Thanks John! Wow!...now I am torn. The second pic is kind of the "obvious" trunk line but like you said, #3 could be more artistic. Either way, it'll kill me cutting off a lot of mature growth! I have 3 of these that I dug from my yard...all pretty crazy and unique but the corky bark is the best on this one.
Thank you for the reply catfish chapstick. I have considered both but my dilemma is pulling it off without the visual tension between the two being the same size and looking like a sling-shot. Perhaps one can be much shorter than the other. I might take your advice though about being conservative now and not rush to lop one off come spring.
This past week I chopped two large limbs and potted it in a cheap Chinese pot. I love the bark on this one, however I do not like the reverse taper created in the bulbous top half where one of the large limbs originated. I did some grinding to eliminate some of the bulge but kept it conservative as the wood is rather punky. I can picture this tree being shortened in half to eliminate this region and give it better proportions but I think I'll sit on this one for a growing season or two to see what comes of it. In the meantime I will be searching out a smaller and shallower future pot...perhaps a drum pot.
Excellent plan, and with this species you know it is going to throw out shoots like mad. You really are going to have a load of decent options...I'm still jealous of it. I have one in the ground that was planted some years ago. I cut way back last season and waiting for options.
How's this tree shaping up? I'm looking through the forums at all the barberry to see how they are progressing. Mine is a bit slower than I had hoped but its pushing buds at the right spots so I'm excited.
Never as fast as I'd like. We (as well as much of the rest of the country) have had a cold wet spring but it's getting there. Well fed, full sun, and letting it grow except for removing suckers that pop up along the base. I'll try to take some shots to post this weekend.