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Author Topic: Early Wiring on Barberry?  (Read 1001 times)
roelex14
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« on: July 07, 2013, 04:59 PM »

Hi All,

Its been a looonggg time since I've last posted. I was being pulled away with my old job. But I have got a new job which means a little more time for my trees.

I have a question on one of my new project trees. It is a Japanese Barberry (Berberis thumbergii) which I selected from landscape nursery stock early this spring. It was cut back hard and repotted and left alone.

It has responded well to the cut back and is back budding and has put off numerous shoots.

I know that as the fleshy shoots mature and harden off, they will become very brittle and prone to cracking/breaking. So my question is should I lightly wire now to get branches in the right position for when they harden? Could this damage the fleshy growth?

Thanks In Advance!

-Aaron
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Stan Kengai
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2013, 04:21 PM »

In my experience (though I have none specifically with barberry), it's preferable to wait until the new shoots just start to harden off at their base, which is typically signified by a change in stem color.  This way, there is less risk of breaking off your new shoots.
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Owen Reich
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2013, 12:12 AM »

I concur.  Have had a few nice barbery in the past.  Wire when semi-hard.
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Chrisl
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2013, 09:31 AM »

Aaron, how big was that originally?  All the barberry I've seen are just clumps...was that hidden beneath the soil line?
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Owen Reich
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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2013, 05:36 PM »

Pyracantha, some Mahonia, and barberry all develop a swollen base underground.  It's usually a few inches below the soil surface.
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roelex14
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2013, 12:58 PM »

Aaron, how big was that originally?  All the barberry I've seen are just clumps...was that hidden beneath the soil line?

This plant was all above ground growth. It is approx. 2.5" near the base. I am a horticulturalist by trade and I work for a landscape contractor managing their plant stock. This means that when we get shipments of hundreds of plants and I get to go through them to see if there's any I like Smiley

And like you said, 99.9% of nursery barberries will be clump form (this one was the only one I found out of 200). I really lucked out and hope this will be a nice tree in the future!

It looks like I will wait for the new growth to harden off a bit before any light wiring. Unless there is anyone who has experience with barberries who would recommend differently.

Thanks guys!
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Chrisl
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USDA Hardiness: USDA Hardiness 5b

« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2013, 09:23 AM »

Aaron, how big was that originally?  All the barberry I've seen are just clumps...was that hidden beneath the soil line?

This plant was all above ground growth. It is approx. 2.5" near the base. I am a horticulturalist by trade and I work for a landscape contractor managing their plant stock. This means that when we get shipments of hundreds of plants and I get to go through them to see if there's any I like Smiley

And like you said, 99.9% of nursery barberries will be clump form (this one was the only one I found out of 200). I really lucked out and hope this will be a nice tree in the future!

It looks like I will wait for the new growth to harden off a bit before any light wiring. Unless there is anyone who has experience with barberries who would recommend differently.

Thanks guys!

I think it has fantastic possibilities too, I love the gnarly trunk.  And Thanks for verifying my experience with Barberry's.  I'll continue my search for that ONE tree lol
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