Cjr JBP#1 next step?

Cajunrider

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I am thinking about cutting this big top branch and allow the tiny bud to grow.
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Cajunrider

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I am also thinking about cutting the straight up branch on the other side.
 

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Cajunrider

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Ir should I go big and chop it all the way down to about 6 inches?
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River's Edge

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I would let it grow for several more years to thicken the trunk and select a new apical leader. It will progress faster if you allow a single apical leader to extend for a few years. The tree is still young and this is the best time to maximize the growth for trunk, and taper! Based on the bark appearance it would appear to be approximately five or six years old at this stage. JBP typically begin to bark up at 7-8 years of age. I have attached an example of a simple grow out pattern with the orange ribbon identifying th main apical leader. Please note this method leaves many options for successive apical leaders and developing taper at a number of points.IMG_0802.JPG
 
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River's Edge

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What season will you cut the leader and do you take the entire leader in one chop?
I usually reduce the apical leader in stages. Typically the beginning of June in my location. The reasoning is to get more than one opportunity for back bud response lower down on the trunk and at that time of year to allow for healing and additional growth throughout the growing season. Removing the apical leader is a significant weakening of the overall system.
I also prepare the lower tree with strengthening and wiring up the new apical leader the season or two before reduction to ensure that their is a strong new apical leader to begin establishing taper at the desired level.
Just because one is growing the tree out for an additional time does not mean that one cannot develop other portions at the same time. For example keeping lower branches strong, retaining options for primary branches and new apical choices for design.
Hope the rambling makes sense.
 

River's Edge

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When developing pine or other species that can readily back bud it is important to remember that the final design may easily be based on branches that are not apparent in the early stages. With proper care and timing many new branches are possible with successive pruning of sacrifice leaders and branches. During the early stages of growth 1-8 years for example one can expect new buds and branches on the lower trunk portion as well.
My suggestion is to focus on developing nebari, trunk movement and planning for taper while growing the trunk to sufficient thickness for the design you are working to achieve. Only remove foliage or branches to manage or balance growth.( too strong or too weak) The other reason for removing foliage or branches is to protect more valuable design portions and prevent inverse taper or unsightly bulges.
In short we have a tendency to try to accomplish too much in too short a period of time. I find it best to use the growth to foster more growth and eventually work with the best available options. This does not slow the process but actually speeds the process and gives better results! While you are thickening the trunk, you are also beginning to develop nebari, movement, taper and primary branching!
This saves a lot of time after the trunk is judged to be of the right thickness for the design. And just as importantly you will find that every tree grows somewhat differently in stages, therefore keeping options longer allows on to make the most of each tree as one is able to adapt design later in the developmental process.
Nebari, movement and taper are the keys! Grafting can place branches if needed.
 

LanceMac10

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I wouldn't chop it, use all that growth high as a sacrifice. Keep those lower branches vigorous.

I believe your tree is down low. Pretty straight beyond the first 7-8 inches. If you keep it bigger, get some wire on that trunk and give it more movement. Subtle curves now will disappear in the near future.
Lots of knots and knobs up high with heavy branching.....what do you do with that?

Problem with narrow trunks is your branches will get out of proportion too quickly.


Plan to chop in the future, I would. Just not now, use that high growth to fuel a girthy trunk!!
 
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