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Garden Talk: Controlling Tree size

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ridesredmule

ridesredmule
Barnesville (Charle, GA
(Zone 8b)

November 13, 2009
3:13 PM

Post #7270067

We would like to learn how to control
the size of the tree to still be able to
get fruit from it.
Xeramtheum
Summerville, SC
(Zone 8a)

November 13, 2009
3:33 PM

Post #7270119

You might try espalier.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Espalier

X

ridesredmule

ridesredmule
Barnesville (Charle, GA
(Zone 8b)

November 13, 2009
3:58 PM

Post #7270167

Is it possible to so Espalier in a flower pot.
A large flower pot.? I have trees in pots and it has greatly restricted their growth.
I do have one orange tree that produced fruit this year but I should probably transplant it to a
larger pot. This tree has thorns on it, I'm going to wait til spring, now.
Thanks for help.
Xeramtheum
Summerville, SC
(Zone 8a)

November 13, 2009
4:01 PM

Post #7270173

I found this site Growing fruit trees in containers

http://www.midcitynursery.com/fruits/containers.htm

X
vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

November 13, 2009
4:07 PM

Post #7270193

I have read that if a tree is meant to be 30, 40, etc. ft high, controlling via pot is temporary. Eventually, it will tear up the pot or it will die from lack of nutrients. The amt of soil in a pot can only provide so much food for the roots. I think control thru a pot works best for smaller trees.

Some people "top off" the canopies but IME, that deforms trees so badly. You will have a HUGE trunk and this tiny, spindly canopy. But again, tree topping used w/ caution can work w/ med-small trees.

These days, I usually ask if the particular cultivar can be container grown. Lots of nurseries local or online, provide that info.

ridesredmule

ridesredmule
Barnesville (Charle, GA
(Zone 8b)

November 13, 2009
4:08 PM

Post #7270199

That is great. It may be what
my friend and I are looking for.
Charleen
stormyla
Norristown, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 14, 2009
10:13 PM

Post #7274279

Won't root pruning help control the tree size?

ridesredmule

ridesredmule
Barnesville (Charle, GA
(Zone 8b)

November 14, 2009
11:55 PM

Post #7274602

Yes, indeed I believe it does, but I
believe you have to also prune the top.
vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

November 15, 2009
12:03 AM

Post #7274622

root pruning will help but unless you're doing bonsai where you prune frequently, at some point, if a tree is meant to grow big, the roots will not be so easy to prune. Kinda like pruning branches and not unlike performing surgery. Cutting a main root can be fatal to a tree, much like cutting a major artery in the body.

gChoosing a tree/shrub suitable for containers will save lots of work.

ridesredmule

ridesredmule
Barnesville (Charle, GA
(Zone 8b)

November 15, 2009
12:29 AM

Post #7274698

How can you tell which one NOT to cut?
I have a mimosa and it does have a taproot and I know you have to be careful, but how do you go about the trimming without the killing?
I don't want to kill my little tree.
stormyla
Norristown, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 15, 2009
12:35 AM

Post #7274718

RRM, I've seen discussions on root pruning in the Japanese Maple Forum.
vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

November 15, 2009
12:36 AM

Post #7274725

Sorry, RRM, I don't have the slightest idea. I know some precision is required but beyond that I cannot comment. Hopefully somebody will chime in or you can go to Trees Forum. There are some terrifically helpful people there.

The only roots I've ever messed with are ones as fine as hair, and I know you cannot do too much damage w/ those. But once roots are thicker than a finger (or bigger) then it gets critical.

ridesredmule

ridesredmule
Barnesville (Charle, GA
(Zone 8b)

November 15, 2009
12:51 AM

Post #7274767

What trees do you all grow. Maybe I can grow them here. This summer I bought a Elm tree and it had that Glued on rock and had to take it off. I know they do it for shipping but Durn it kills them sometime. I lost one tree because of it. made me so blasted aggravated. I trimmed it back and took the Crap off but not in time. I have it outside and hope a leaf will pop out, but nothing yet.
Cumulus79
Londerzeel
Belgium

November 15, 2009
9:38 AM

Post #7275636

Hello,

I was first discussing this on the bonsai fora, but actually it fits better in this thread.
I'll post the pictures of my tree in pot experiments here, so you get an idea what I'm growing at home.
The trick I'm using is hydroponics, because most plants seem to grow larger and healthier in clay pebbles than in regular soil. It saves me a lot of time from repotting and I try to keep them in control by pruning both the roots as the branches.
This one is Citrus meyeri

Thumbnail by Cumulus79
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Cumulus79
Londerzeel
Belgium

November 15, 2009
9:39 AM

Post #7275638

This is buddha's fingers

Thumbnail by Cumulus79
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Cumulus79
Londerzeel
Belgium

November 15, 2009
9:41 AM

Post #7275639

This is kumquat, but the garden center made the mistake to let it sit in a small pot for too long, so I couldn't wash the roots properly for transfer to hydroponics. The roots started rotting and now it's as good as dead. Will buy a new one and try transfering it to hydro again

Thumbnail by Cumulus79
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Cumulus79
Londerzeel
Belgium

November 15, 2009
9:44 AM

Post #7275640

Variegated orange tree, was also getting rootbound, but it didn't rot fortunately. It carried hundreds of flowers during and after transfer to hydro but I only have about 30 oranges on it. Not that I'm complaining, though...

