Finding the tree in the tree, malus layer project

ThornBc

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Winter has just started here in Scotland and I'm finding myself itching to start the projects I've set aside for spring, but I can't, so I'm using my time planning and making virtuals. Here's one of those projects.
I bought this top-worked, mini standard patio Malus for very cheap, after it made its way into Scotland from Holland, having originally been produced in Spain. The scion cultivar was listed simply as Malus domestica enano (=dwarf in Spanish). It is maybe about 4 ft tall.
PXL_20201222_102643054.MP.jpg
Now, the main reason I bought it is the knobbly top part of the trunk, which I'm planning to layer using the radiallayer method shown by @sorce . I'm actually feeling greedy and will try to use part of the bottom right branch to create a larger base for the new tree; if it works the base will spread about 4 inches. Before I layer I will temporarily plant the tree at an angle, to make the base of the layer parallel to the ground.
PXL_20201222_102643054.MP~3.jpg
PXL_20201222_102643054.MP_5.jpg
So this is what I have in mind for now. I will probably end up using the actual base of the tree for something else too, so I should get at least two trees out of this £8.99 purchase ;) might not end up well, but surely good practice.
By the way, Happy New Year to you all :)
-ThornBc
 
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leatherback

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Great idea but.. Spoiler alert, the leaves might be too large to play this scenario with you. So keep alternatives in mind. Crabs are quite coarse in my experience.
 

ThornBc

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Great idea but.. Spoiler alert, the leaves might be too large to play this scenario with you. So keep alternatives in mind. Crabs are quite coarse in my experience.
I think you're right and it's worse than that, I have some very young crabs with decently small foliage, this is a proper fruiting domestic apple, so it has the usual big leaves, I've seen this tree in summer...I think I'll just start the project and see where it takes me, the virtual looks good but I know it's mostly the result of wishful thinking! Thanks for making me rethink this :)
 

Shibui

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The virt looks impressive. If you can actually make something like this it will be an impressive little crab apple bonsai. Leaves will reduce somewhat but I have seen some very nice shohin crab apples at shows, especially when showed with fruit but without leaf.
The larger fruit now puts a completely different perspective on the project but good luck with the journey.

Apples sprout readily from bare wood so the base should grow new branches when you remove the top after layering. New shoots usually emerge close to the chop so I would cut the stump much lower after taking off the layer.
Note that this is probably a grafted tree so any growth that comes from the roots or very low on the trunk will probably be from a different variety of apple that was used as the root stock.
 

ThornBc

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The virt looks impressive. If you can actually make something like this it will be an impressive little crab apple bonsai. Leaves will reduce somewhat but I have seen some very nice shohin crab apples at shows, especially when showed with fruit but without leaf.
The larger fruit now puts a completely different perspective on the project but good luck with the journey.

Apples sprout readily from bare wood so the base should grow new branches when you remove the top after layering. New shoots usually emerge close to the chop so I would cut the stump much lower after taking off the layer.
Note that this is probably a grafted tree so any growth that comes from the roots or very low on the trunk will probably be from a different variety of apple that was used as the root stock.
It's definitely grafted but it was top-worked to make a small standard (I can see an old scar on the back of the knobbly top portion), so the dwarfing rootstock is basically all the trunk but the top portion. Once the two parts are detached, I'm actually expecting the top to have coarser, more vigorous growth than the bottom, which is not what I'd like but it is what it is
 

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