Home Depot Pyracantha progress thread - would love some tips

willw86

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Went to Home Depot this evening hoping they might have some end-of-season deals and they did: all the non-holiday trees/shrubs are 50% off. Woohoo! I almost got a Bloodgood Japanese maple but it didn't look very healthy and I don't want to press my luck. Other than this tree, I ended up with 2 junipers, a Blue Rug and a Green Mound. Look out for a thread on those soon.

What I was most excited about was this Pyracantha. I like these little shrubs and have looked at a few, but haven't seen a good one at a decent price... until now. $12.49 I don't mind risking. Check it out:
unnamed.jpg

Close up of the trunk:
unnamed (1).jpg

It looks like I might have some reverse taper near the roots and I don't know about the nebari yet, but I am cautiously optimistic. I like the movement in the trunk and was surprised to see it in this species. I was under the impression that they were pretty straight-growing. Tomorrow I'll expose the surface roots a bit to get a peek and do some pruning. Pictures will be included, of course.

Some questions:
  • Is it too late/early to do heavy pruning on this? I did a little googling and found a lot of conflicting information on this.
  • How tough is this tree? i.e. How much can I take off? I read that they are very sensitive to having their roots disturbed, but this wouldn't be an issue until at least this Spring.
  • Any tips on caring for this species? other than "wear gloves" :)
I will try to update this thread every few months with the tree's progress if I manage to keep it alive. Wish me luck.

Will
 

Rodrigo

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Good advice given to me here. Fun species if you can grasp the growing habit.

Photo of tree from nursery when I chose it...
View attachment 214446

Two years on the bench...fun material for sure! As for the thorns...snip them bad puppies off.
View attachment 214447
Darlene I love that pot! The tree looks great in it. Great job!
 

BrianBay9

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Went to Home Depot this evening hoping they might have some end-of-season deals and they did: all the non-holiday trees/shrubs are 50% off. Woohoo! I almost got a Bloodgood Japanese maple but it didn't look very healthy and I don't want to press my luck. Other than this tree, I ended up with 2 junipers, a Blue Rug and a Green Mound. Look out for a thread on those soon.

What I was most excited about was this Pyracantha. I like these little shrubs and have looked at a few, but haven't seen a good one at a decent price... until now. $12.49 I don't mind risking. Check it out:
View attachment 214445

Close up of the trunk:
View attachment 214444

It looks like I might have some reverse taper near the roots and I don't know about the nebari yet, but I am cautiously optimistic. I like the movement in the trunk and was surprised to see it in this species. I was under the impression that they were pretty straight-growing. Tomorrow I'll expose the surface roots a bit to get a peek and do some pruning. Pictures will be included, of course.

Some questions:
  • Is it too late/early to do heavy pruning on this? I did a little googling and found a lot of conflicting information on this.
  • How tough is this tree? i.e. How much can I take off? I read that they are very sensitive to having their roots disturbed, but this wouldn't be an issue until at least this Spring.
  • Any tips on caring for this species? other than "wear gloves" :)
I will try to update this thread every few months with the tree's progress if I manage to keep it alive. Wish me luck.

Will
They will bud back easily. You can prune back to your desired trunk line and be confident that it will bud out. You can take those pruned branches and put them in some water for a few weeks and probably get roots to sprout. Or, they easily and quickly air layer. I could probably do all of this now in California. In your location it would be safer to wait until early spring.
 

willw86

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Good advice given to me here. Fun species if you can grasp the growing habit.

Photo of tree from nursery when I chose it...
View attachment 214446

Two years on the bench...fun material for sure! As for the thorns...snip them bad puppies off.
View attachment 214447
Thanks, Darlene. :) That thread has a lot of valuable tidbits; I bookmarked it. This post about the growing habits (canes from spurs) was really interesting and will definitely help guide me in my styling. As for your Pyracantha, she's a beaut!!! I love how the left-side branches and the roots pull your eye to the left. Very nicely-executed design. Your progress on this tree is giving me hope!
 

willw86

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They will bud back easily. You can prune back to your desired trunk line and be confident that it will bud out. You can take those pruned branches and put them in some water for a few weeks and probably get roots to sprout. Or, they easily and quickly air layer. I could probably do all of this now in California. In your location it would be safer to wait until early spring.
Sweet, thanks Brian, this is some great information. I'm glad this can take a heavy pruning as I don't think I'll be keeping much of the current structure on there. I'll keep the pruning light tomorrow and wait until February or March to do anything drastic. I'm jealous of your climate!
 

willw86

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Alright folks, I worked a bit on this tree today to get a little vision.

