little more about the plant you can decide what to do.

I'm not sure when it is ok to repot this tree but, since it is an evergreen, I think you could get away with it now. Although if the health of the plant isn't so good right now, you might want to spend this summer getting it healthy and repot and prune next spring.


Tom

Guest

After further reading, I found out that the tree will bloom in spring and sporactically throughout summer. I believe it maybe between blooms. There are a significant amount of buds popping up all over the tree. So I'm thinking that it may be healthier than I previously thought. (not sure if the shot of fertilizer and change of lighting had anything to do with that) :?:

As for the actual chop, should I be concerned about applying cut cream or anything like that? Excuse the newbie questions but I've read a lot able chopping but not many people say how they "protect" the cut. I don't know if this is just a given or what? I've attempted this once before a long time ago on a 10 year old juniper with disastrous results. :roll:

niug

constantstaticx3
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The change of light and fertilizer could very well have done the trick. It's your decision if you want to attempt the chop this year or not.
As for the actual chop, should I be concerned about applying cut cream or anything like that?
Sorry I did no adress this before, I know you asked. The answer is yes it should be protected. I use a bonsai cutpaste that can be bought on many sites on the web. You could also use wood glue, which is hard to remove, or you could even use modeling clay. You could also go back to the nursery and ask if they have any grafting wax, I think thats what it's called, couldn't give you a brand name though.

When you seal it, you only need to leave it on until the wound starts to callous over then it should be ok. There should be a branch or too growing there by that point so it should heal quickly.

Don't worry about being new or killing a tree we've all been new before and we all still kill trees, it comes with the hobby :D .


Tom[/quote]

Guest

Thanks, good info about the cutpaste. I'll order some tomorrow. So am I looking to do a chop at about 2-3" above the nebari, right? Not to get TOO detailed but would that be a straight (horizonal) chop or diagonal? Don't you use a diagonal cut when your chop is directly above a branch that you want to make the apex? I read in one thread about someone using a "V" cut for a trunk chop. Is there any advantage or situation where you would use one over the other? Still learning...

~plan a lot, cut once~

niug

constantstaticx3
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Before I tell you where to cut, is the trunk 2 inches thick or did you take the measurement lower down on the nabari? Either way, I will take back what I previously said about the location of the chop just to be on the safe side, I don't want any blood on my hands :twisted: :D, Make the cut on the larger trunk just above the second branch. Leave the lower one as a sacrifice to help thicken the trunk, this will be removed before it gets too thick. On the smaller trunk, cut it just above the first branch. These branches will become your new leaders. I want you to take this route because I don't know how well it will bud and if it does well then you can always cut back more in the future if neccesary.

Yes the v and straight cut are used in different situations. But an angled cut would be the one you would use. This will help make a smoother transition from the trunk to the new leader. Make the point of the angle be right under the branch as if it is pointing at it. Look here
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4668&start=0
The method of trunk chopping is discussed in detail by two very knowlegeable moderators :wink:.

Flat cuts are used to create a broom style tree which does not apply here and same with the v cut which Gnome used on his tree in the gallery.

Take a look at the inspiration thread in the gallery, lots of great stuff in there.

Tom

Guest

I told posted incorrectly, the trunk is not that large. :oops: It's maybe half that, not sure what I was thinking when I wrote that. That being said, should I proceed with cutting or wait for the trunk to grow larger? By chopping do I hender the trunk's growth in thickness?



niug
Last edited by Guest on Fri Jun 08, 2007 12:52 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Gnome
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sguins,
By chopping do I hender the trunk's growth in thickness?
Yes, by chopping it now you will slow the development of the trunk.
That being said, should I proceed with cutting or wait for the trunk to grow larger?
That is entirely up to you. Are you satisfied with the size of the trunk now or are you looking for a larger tree?

But you may be getting ahead of yourself. How well are you able to manage potted trees? If this is new to you you might do well to wait it out for the remainder of this season. This allows you to do some more research, (sorry I know nothing about this species). Get some experience with potted trees under your belt. Allow the tree to further thicken the trunk, and allow you some time to consider your options WRT styling.

Don't forget that, if you don't kill it, you will have this tree for many years to come. There is no need to rush into anything.

Norm
[/quote]

Guest

Thanks for the info Norm. I'm not real new to potted trees, I've dabbled with them in and out for awhile. I didn't really have the time to really invest into them until about 2 years ago.
Are you satisfied with the size of the trunk now
Yes, I'm pleased with the current size of the trunk. I just wanted to know what the ramifications a chop would/would not have on further development.
sorry I know nothing about this species
I didn't either. I just happened to see it when I went to the nursery to pick up some supplies. This was after reading your thread about the chop you did with your Chinese Elm. I'd like to talk more about that project but on a different thread. :lol:

Also if back budding is the concern, couldn't I test that by pruning back the branches on the small tree? Wouldn't that force to back bud without going to the exetreme of a chop? Just some ideas

niug

constantstaticx3
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Yes you could do that, you might want to make the cuts somewhat apealing so you still have something to work with.


Tom

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sguins,

Here are a few bits of information I turned up from various sites.
with periodic pruning can be used in hedges.
If needed, prune for shape after spring flowering.
Also makes a great container plant.
The first two comments lead me to believe that pruning now would be appropriate. Here's a pic.

Norm

Guest

Thanks again! I'll break out the shears this weekend and see what I can get in to.

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