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Controlling Tree size

Barnesville (Charle, GA(Zone 8b)

We would like to learn how to control
the size of the tree to still be able to
get fruit from it.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

You might try espalier.

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

X

Barnesville (Charle, GA(Zone 8b)

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.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

I found this site Growing fruit trees in containers

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

X

Richmond, TX(Zone 9a)

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.

Barnesville (Charle, GA(Zone 8b)

That is great. It may be what
my friend and I are looking for.
Charleen

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

Won't root pruning help control the tree size?

Barnesville (Charle, GA(Zone 8b)

Yes, indeed I believe it does, but I
believe you have to also prune the top.

Richmond, TX(Zone 9a)

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.

Barnesville (Charle, GA(Zone 8b)

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.

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

RRM, I've seen discussions on root pruning in the Japanese Maple Forum.

Richmond, TX(Zone 9a)

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.

Barnesville (Charle, GA(Zone 8b)

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.

Londerzeel, Belgium

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
Londerzeel, Belgium

This is buddha's fingers

Thumbnail by Cumulus79
Londerzeel, Belgium

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
Londerzeel, Belgium

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
Londerzeel, Belgium

Close up of the fruits

Thumbnail by Cumulus79
Londerzeel, Belgium

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
Londerzeel, Belgium

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
Londerzeel, Belgium

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
Barnesville (Charle, GA(Zone 8b)

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

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

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

Barnesville (Charle, GA(Zone 8b)

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

Londerzeel, Belgium

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.

Barnesville (Charle, GA(Zone 8b)

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

Londerzeel, Belgium

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

Thumbnail by Cumulus79
Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

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

Thumbnail by stormyla
Barnesville (Charle, GA(Zone 8b)

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

Londerzeel, Belgium

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.

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

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

Barnesville (Charle, GA(Zone 8b)

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

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

Charleen, No I didn't.

Barnesville (Charle, GA(Zone 8b)

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

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

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.

Barnesville (Charle, GA(Zone 8b)

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

Londerzeel, Belgium

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.

Barnesville (Charle, GA(Zone 8b)

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

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

stormyla, i think the picture you posted is a cocoplum.

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

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

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