Sunday, 2 November 2014

Post 181 Celtis stumps development

In August I pulled up all my Celtis stumps and put them in ploy boxes and other large containers to make it easier to work on them. With our first day in the mid 30s and afternoon thunderstorm, spring is well over and summer is now with us for the next 5 months. Not so good for human comfort but think of the cut and grow cycles that can fit into all that time.

Until just last week this is what they all looked like with the spring flush extended out a good 750 mm in many cases. The early lengths of these shoots has now hardened off and it's time to shorten them back and develop some more close ramification option value.

The pruning of this season's growth to date takes the leaders back to about 25 to 30 mm length and after a week these are shooting abundantly. As is the case with any defoliation of a deciduous tree to develop ramification and structure, the tree will generally produce more new shoots than you might want and not always where you want. It is important to choose which ones to let grow and remove the rest to avoid clutter and to focus the tree's resources where you want results.


So each of the first cycle stubs now have two or three new shoots. I'll let these run out to that 600 to 750mm again, building the bulk  of the primary branches, building taper and a higher density of branches. This cycle two will be for about another 7 or 8 weeks before repeating the process again. It is likely at some time in this cycle that I will tip prune the more dominant vertical growth and allow the lower more horizontal branches to continue and catch up as much as possible. Within a week or two the new shoots will be wired into growing position.

The pot hoops around many of the stumps are to contain potting medium which covers surface air layering that I've done. I used the same technique as in Post 175 on the Ficus with a ring of holes drilled where I want a new flaring root structure to replace the few major dominant roots that came with the original dig.    From past experience I'm expecting to see a mass of new fibrous roots develop all around the circumference so that before next spring I can cut off the old root structure and plant the trees in more shallow pots when the time comes. With plenty of growth momentum it's a good time for this essential step.
There are a couple here that are looking quite prospective. It's good to start many and keep a few, just like new shoots.

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