How to strengthen lower branch foliage

Mdpap1974

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Howdy,

I found a baby blue spruce (a dwarf CBS, I believe) that has potential. I’m planning to do a trunk chop in autumn (at blue line).

in the meantime, I would like to direct the tree’s resources to the lower branches I intend to keep (red lines). At the same time, I want to leave enough to allow the tree to put down roots before winter.

My thought was to start cutting back upper branches starting with the apex shoots.

Thoughts?

thanks!

Marios D5ECFBA2-9B6B-4F6A-B80F-E529F78D0D10.jpeg4773D780-28E5-4ABF-AEE8-9B54F53DD874.jpegC62118DE-C9AF-4141-A41E-5B700DD9BC47.jpeg
 

0soyoung

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Sunlight.
Frequently one wires just to position branches so that they get light. Since you are planning to chop, you cold remove branches immediately above so that your keepers get sunlight (btw, this is pretty much the same as you would do if you want to thicken the keeper part of the trunk).

In my experience blue spruce will bud back on needleless wood and even on the trunk if you keep all the new shoots until roughly August. Then cut back to a visible bud/node. Of course, it must be growing vigorously.
 

sorce

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, you cold remove branches immediately above

I believe you mean "directly" above.

Just a note that "directly" seems to indicate a space in place better than "immediately", which seems to indicate a space in time.

My thought was to start cutting back upper branches starting with the apex shoots.

This is opposite of "best", and I believe what 0so is recommending.

You are going to get your most "health for use" from the top most apex. So keep it.
And your most light to achieve your goal from removing the parts directly above your keeper parts.

If this was collected recently, I would wait till just before bud movement of spring 2022 to chop it.

And I don't see any real harm in waiting to cut those branches either. Maybe select places.

For me the balance is....

On one hand you are "strengthening the low buds".
On the other hand you can be "keeping loads of energy to ensure a successful chop".

I favor keeping loads of energy to ensure a successful chop, merely accepting life in low branches.

But this is a balance that will vary and can only be done correctly by your up-close observation.

Sorce
 

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