Hibiscus shaping

Zonked_zazzer

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Its a Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, and I am from India. The twin trunks are fine but then each divides into two more equally thick branches. I am playing with the idea of chopping off the ones maked. Any suggestions or corrections or advise in order to make this a good specimen are welcome.
 

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eryk2kartman

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Welcome!

To me the tree needs a bit more taper and movement , depends of course how big its going to be, but i would cut the way to leave skinnier new leaders.
so from last photo,
trunk on the left, i would cut the top of, not the right branch that will give you a bit of movement on the left hand site
trunk on the right hand side - see that very small tiny leaf coming out? i would make it as my new leader, i would probably cut both of the thick trunks(maybe not right now - i would wait for that small branch to get a bit stronger)

but thats me:)
 

Zonked_zazzer

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@eryk2kartman I agree on the taper and the movement part. The trunks being thick enough, I didn't want to make a hasty decision with major chops and hence decided to join Bnut for some advice. Thank you so much for your suggestions.
Also its spring here.. do you think I should go ahead with the cut on the left top trunk and wait out another season for the right one?
 

Zonked_zazzer

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Has the rain season started yet? Is the tree in active growth? Make both cuts the same time during the season of active growth.

During the cooler and dry season, the tree won't be actively growing, wait for active growth.

The place where I am from, we have, roughly 5 seasons Winter (Dec-Jan) Spring (Feb-March) Summer (April-June) Monsoon (July-Sept) Post Monsoon/ Autumn (Oct-Nov)

It's well past rains here but the tree is actively growing. Should I go ahead with the cuts or it would be wise to wait till rains like you said? And yes thank you for taking your time for the reply.
 

eryk2kartman

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I dont have a Hibiscus tree so i dont know if it dies back or not, to be on the safer side i would leave a bit of stump, i wouldnt cut flush with new bud/branch.
 
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Hibiscus should back bud really well. I would just cut it as it goes into a growing cycle to reduce the risk of die-back. Not sure what that period is like for you.

In my opinion, because there is not much movement in either of those trunks, id probably cut back highish on both trunks expecting plenty of new growth down low, and then pick a new leader. If you like the straight trunks though ignore that.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Hibiscus will backbud well pretty much anywhere. However they definitely have seasonal growth. In Southern California in landscape, mine throw two flushes of growth every year. They grow in the spring, then they stop in the heat of the summer, and then they will grow again in the fall, and stop in the winter. I actually have had best success trimming mine in the late summer after the dry heat has passed. This is when I do any hard pruning like full branch removals. The bush will push new buds and new growth and will flower profusely in the winter and early spring.

I would check your soil. It looks like clay and very fine and compact with no air spaces. My hibiscus do really well in an open high-organic mix like bark and rough cut peat.

Also... it is a bush that attracts white fly and aphids.
 

Zonked_zazzer

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Hibiscus should back bud really well. I would just cut it as it goes into a growing cycle to reduce the risk of die-back. Not sure what that period is like for you.

In my opinion, because there is not much movement in either of those trunks, id probably cut back highish on both trunks expecting plenty of new growth down low, and then pick a new leader. If you like the straight trunks though ignore that.

I would surely love some movement too. I will work on it. Thank you so much for your suggestions.
 

Zonked_zazzer

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Hibiscus will backbud well pretty much anywhere. However they definitely have seasonal growth. In Southern California in landscape, mine throw two flushes of growth every year. They grow in the spring, then they stop in the heat of the summer, and then they will grow again in the fall, and stop in the winter. I actually have had best success trimming mine in the late summer after the dry heat has passed. This is when I do any hard pruning like full branch removals. The bush will push new buds and new growth and will flower profusely in the winter and early spring.

I would check your soil. It looks like clay and very fine and compact with no air spaces. My hibiscus do really well in an open high-organic mix like bark and rough cut peat.

Also... it is a bush that attracts white fly and aphids.

Thank you for your detailed response to my post. My soil is a mix of grit and gardening soil at the moment. Will definitely work on it.

I started off googling and reading forums as a visitor, until I decided to join Bnut. I didn't know everyone will be so helpful.

Thank you again everyone for you words of advice. Will keep you guys posted.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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The place where I am from, we have, roughly 5 seasons Winter (Dec-Jan) Spring (Feb-March) Summer (April-June) Monsoon (July-Sept) Post Monsoon/ Autumn (Oct-Nov)

It's well past rains here but the tree is actively growing. Should I go ahead with the cuts or it would be wise to wait till rains like you said? And yes thank you for taking your time for the reply.

You can prune anytime the tree is in active growth. So go ahead and prune now. I raise orchids as another hobby, and have become more sensitive to the impact of monsoon. I also have discovered that the monsoon does not arrive everywhere at the same time, so thank you for your response. The one season you should avoid pruning is during your winter. Pretty much the rest of the year you can do pruning, repotting or any other technique you need to do.
 

Zonked_zazzer

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You can prune anytime the tree is in active growth. So go ahead and prune now. I raise orchids as another hobby, and have become more sensitive to the impact of monsoon. I also have discovered that the monsoon does not arrive everywhere at the same time, so thank you for your response. The one season you should avoid pruning is during your winter. Pretty much the rest of the year you can do pruning, repotting or any other technique you need to do.

Thank you Leo for your time and advice.
 

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