Garden Privet #1

emk

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This is one of two privets (I'm not sure what variety) I "rescued" from being trampled by myself as I put up a new fence last spring. Both of the privets had nice, compact roots and threw out lots of new branches after being chopped down a bit. (Other than the thickest branch off the main trunk, all the branches are from last season's growth after the chop.) Now, I know this material isn't anything great, but it's something to practice/learn technique on that I won't mind throwing on the mulch pile in a few years if things go horribly wrong. (By the way, these privets are deciduous in my area; thus the lack of foliage.)

This link is to an animated gif of the tree from 8 angles (sorry it's so dark). I've included a few still images below and will post a sketch or two of my own ideas of this tree tomorrow or the next day. In the meantime, what are your thoughts?

Where would you start with this guy? The trunks obviously need to be reduced more, but would this spring be too early for another trunk chop? Should I focus on developing the trunk and let the branches grow where they may, or should I start thread-grafting with the leggy growth I have now in the locations I'd like to see the lowest branches develop? Overall what design direct does this tree suggest; twin trunk or sacrifice the low branch and make a formal or informal upright? All advice and opinions welcome!
 

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emk

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Here are three sketches of ideas I'm toying with here. Two keep the twin trunks (one keeps the minor trunk close and parallel to the main trunk, the other diverges but the apexes aim in the same direction) and the third removes the low branch and makes an informal upright with a hollow trunk (sabamiki) feature. Sorry about the sketches bleeding off the edge of the pages...I'm way out of practice. :eek:
 

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grog

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I think that no matter which way you go you're going to have to do pretty dramatic cutting back to get some movement in the trunks. It might be interesting to use the 2nd trunk as a sacrifice to gain thickness and then carving it down.

Caveat to this wonderful "advice" is that my experience with privet consists of a much crappier twin trunk that I haven't messed with much.
 

emk

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I think that no matter which way you go you're going to have to do pretty dramatic cutting back to get some movement in the trunks.
The sketches show chopping about 3" above the crotch on the main trunk and about 1.5" above on the minor trunk. (Currently the main trunk is 14" tall at the bend and the minor trunk is 9" tall.)

It might be interesting to use the 2nd trunk as a sacrifice to gain thickness and then carving it down.
That's more or less what I'm thinking for the hollow trunk option...let the branch grow out to thicken up the base some more then carve it out.
 

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