Pyracantha Air Layer Future Shohin

RyanFrye

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Hi Everyone,

I know very little about pyracantha, but I figured I'd give an air layer a shot last year and it took. I have since separated it from the mother tree and I'm letting the top leader grow out to thick'n it up so that the taper looks better. Plus, it has a huge chop scar on the back. I only learned after the fact that they don't heal scars well. But, I'm starting to see some scar tissue roll over so who knows maybe it will heal in time.

Now if I can figure out how to prune this little guy to not sacrifice flowers and fruit (I've had the mother plant for 2 years and still haven't seen it flower) I'll be good to go.

I know Al has a really nice Fire Thorn, so if you're reading this Al please chime in :D
 

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DannyBonsai

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shari is also an option for dealing w/ scaring. deadwood makes a nice contrast with the nice silvery brown bark, IMO.
 

Smoke

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Pyracantha = Pc
Pc is a plant that does not "thicken" up. It grows like many thorny shrubs such as barberry in which the growth is shown in long canes that elongate from whatever trunk there is. Mine do not grow thornes untill there is about 12 inches of unchecked growth on a stem. As long as I keep pruned it is pretty much thorn free. But if I get lazy....watch out cause it looks like I tangled with one of Harry's cast off girlfriends!

I have seen Pc's that are over twelve foot tall and have canopies as large as the side of a garage wall, and the trunk is only a couple inches across. The shrub could be as old as 30 or 40 years.

Hedging seems to create larger trunks since the energy is forced into the trunk instead of the canes much like boxwoods. Boxwoods will also grow small trunks if left unchecked but seem to really thicken up after decades of hedging.

So....don't think that by placing your Pc in the ground it will thicken up like a trident in a few years...cause it won't. It will need a lot of hedging and a lot of years. And no they will not heal. You will get a small roll of cambium near the wound which compartmentalizes the wound and then thats it. In that respect again they are like crape myrtles or boxwoods needing to have large wounds carved away to add interest.

They also have a nasty habit of not wanting to ramify very easily. The branches tend to keep to the caneing habit of growing a long shoot while terminal pruning only seems to change the direction of the terminal without adding more buds along its length. Persistance and patience will be rewarded as over a few years new shoots will appear in spring and this seems to be it for the year. New leaves grow continually pushing off last years growth by old leaves turning yellow. I have had good luck defoliating mine every other year.
 

Smoke

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Oh one last thing...there are about 30 or so varities of Pc and not all of them get thorns or flower. I have one with very small leaves, only about 3/4 inch long full grown that never flowers and the plant is well over 20 years old.
 

Shima

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Pyracantha

Here's one that decided to get all berried up recently.
I post here about once a year but I couldn't help myself. :D
 

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RyanFrye

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Thanks Al, lots of good info there. Do they flower from the thorns? I think I read somewhere that that is how they flower but I can't recall.





Shima, nice tree!
 

DannyBonsai

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mine I bought yesterday, and the ones growing in the yard, both flower from the center of new growth on stems. the thorns are only bad on one, and they are about 1.5" long. my "red elf" from yesterday doesn't even have noticeable thorns, and it should be perfect for a saikei planting down the road.
 

jk_lewis

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You already have the makings for a pretty nice small Pyrocantha bonsai with as nice taper as you're likely to get. As Smoke says, they develop very slowly and you must stay on top of new growth before it gets to big and too straight and will leave too much of a scar when cut away.

I suggest something like this. (Expect 5 years to pass before the scar from cutting that left hand, straight stub off, but I think it needs to go. Your eye tends to travel from the base and right off the plant on that straight line now, missing the curve entirely.

Have fun and be patient.
 

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Randy

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Hedging seems to create larger trunks since the energy is forced into the trunk instead of the canes much like boxwoods. Boxwoods will also grow small trunks if left unchecked but seem to really thicken up after decades of hedging.

So....don't think that by placing your Pc in the ground it will thicken up like a trident in a few years...cause it won't. It will need a lot of hedging and a lot of years. And no they will not heal. You will get a small roll of cambium near the wound which compartmentalizes the wound and then thats it. In that respect again they are like crape myrtles or boxwoods needing to have large wounds carved away to add interest.

They also have a nasty habit of not wanting to ramify very easily. The branches tend to keep to the caneing habit of growing a long shoot while terminal pruning only seems to change the direction of the terminal without adding more buds along its length. Persistance and patience will be rewarded as over a few years new shoots will appear in spring and this seems to be it for the year. New leaves grow continually pushing off last years growth by old leaves turning yellow. I have had good luck defoliating mine every other year.

Wow. I probably could have bought a half dozen books and would have never learned that about Pc. That alone made joining this board worth it.
 

tmmason10

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Well congrats on the success of your air layer and it looks to be a good start. There is some great information on pyracantha with this posts and good luck in the future. And very nice tree Shima.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Now if I can figure out how to prune this little guy to not sacrifice flowers and fruit (I've had the mother plant for 2 years and still haven't seen it flower) I'll be good to go.

Ryan, PCs flower on new growth, so to get flowers, let the spring growth go completely unchecked. If it's inclined, you should see flowers. In B'ham, flowers form in early May. It appears that they develop flowers or thorns or new shoots at each leaf axil.

Shima, nice show!
 

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