Field developing conifers

Rider_

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Hi,

I was wondering what techniques can be used to develop taper in field growing conifers.

trunk chopping to a new leader is what I’m using for deciduous trees (to develop taper whilst field growing), does this technique work with coniferous species? How would you deal with candles/growth throughout the year? And how often can would you dig up to work on the roots?

The species I am working on right now are pine, juniper and cypress.

cheers
 

Shibui

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Trunk chop to a new leader can work on conifers but they are slower to grow than many deciduous so that will take a while. Most growers use sacrifice branches to thicken different parts of the trunk then cut back and grow the apex to add taper.
Let 1 shoot grow unpruned for as long as necessary - often several years. Keep defoliating and removing buds from the lower part of the sacrifice so that it does not compete with the real tree below
The lower section can grow freely for a year or 2 at a time but you must cut those shoots back before they drop needles so you can keep viable shoots down there.
Most are slow to develop and slow to establish or re-establish after root pruning so they are usually left in place for 4-10 years before digging. Roots don't seem to thicken unduly so they are relatively easy to dig even after years growing in the ground
 

Rider_

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Trunk chop to a new leader can work on conifers but they are slower to grow than many deciduous so that will take a while. Most growers use sacrifice branches to thicken different parts of the trunk then cut back and grow the apex to add taper.
Let 1 shoot grow unpruned for as long as necessary - often several years. Keep defoliating and removing buds from the lower part of the sacrifice so that it does not compete with the real tree below
The lower section can grow freely for a year or 2 at a time but you must cut those shoots back before they drop needles so you can keep viable shoots down there.
Most are slow to develop and slow to establish or re-establish after root pruning so they are usually left in place for 4-10 years before digging. Roots don't seem to thicken unduly so they are relatively easy to dig even after years growing in the ground

Thank you for the detailed reply and the link to the nursery - I will follow your recommendations.

cheers

luke
 

Shibui

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I just saw you are growing juniper too. They tend to grow very straight and when thicker after a few years in the ground very difficult to bend so I've started bending young, thin ones in pots then planting in the ground when the lower trunk has some character.
 

Rider_

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The juniper I have has already got some good movement in it, so I’m just planting back into the ground to establish a thicker trunk. The way that nursery field grows their pines was very interesting, letting the leader grow and removing all other branches above useable ones - great to visually see in photos.
 
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