Embracing my masochistic side

QuantumSparky

Shohin
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Just found a pyracantha at my nursery and I had to have it! The nebari looks workable and the trunk has some nice gentle movement. Has anyone here tried making something out of this species? It looks quite feasible for beginners.

This is after removing the second trunk and the top two feet of main trunk. Why am I in love with thorns 😂
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Still have a pyracantha that was one of my first trees - they are fun to work with, and I'd say beginner friendly.

Did you chop the top recently? If so, it's a good opportunity to think about how tall you want this tree to be.
 

QuantumSparky

Shohin
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Still have a pyracantha that was one of my first trees - they are fun to work with, and I'd say beginner friendly.

Did you chop the top recently? If so, it's a good opportunity to think about how tall you want this tree to be.
Yea I chopped it at the nursery to fit in my car without scratching up my star ceiling headliner #HumbleBrag
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Do you have any recommendations for the tree? I'd like to do the final chop at that branch on the right (the highest branch before the straightaway) which is going off at a 45 degree angle and then have the apex form on the centerline of the tree
 

QuantumSparky

Shohin
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If I put as much time into bonsai as I did poking every one of those holes in my car then I wouldn't be asking for advice :p

Idk why but something about this tree really pulls me to it. Maybe it's the Thorns, maybe it's New Plant Syndrome, but I can't wait to see it start putting on growth!
 
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Yeah, similar to above - no input on current chop location.

I've field chopped trees to fit into my car and left those chops alone for a few seasons quite a few times. I like to see what's in the soil first before determining height.

If you decide to go lower down the line, I've found these trees to be reliable back budders.
 
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Looking back at the first pic, I do like your suggestion as chop location.

Wire up that branch this fall/winter. Older branches snap on these very easily.

Looks like there was another large trunk where your existing trunk starts heading left.

Was this a field dressing cut to fit in car? Or playing safe to avoid dieback?
 

QuantumSparky

Shohin
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Looking back at the first pic, I do like your suggestion as chop location.

Wire up that branch this fall/winter. Older branches snap on these very easily.

Looks like there was another large trunk where your existing trunk starts heading left.

Was this a field dressing cut to fit in car? Or playing safe to avoid dieback?
There was an identical trunk where you see that small stub, I cut it short to fit in the car and then cut it much more cleanly once home. I left a bit for dieback just in case. Luckily it's not too visible from my intended front (as in the photos plus or minus a few degrees of rotation).

I'll get some wire on that leader branch this fall, you think it should just continue the current trend of the trunk line and then end pointing straight up? That's what I envision at least. Perhaps another few chops down the road if it needs better taper.
 
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Stub choice is the safer route. You've already got some buds there - and Pyra seem (to me) dieback resilient.

Eventually you'll want that to be a flush cut, and slightly concave.

I prefer doing this work while still in nursery cans because: i) tons of roots, ii) tree is stable for detailed cutting work.

For your new leader - make sure you really love the first 2-3 inches of wiring, the rest you can just point straight up.

I assume you've settled on this front for now... try wiring up a bit (from 45 deg) and toward you. You can always adjust a little over the next days/weeks.

If the tree has established this as a new leader (i.e. due to chop), be sure to check the wire often, because leaders fatten up quick in spring.
 

Cadillactaste

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I would say pyracantha has saving grace as bonsai material.
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Brian Van Fleet offered me guidance on developing mine. Post #14 if not mistaken.
 

QuantumSparky

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Stub choice is the safer route. You've already got some buds there - and Pyra seem (to me) dieback resilient.

Eventually you'll want that to be a flush cut, and slightly concave.

I prefer doing this work while still in nursery cans because: i) tons of roots, ii) tree is stable for detailed cutting work.

For your new leader - make sure you really love the first 2-3 inches of wiring, the rest you can just point straight up.

I assume you've settled on this front for now... try wiring up a bit (from 45 deg) and toward you. You can always adjust a little over the next days/weeks.

If the tree has established this as a new leader (i.e. due to chop), be sure to check the wire often, because leaders fatten up quick in spring.
Do you have any advice for determining at what point the tree has enough foliage to safely cut back to the leader? My current instinct says let it grow til early spring, then depending on how it looks, chop the straight portion off with a flat cut and leave a bit for die-back to protect the chosen leader. Then let that grow until fall before making the decision to make the angled cut by the leader and clean it up
 

Cadillactaste

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Do you have any advice for determining at what point the tree has enough foliage to safely cut back to the leader? My current instinct says let it grow til early spring, then depending on how it looks, chop the straight portion off with a flat cut and leave a bit for die-back to protect the chosen leader. Then let that grow until fall before making the decision to make the angled cut by the leader and clean it up
I agree...no harm waiting until it is more robust with growth. It has great potential ... worth taking ones time with.
 
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Do you have any advice for determining at what point the tree has enough foliage to safely cut back to the leader? My current instinct says let it grow til early spring, then depending on how it looks, chop the straight portion off with a flat cut and leave a bit for die-back to protect the chosen leader. Then let that grow until fall before making the decision to make the angled cut by the leader and clean it up

Agree too. You've already made some sizeable cuts and your growing season is tapering off.

Do you winter your trees outside? My time in PA was always filled with snow.
 

QuantumSparky

Shohin
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Agree too. You've already made some sizeable cuts and your growing season is tapering off.

Do you winter your trees outside? My time in PA was always filled with snow.
I'm overwintering my trees in an unheated garage to avoid snow and wind, hopefully a cracked window and a fan on a timer will provide enough air circulation
 

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