New Branch....maybe

Smoke

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Today I took the first step to what may be a significant improvement in the future look of the double trunk Pyracantha. I had always felt that the branches started much too high on the trunk on the right side. This was due to the fact that the tree grew much more tilted to the left and had another trunk or large branch, (depending on how you look at it) coming off the right. After I had cut that trunk off, it left the right side rather high and bare in the bottom half of the main trunk. While the canopy shape was pleasing enough, it bothered me enough to try and appraoch graft a branch in the correct place.

I started by leaving two candidates that budded this spring on the back of the tree. They were strong and grew extremely fast. Each whip was about the size of a pencil and each had small secondary branches on them. One of the whips was in a good spot and could be bent around to make a suitable new branch in the ideal place.

I had a large growth or nodule in just the place I wanted to put the branch. I settled for a near place that would send the new branch off in the correct position but did not graft as far forward as I wanted. It will still be in a good spot and I feel as the graft takes it will grow and make a swelling there that will show from the front and not look like a back branch just bent around.

I made my cut and prepared the scion, They were mated and it was held in place with a small piece of plastic screen and aluminum wire. The daytime temp are good and hot now, just right for the pyracantha which seems to thrive in hot conditions. If everything goes well I should know if I'm home free in four or five months. By then the scion should be about 3/8 inch across and have new wood knit within the trunk.

Some photo's of my work with a virtual of what I would like to see in a couple years.
 

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bonsai barry

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Al, I don't know where you found this stock, but it is impressive. Rarely do you see that much movement and bark texture in the trunk of a pyracantha. Too bad you couldn't add berries to the virt.
 
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I like this tree a lot, Al. Something about your virtual, though, gives me pause. Somehow the branch at that size makes the tree too static. Maybe longer or shorter?
 

Bonsai Nut

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Maybe longer or shorter?
I agree with Chris on this one. It is an easy enough fix, but I think you should play around with the tree outline a little to add some energy. It has a very energetic trunk to end up with close to an equilateral triangle. Here's a quick virt going left with the outline:

 

Dwight

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OK stupid beginner question but : I love the trunk on this tree so what if Al exposed MORE trunk and less foilage ?
 

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Smoke

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Nice job Dwight, you just took it back to where it is now.

Your saying don't add the branch?

Al
 

Dwight

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Yup. Tha trunks are so spacticular ( maybe overdoing it a bit ) show them off. I also took a little off the left trunk. Of course this is just a gut reaction and has no real experience behind it but " from the mouths of babes "..........
 

Graydon

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Al,

Did you simply bend one of the suckers in to position and tie in place after exposing cambium, leaving it attached at the base? Sort of an approach or inarch graft? I have no doubt that it will take as pyracantha do grow rapidly and aggressively but I would be concerned as to the angle that the branch will seem to emit from the trunk.

I would have considered thread grafting in this instance as it appeared the whips were long enough to reach around. Perhaps that would have provided better cambium contact and a more perpendicular branch from the trunk.

Either way nice trunk and tree. I do like the virtual you provided as it seems to add what was missing to my eyes.
 

Rick Moquin

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Al,

Nice trunk and movement and yes the branch is suitable on the right. I believe what is distracting to some (to me anyway) is the angle and length of the branching on right, compared with the left side of the tree (pic 1)

Although a crude virt I believe opening the foliage on the left to let the birds fly in while allowing the gaps on the right to fill out somewhat is not as distracting. It is understood that your vision is only a virt and that perhaps is not quite as accurate as your vision. I would also tend to round the top more with the addition of this right branch. Either way it will be insteresting to see it as it develops.

As some have mentioned I would also try to reduce the foliage somewhat to promote the branching and trunk which I think are key features on this tree.
 

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Smoke

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Thanks for all the comments. The virt I did was rather quick since I only copied the right branch above and moved it down and erased a few leaves above to make it look different. I am sure that if the graft takes it will probably not look like the virtual for quite some time.

One thing about these pyracantha's, if one has not worked with them it is hard to understand about branch building on a Pyracantha. Like most thorny trees, eleagnus, bouganvillia, barberry they do not ramify like most trees. Cutting back just stops the forward growth, and there is not sprouting along the length of the branch. The branch just selects a new leader and it continues to move forward. The branches seldom fork, and when they do it is wonderful to make use of it. Canopies are built with a profusion of leaves and thinning out to let the "birds fly thru" usually results in a fan of thin shoots covered with leaves.

Till it takes, Al
 

sorce

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Thanks for all the comments. The virt I did was rather quick since I only copied the right branch above and moved it down and erased a few leaves above to make it look different. I am sure that if the graft takes it will probably not look like the virtual for quite some time.

One thing about these pyracantha's, if one has not worked with them it is hard to understand about branch building on a Pyracantha. Like most thorny trees, eleagnus, bouganvillia, barberry they do not ramify like most trees. Cutting back just stops the forward growth, and there is not sprouting along the length of the branch. The branch just selects a new leader and it continues to move forward. The branches seldom fork, and when they do it is wonderful to make use of it. Canopies are built with a profusion of leaves and thinning out to let the "birds fly thru" usually results in a fan of thin shoots covered with leaves.

Till it takes, Al
Did it take?

Sorce
 

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