Question about leaders and sacrifice branches

daniel

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I've heard that in order to thicken a certain branch or trunk, you want to have one of the above and let it grow until the branch thickness desired is achieved. My question is this--wouldn't the same thing be achieved if you cut this one branch back and let it branch out, rather than just growing it straight out, unchecked? I'm not advocating either, it's just a thought experiment. Thoughts?

Thanks!

Daniel
 

Smoke

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This is a semi complicated process and one that will really achieve good things when you understand what is going on in the process. I will have to prepare some pictures to illustrate. I will catch up later.
 

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The girth of a plant is derived from the vascular (lateral) meristem. Meristimatic tissue are regions of rapid cellular division, i.e. growth. The height of the plant is derived from the terminal meristem (buds), or likewise the length of a branch is controlled in this same manner. All plant cells start basically the same, and then differentiate as time passes. So, after the bud extends, cells begin to differentiate, this is when the vascular meristem forms. Important to note that it is after growth begins, therefore strong lateral growth occurs much later than initial growth. By removing the terminal bud, the tree must divert its energy into axillary buds (dormant), then they must begin to create new vascular tissue. This slows the plant down, and doesn't allow much time for the vascular meristem to develop and grow. So, if you want girth, it is just a discreet phone call away.....errr........I mean.....:eek: leave the big terminal buds to grow

-Dave
 

daniel

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The girth of a plant is derived from the vascular (lateral) meristem. Meristimatic tissue are regions of rapid cellular division, i.e. growth. The height of the plant is derived from the terminal meristem (buds), or likewise the length of a branch is controlled in this same manner. All plant cells start basically the same, and then differentiate as time passes. So, after the bud extends, cells begin to differentiate, this is when the vascular meristem forms. Important to note that it is after growth begins, therefore strong lateral growth occurs much later than initial growth. By removing the terminal bud, the tree must divert its energy into axillary buds (dormant), then they must begin to create new vascular tissue. This slows the plant down, and doesn't allow much time for the vascular meristem to develop and grow. So, if you want girth, it is just a discreet phone call away.....errr........I mean.....:eek: leave the big terminal buds to grow

-Dave

So, I take it leave the "original" leader intact until you get the girth you want, right? Or did I miss something?
 

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Chumono
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So, I take it leave the "original" leader intact until you get the girth you want, right? Or did I miss something?
As far as plant physiology is concerned, yes, leave it for quickest girth gain.

-Dave
 

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Chumono
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I'm thinking you want your leader attached to the trunk. Every branchlet has a terminal bud, if you remove it, the plant will have to divert it's energy into the dormant buds of that particular section of plant. Thus, slowing the thickening process in that area.

-Dave
 

daniel

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I'm thinking you want your leader attached to the trunk. Every branchlet has a terminal bud, if you remove it, the plant will have to divert it's energy into the dormant buds of that particular section of plant. Thus, slowing the thickening process in that area.

-Dave
Well, my thought is that if the leader is attached to a branch and it will thicken that branch, then by default shouldn't it thicken both the branch and the trunk?
 

Dav4

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Well, my thought is that if the leader is attached to a branch and it will thicken that branch, then by default shouldn't it thicken both the branch and the trunk?
The trunk section directly below said sacrifice branch will thicken as the branch grows.

Dave
 

daniel

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Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Thanks for the input!
 
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I think another factor is that you'll have more competition for light with a bush like shape than with an isolated leader and thus bang for the bucks ( photosynthesis for leave construction) will be lower.
 
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