Thumbnail by Cumulus79
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Cumulus79
Londerzeel
Belgium

November 15, 2009
9:44 AM

Post #7275641

Close up of the fruits

Thumbnail by Cumulus79
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Cumulus79
Londerzeel
Belgium

November 15, 2009
9:45 AM

Post #7275642

You won't believe it, but the tree carries both regular oranges as variegated oranges. I'm really curious if they wil taste different too:

Thumbnail by Cumulus79
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Cumulus79
Londerzeel
Belgium

November 15, 2009
9:51 AM

Post #7275643

This is hydroponically grown passiflora. It needed support the first three years, but then the underside of the stem became so rigid that it could stand on his own after I cut it back completely. Now I keep it trimmed so it really looks like a solid small tree which is really stunning :)

Thumbnail by Cumulus79
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Cumulus79
Londerzeel
Belgium

November 15, 2009
9:53 AM

Post #7275644

close up of the flowers. The constance eliott in another pot flowered 12 hours too late so I couldn't fertilise it for nice fruits. Hopefully they'll flower simultanuously next year...

Thumbnail by Cumulus79
Click the image for an enlarged view.

ridesredmule

ridesredmule
Barnesville (Charle, GA
(Zone 8b)

November 15, 2009
2:15 PM

Post #7275912

That is a beautiful goup of pic.
The trees are look very healthy and the Passiflora is beautiful
with its blooms.
Welcome to the Thread, Hendrik.
Charleen
stormyla
Norristown, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 15, 2009
3:23 PM

Post #7276114

Cumulus, Those plants are magnificent. Love the Buddha's fingers.

ridesredmule

ridesredmule
Barnesville (Charle, GA
(Zone 8b)

November 15, 2009
5:32 PM

Post #7276454

Aren't those Buddha Fingers great.
They are so pretty in that pic too.
Wonderful.
Charleen
Cumulus79
Londerzeel
Belgium

November 17, 2009
6:23 AM

Post #7281589

Thanks very much for the compliments :)
Bad thing is that I accidentally broke my fingers off (I mean the Buddha's fingers) and the new flowers don't want to open anymore. I will miss the beautiful fruits from that tree this year, but at least the leaves are looking a little bit better than when I took pictures of it, so that's a good sign for the future :)
We're enjoying an exceptionally warm november month this year so I have put some plants back in the graden where they can harden of a little more in the clean air.

ridesredmule

ridesredmule
Barnesville (Charle, GA
(Zone 8b)

November 17, 2009
1:03 PM

Post #7281982

Now that the fruit is off the Buddha finger plant can concentrate on getting healthy again.
It is nice that the weather is warm, the plants and trees can enjoy it longer too.
Charleen
Cumulus79
Londerzeel
Belgium

November 29, 2009
7:54 PM

Post #7319135

Hooray, the flower has opened!
Now I will enjoy another year with fingers :)

Thumbnail by Cumulus79
Click the image for an enlarged view.

stormyla
Norristown, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 29, 2009
8:09 PM

Post #7319176

Those are really beautiful. I saw an unmarked fruit bearing tree at a nursery yesterday. Does anyone recognize it?

Thumbnail by stormyla
Click the image for an enlarged view.

ridesredmule

ridesredmule
Barnesville (Charle, GA
(Zone 8b)

November 29, 2009
9:37 PM

Post #7319355

Good for you. Another year of watching it grow.
How wonderful for us/ I bet it smells good too.
Most Citrus does.
Sorry Stormy, I don't recognize your tree. Got some interesting leaves.
RRM
Charleen

This message was edited Nov 29, 2009 4:38 PM
Cumulus79
Londerzeel
Belgium

November 30, 2009
10:51 AM

Post #7320994

It really smells good, indeed.
It's like a meditteranean summer evening, a real blessing in those dark and cold winter days :)
I hope the flowers will get pollinated so the fruits can start off for next year...