Possible Front 1:
IMG_2375.JPG

Possible Front 2:
I think I like this one better, but something has to be done about that bottom branch inside the curve.
IMG_2378.JPG

Done.
IMG_2379.JPG

Pulled some soil away from the roots to get a look. Appears to be decent trunk flare and a few roots that will develop into nice nebari. [sigh of relief]

Front 1:
IMG_2381.JPG

Front 2:
IMG_2383.JPG

Zoomed out photo of the tree:
IMG_2392.JPG

Put some mulch on there to offer a bit more winter protection:
IMG_2397.JPG

Now for the styling plan. Here's what we have to work with:
IMG_2396.JPG

Tentatively thinking I'll make these cuts, leaving that one tiny twig on the left side to develop into a first branch:
IMG_2396a.png

This is what I'll be shooting for:
IMG_2396b.png

Looking at the virt after I finished, the scale is off, but it should give you an idea of where I'm heading with this tree. Is this look too stereotypical? Maybe, but I have all winter to mull it over. I'm ready for some critiques; lay it on me!

Overall, this was a beautiful tree to play with and a beautiful day outside to do it.

EDIT additional question: I am planning on doing my heavy pruning in late February/early March. Would it be unwise to do a repotting around the same time? I think when I repot, I will go for something like a pond basket to stop the roots from doing anything crazy. I might even stick it in the ground.
 
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willw86

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Another option for me to consider would be more of a windswept style. This would be a little more original than the S-curve pine style. Hmmmm...
 

willw86

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So for the windswept idea...

Here is the blank for reference:
IMG_2396.JPG

The cuts I would make. The green is a rough outline of the branch behind that large vertical one in the front to give you an idea:
IMG_2396c.png

And a little drawing of how it could hopefully turn out. This one is also a little off-scale (branches are too short for a windswept, I think), but should give you an idea:
IMG_2396d.png

What do you think? I think I like this one a little better, but again, I have all winter to think about it.

Let me know what you would do. :)
 

augustine

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What would I do? Nothing 'til spring.

Get everything you need to repot next spring, good soil and container that's not too small.

Skip the windswept design for two reasons. One, the style is very hard to pull off. Secondly pyracantha wood is very brittle and difficult to wire.
 

Cypress187

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Subscribed, nice thread, I love the flowers and fruit, mine (2 of them) are thicker but they are straight as an arrow and no taper. I air-layered them like 2 years ago, maybe I can style it broom or plant it in the ground somewhere. I'll follow your progress also.


pyracantha wood is very brittle and difficult to wire.
I don't seem to have brittle wood on mine, do I have the Foemina variety?
 
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willw86

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What would I do? Nothing 'til spring.

Get everything you need to repot next spring, good soil and container that's not too small.

Skip the windswept design for two reasons. One, the style is very hard to pull off. Secondly pyracantha wood is very brittle and difficult to wire.
Don't reduce the root ball very much.
Thank you, Augustine. Definitely will let the tree be until early spring. I think for styling I will follow the trunk of the windswept virt but do a more traditional branch structure. Do you think I'll be safe heavy-pruning and repotting at the same time?

P.S. Another Marylander! Yay! I was surprised to see a good representation of our state on this site. Are you in any local clubs?
 

willw86

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Subscribed, nice thread, I love the flowers and fruit, mine (2 of them) are thicker but they are straight as an arrow and no taper. I air-layered them like 2 years ago, maybe I can style it broom or plant it in the ground somewhere. I'll follow your progress also.



I don't seem to have brittle wood on mine, do I have the Foemina variety?
Thank you Cypress, I'm glad you also see some potential in the tree! :cool: When are you going to post your own Pyracantha thread?!? (Or am I just too dumb to find it?)
 

Stormwater

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Thank you, Augustine. Definitely will let the tree be until early spring. I think for styling I will follow the trunk of the windswept virt but do a more traditional branch structure. Do you think I'll be safe heavy-pruning and repotting at the same time?

P.S. Another Marylander! Yay! I was surprised to see a good representation of our state on this site. Are you in any local clubs?
Go MD!
 

shinmai

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Thank you, Augustine. Definitely will let the tree be until early spring. I think for styling I will follow the trunk of the windswept virt but do a more traditional branch structure. Do you think I'll be safe heavy-pruning and repotting at the same time?

P.S. Another Marylander! Yay! I was surprised to see a good representation of our state on this site. Are you in any local clubs?
If it were me, I would do the repot in spring when you see new budding, and wait a little while until the first flush has hardened off some before pruning heavily.
 

willw86

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If it were me, I would do the repot in spring when you see new budding, and wait a little while until the first flush has hardened off some before pruning heavily.
Cool, thank you Shinmai. I will keep this in mind.
 

shinmai

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I like the last pic in your post from Tuesday at 11:06. That looks very interesting, nice motion and taper, and should largely be doable without a lot of wiring, or ‘clip and grow’. I think the base trunk has a lot of potential, and that 45 degree slant into a 90 degree bend is very cool.
I think you tumbled into a hell of a find for cheap, and that could end up being a very sexy shohin. Take it from me, though...there’s a reason why they call ‘em firethorns. I knocked one off the edge of my bench, and reflexively grabbed to catch it, punching two holes in the fleshy part of my thumb. I used to be into aquariums, and the punctures were reminiscent of when I got stung by a fuzzy dwarf lionfish while cleaning a reef tank.
 

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