Question about Trident internode lengths and trimming back to where??

Pepibom

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Hi folks,
Recently started to trim back some trident maples and wanted to know a little about internode length and where and I should cut back to.

As an example, in the attached picture, I wondered, with short internode lengths in mind, if it would be ok to cut back to any of those circled “buds” and expect new growth from there? There are several branches on my tree that have new green growth emanating from a point quite far away from where I would actually want it to start growing.

My question: is must you always cut back to a pair of leaves or is it ok to cut further back onto old wood and “force” the tree to bud out at that point?
If the answer is you always have to cut back to a pair of leaves then the follow up would be: any way to chase back budding in order to get shorter internodes?
Hope that makes sense. And thanks!
 

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leatherback

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You can cut as short as you would like, as long as the tree is healthy. It will bud out from the node nearest to the cut, and depending on health, further back
 

Brian Van Fleet

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You can cut back to bare wood, but it may or may not result in budding at those nodes.

Cutting back to a single pair of leaves can induce it, and will very likely induce budding at the petioles of the pair of leaves left.

Your example looks rather lanky, I keep my tridents in full sun, and they’re dense. When developing secondary branches, I tend to prune the tree back to a profile the first spring pruning (see examples), then trim the “runners” a couple weeks later. A few weeks after that, I’ll go back in and prune individual strong shoots, and continue pruning to a profile until fall. The result is very small leaves.
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River's Edge

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If the answer is you always have to cut back to a pair of leaves then the follow up would be: any way to chase back budding in order to get shorter internodes?
That is a way to chase back growth! Cutting back to a set of leaves or buds is safer than counting on buds emerging between nodes or on bare old wood. However when you do that if the tree is in good health it is more likely too bud further back, thus producing a shorter internode to cut back to the next time. Developmental pruning in stages is a safer approach.
 

jquast

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Is it possible? I went through a thread a while ago and people said this can't happen
Nope, they will only bud at the nodes. Only option for internodal growth is grafting.
 

Pepibom

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You can cut back to bare wood, but it may or may not result in budding at those nodes.

Cutting back to a single pair of leaves can induce it, and will very likely induce budding at the petioles of the pair of leaves left.

Your example looks rather lanky, I keep my tridents in full sun, and they’re dense. When developing secondary branches, I tend to prune the tree back to a profile the first spring pruning (see examples), then trim the “runners” a couple weeks later. A few weeks after that, I’ll go back in and prune individual strong shoots, and continue pruning to a profile until fall. The result is very small leaves.
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Making a lot more sense now. Now of course budding at the petioles wouldn’t really solve the long internode problem if I am only at the place where the last leaf pair is located —but I do now get it! Leaving that last pair of leaves will possibly induce budding further back on the woody part but cutting to the woody bud location might or might not!
 

Pepibom

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Nope, they will only bud at the nodes. Only option for internodal growth is grafting.
Not expecting growth between the nodes, on the woody part, but at the “woody” looking buds located on the woody limb.
 

sorce

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Welcome to Crazy!

I would cut back just after those three and watch what they do, it a good opportunity to learn your tree.

Learn your tree is most important.

Someone with dull scissors is likely to get more dieback cutting close than someone with sharp things, who also do the smart thing and cut far, wait for the stub to dry, then clean your closure for tight healing to a good profile later.

You don't know who sharpens their scissors.

I reckon some trees will pop the first set and keep the backups.
Some will pop all of em.
Some will abandon close buds if not cut far enough.
Some will know to pop the interior cuz they have light.
Some won't pop the interior, cuz you just created light.

It's important to remember there is a large difference between creating balance and keeping balance.

In development, you are creating balance so your actions will be a larger counter balance.

More pics!

We don't yet know where you're at.

Sorce
 

Pepibom

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Welcome to Crazy!

I would cut back just after those three and watch what they do, it a good opportunity to learn your tree.

Learn your tree is most important.