I don't recognise the tree Stormyla posted. Looks like it has some mealy bugs on it, so be careful if you buy something in that nursery.
stormyla
Norristown, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 30, 2009
12:06 PM

Post #7321061

Thank you, Cumulus. I will keep that in mind.

ridesredmule

ridesredmule
Barnesville (Charle, GA
(Zone 8b)

November 30, 2009
12:22 PM

Post #7321093

You didn't get it, did you? Stormyla.
Can you take a tiny paintbrush and pollinate
it yourself?Cumulus. That way, you would know it was polinated.
Do You have bees in your greenhouse?
Charleen
stormyla
Norristown, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 30, 2009
12:23 PM

Post #7321095

Charleen, No I didn't.

ridesredmule

ridesredmule
Barnesville (Charle, GA
(Zone 8b)

November 30, 2009
12:33 PM

Post #7321134

Good, cause it did look bad, up there by the fruit, especially.
Are you ready for the winter. I know it is cold up there. We are just coming out of a drought and it is supposed to rain, that will help
plants through winter.
Charleen
stormyla
Norristown, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 30, 2009
12:45 PM

Post #7321159

Actually here, it has been quite a warm fall. It's been in the 60's most days. Lots of plants are confused and putting out buds.

ridesredmule

ridesredmule
Barnesville (Charle, GA
(Zone 8b)

November 30, 2009
12:50 PM

Post #7321179

Even had an iris bloom. It was so pretty.
Here too.
Cumulus79
Londerzeel
Belgium

November 30, 2009
9:42 PM

Post #7322806

Charleen,

I'm now letting the flowers sit there to check if they'll self pollinate. I think the other ones will open too, so if the first one didn't self pollinate, I 'll try to help them with a brush or something.

Nature's very confused here, too. Yesterday I saw even one of our lavender bushes flowering :o
Also frogs, salamanders and other animals which are supposed to get winter sleep are still often seen here in Belgium.

ridesredmule

ridesredmule
Barnesville (Charle, GA
(Zone 8b)

November 30, 2009
11:29 PM

Post #7323185

Cumulus, that is so neat. A Q-tip will work to pollinate too.
I cut my lantana down still got three more. They got over 5 foot tall.
It was starting to look like a jungle. They were still blooming too. I
guess the weather is messed up everywhere. I still have tadpoles in some of my waterbuckets I
leave to catch rain water. I hope they don't freeze.
Charleen

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 12, 2009
7:33 PM

Post #7362195

stormyla, i think the picture you posted is a cocoplum.
stormyla
Norristown, PA
(Zone 6b)

December 12, 2009
10:48 PM

Post #7362712

Trackinsand, I think you are right. It says the fruits are edible and folks often make jam from them.

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 12, 2009
11:32 PM

Post #7362810

they won't live this far north where i am now but i had them in the keys. the little points at the ends of the leaves are what tipped me off. mine was not the red tip variety, just plain green.
stormyla
Norristown, PA
(Zone 6b)

December 12, 2009
11:36 PM

Post #7362824

Did you ever eat the fruit?

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 12, 2009
11:38 PM

Post #7362827

oh yes. just picked it off and ate it raw. i've had the jam and jelly too (made by better cooks than me)! lol
stormyla
Norristown, PA
(Zone 6b)

December 12, 2009
11:39 PM

Post #7362829

Can you describe the flavor?

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 13, 2009
12:03 AM

Post #7362903

something's been bugging me ever since i first posted that id. it's not cocoplum i'm thinking of, it's natal plum, a Carissa. it has tiny little sharp points on the ends of each leaf although i hear there is a thornless variety. everything else i said is the same, just had the common names mixed up...sorry 'bout that!

the flavor was not all that thrilling actually, but ok. i found myself wanting more after i ate a few. the jam is better.

here is a link to see if you think that's the one: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/37046/
stormyla
Norristown, PA
(Zone 6b)

December 13, 2009
12:32 AM

Post #7362967

trackinsand, I can't tell. It looks like it could be either of those to me. Here's another photo of it. It is an attractive plant.

Thumbnail by stormyla
Click the image for an enlarged view.

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 13, 2009
1:06 AM

Post #7363062

natal plum. the fruit is red. leaves are rounded and pointy.
cocoplum. the fruit is dark purple. leaves are more tapered.

my first instinct of natal plum (even though i said cocoplum), i'm pretty sure is correct.

edited to ask if this plant is in a greenhouse in winter. it would not survive up north if it's a natal plum.

This message was edited Dec 12, 2009 8:08 PM
stormyla
Norristown, PA
(Zone 6b)

December 13, 2009
1:09 AM

Post #7363072

Yes, it is.

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 13, 2009
1:24 AM

Post #7363118

i'm trying to remember the fruit more. i think maybe it was pithy, an odd texture to it.
stormyla
Norristown, PA
(Zone 6b)

December 13, 2009
1:26 AM

Post #7363121

Cumulus, Are the Buddah's Fingers edible?
Cumulus79
Londerzeel
Belgium

December 15, 2009
9:06 PM

Post #7371864

They're edible, but because they consist of over 75% husk they are only used to make jam, compote or as a component of parfums. However you can just lay them in the house to give the rooms a pleasant smell.
stormyla
Norristown, PA
(Zone 6b)

December 16, 2009
12:51 AM

Post #7372505

Thank you.

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