Author Topic: Branch extensions  (Read 1701 times)


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Branch extensions
« on: June 04, 2014, 06:50 AM »
Hmm, now here's an interesting one for the group.

Did some checking last year on just how effective - growing long, long branches on trees for trunk thickening would be.

Well on Fukien Tea, Sageretia t. and a couple of local trees, it is a waste of time.
Example- we were able to get a Fukien tea in a 1" deep pot about 6"s long and 3"s wide to throw out a first branch to 4 feet.
Nothing thickened.

So we tested ground growing. Sure enough the trunk put on size.

Seems that some trees need to be ground grown and others like our local ficus can thicken in a small pot - say 1" x 10" long by 4" wide, with an extended branch or a lot of foliage all over.

As mentioned before, the J.B.pine, will develop 1" or smaller needles during our Dry season, but as the rains fall, they extend back up to 2 or 3".
So much to experience in order to learn.

With our ground growing, trees are placed very apart from each other, as though they were being grown as landscape specimens. This allows us to get Tamarinds at 3" trunks in a year.
With the borrowed technique [ from the Japanese - Bonsai Today magazines ] of cutting the seedling short for roots closer to the cotyledon, we can produce tamarinds that will be cut down to 1/2 to 1" of the soil level. They can resprout with a 3" base and be a low branched specimen.

So if anyone tried the branch extension bit and got no real results, check the tree's response in nature.
Good Morning

* By the way it still takes 5 to 10 years to heal the wound on the Tamarind, add on the 6 branches and the fine twigging.
So a fat trunk does not mean fast specimen, at least on this island - ha ha ha.

Joshua Hanzman

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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2014, 02:20 PM »
Even though it still takes time to ramify, still, that is awesome, 3" in a year! Question, is that the first year it is in the ground, or do you count the first year as the year you place it in the soil, and the second year as the first year of growth?

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Re: Branch extensions
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2014, 07:47 AM »

it goes into the ground as a 3 to 6 leaflet seedling.

However, please note, it is given Bonsai type care.

[1] Soil is prepared, and has coarse [ 10 mm or so gravel ] with a compost mix and some of the original clay. The island is generally a very deep deposit of a clay we call Sapote, extremely plastic, and dries out with up to kneecap swallowing cracks.
Then re-wets and jackhammers as it moves down hill.
Seagrape [ cocoloba u.] has a root system like an azalea, and seems to control the problem, plus you get great tall trees, dinner plate leaves and purple " grapes" salty sweet.

[2] Fertilise and water as needed. We have a pronounced dry season.

[3] Slight shade helps. If you want small leaves and short, is  it internodes ? , full sun.

Additionally, the Tamarind is leaflet dense, not twiggy. If you grew a Bursera s. [ naked indian / burnt tourist ] the trunk increase would be even more dramatic , very few branches and no twigging.

Observations show growing a Hackberry [ American ] in full sun is great for a mature design, but to heal the wounds [ being done presently, dappled sun allows for long extensions and more bark development.
We have to be careful on our side, Hackberry wood seems to remain soft and termites / borers love it. No one down here is really very crazy about the use of wood hardeners.
Good Day

* A little tip - Tamarinds under the age or around the age of 10 years, will have furrowed bark [ kinda like a pine ] but the more mature specimens change to flaking bark.
So when you look at the stuff from the warm Eastern Asian countries look carefully at the bark.
A good many are stumps dug up from trees used for firewood. Survival rate was quoted as being less than 40%, but Leo de Leon would probably know more. [ Member here ]

Tamarinds are normally single trunk, and very noble trees.
There is an 800 - 1000 year specimen on Google, where it has become a multi-trunked dome - not sure if that is a last stage situation or if it was cultivated to do that.