Someone with dull scissors is likely to get more dieback cutting close than someone with sharp things, who also do the smart thing and cut far, wait for the stub to dry, then clean your closure for tight healing to a good profile later.

You don't know who sharpens their scissors.

I reckon some trees will pop the first set and keep the backups.
Some will pop all of em.
Some will abandon close buds if not cut far enough.
Some will know to pop the interior cuz they have light.
Some won't pop the interior, cuz you just created light.

It's important to remember there is a large difference between creating balance and keeping balance.

In development, you are creating balance so your actions will be a larger counter balance.

More pics!

We don't yet know where you're at.

Sorce
 

Pepibom

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I am in New Orleans, will have to figure out how to add that to my profile.

I have a bunch of “forest” tridents that I am trimming for next Spring and so I will try a bunch of different approaches ( cut to last green bud, to last “brown” woody bud) and see what happens! I’ll report back.
 

River's Edge

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Nope, they will only bud at the nodes. Only option for internodal growth is grafting.
IMG_0548.JPGIMG_0550.JPG
Nope, you are wrong. buds between nodes are activated with correct technique. Pictures above show result of back budding between internodes on trident maples. First picture of a young trident in one of my grow out beds that was cut back three or four weeks ago. Second picture of a trident showing bud back lower on the trunk after cut back last year. ( the tree in the Anderson flat)
To quote Meriggioli " Back budding is actually very easy for trident maples, not only at the nodes, but also along the branches." Page 182
 
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Brian Van Fleet

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Making a lot more sense now. Now of course budding at the petioles wouldn’t really solve the long internode problem if I am only at the place where the last leaf pair is located —but I do now get it! Leaving that last pair of leaves will possibly induce budding further back on the woody part but cutting to the woody bud location might or might not!
A good tip from @Smoke was to trim newly-emerging shoots early, while they are still very compact, which establishes a short internode. Then allow the resulting growth to stretch out for a while before pruning. That way, you’re pruning back to those short internodes from the early pruning.

I’m not too worried about the large leaves you see on those example tridents now, because in 2 months, they’ll all be replaced by leaves half that size, on very short internodes.
 

0soyoung

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buds between nodes are activated with correct technique. Pictures above show result of back budding between internodes on trident maples.
A good tip from @Smoke was to trim newly-emerging shoots early, while they are still very compact, which establishes a short internode.
Something ain't right here. Either there are internodes or there are not.

If budding truly can occur in internodes, then internode lengths are irrelevant. Just make it bud where you need it.
 

jquast

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Nope, you are wrong. buds between nodes are activated with correct technique. Pictures above show result of back budding between internodes on trident maples. First picture of a young trident in one of my grow out beds that was cut back three or four weeks ago. Second picture of a trident showing bud back lower on the trunk after cut back last year. ( the tree in the Anderson flat)
To quote Meriggioli " Back budding is actually very easy for trident maples, not only at the nodes, but also along the branches." Page 182
This budded back at the nodes, the spaces in between the buds are the nodes. This is a good read that you can educate yourself with.

 
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River's Edge

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This budded back at the nodes, the spaces in between the buds are the nodes. This is a good read that you can educate yourself with.

LOL. try this read if you like the above noted thread.
 

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Shibui

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I should have worded this as " between internodes". my bad. The quote from merrigioli is accurate. And the pictures show the response.
Between internodes is just another way of saying at nodes. Maples can only bud where there are or have been nodes. That's where the dormant buds are located.

The pics show buds emerging from old nodes that are now hidden under the bark. Try to visualize this tree as a seedling. It had nodes and leaves in pairs up the stem. You can see the shoots are spaced at intervals up the stem. Those intervals just so happen to coincide with the original nodes and internodes. Note also that the buds come in opposite pairs and alternate round the stem just as the original nodes and leaves would have done, The original nodes and dormant buds are still there just covered by thicker bark so less visible.
What those pics also show is that you can cut maples back further than the leaves and also further than the visible nodes and still expect reasonable response with shoots emerging from older nodes.
 

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